Asia-Latin America Round-up — 2 Jun 2017

Highlights

China-Brazil Fund officially presented in São Paulo on 30 May – Macauhub
Brazil-China fund to begin operations this Thursday — Global Trade Review
China and Brazil have launched their joint $20b Brazil-China Cooperation Fund for Increasing Productive Capacity this week. Of the amount raised, $15b were provided by Claifund, the Chinese fund for LatAm industrial cooperation, and $5bn were contributed by Brazilian financial institutions, BNDES and Caixa, that will be agents for the fund. Interestingly, this is the first Claifund project with bilateral parity, meaning that Brazil and China will have the same weight in financing decisions. Targets for the fund will include logistics, energy, mining, technology, agriculture and agribusiness.

A $200 Million Bet on Brazilian Tech Start-Ups Amid Political Upheaval — NYT
Latin American venture capital firm Kaszek Ventures has raised a $200 m fund in a bet on Brazilian start ups. The new fund is about 48 percent larger than the firm’s second and most recent fund, which was $135 m and was marketed in late 2013. While based in Argentina, about two-thirds of its investments are in start-ups in Brazil.

Forget New York or San Francisco, Chinese investors are looking at balmy Miami — CNBC
Peggy Fucci, CEO of Ft Lauderdale-based real estate broker OneWorld properties, says she doesn’t think the recent  capital controls are going to stop Chinese investment in US real estate, and she thinks Miami’s growing property market is attractive: "I think that Miami has a lot of growing up to do and there's still a lot of room for growth in Miami," she said. "The real estate market is a long-term play not just a short-term.”

China's Breakneck Metro System Growth, in One Amazing GIF — That’s Shanghai
Just click through. It’s pretty impressive.

China-Latin America

Billionaire Slim eyeing electric taxi to reduce pollution in Mexico City — Reuters
Carlos Slim’s Giant Motors — which in February announced with China's JAC Motors and Japan's Chori Co, said they would invest some $210 million — is joining with a subsidiary of Grupo Bimbo to produce the environmentally friendly car that will eventually replace part of Mexico City's more than 130,000 registered cabs.

Chinese firms should prepare to deal with fallout from mounting crisis in Brazil — Global Times
Official English language newspaper of the Chinese government notes that the Chinese embassy in Brasilia advised Chinese citizens and firms to avoid crowded places in the coming six months around concerns from protests against embattled Brazilian President Michel Temer. According to the Foreign Ministry, China's total Foreign Direct Investment in Brazil currently amounts to at least $30 billion, mainly in infrastructure, energy exploration and transport facilities.

Chinese wine group buys three vinyards in Chile — Xinhua
Yantai Changyu Pioneer Wine has signed an agreement with Chile's Bethia group to buy three vineyards in Chile for over $50m; the deal is to be completed this month. Changyu already has operations in China, France, Italy and New Zealand.

Chinese, European firms express interest in Chile-Argentina tunnel — A Times
Chile and Argentina are looking to build a $1.5 b tunnel under the Andes mountains to connect Argentina’s San Juan and Chile’s Coquimbo. Power China and the Chinese Communications Construction Company, Spain’s OHL and FCC, and Italy’s Astaldi and Salini Impregilo have all bid on the project, according to the Chilean ministry of public works.

Latin America should not be left out of B&R initiative — Global Times
A Mexico-based analyst argues for the need to include Latin America in the Belt and Road Initiative due to the fact that "China's presence through trade and infrastructure in the region means that the framework of collaboration is already in place for the B&R to have a smooth transition to the Southern Hemisphere.”

Barbados and China celebrate long-standing diplomatic relations — Barbados Advocate
Barbados and China celebrate 40 years of diplomatic relations.

Asia-Latin America

Medytox bolsters presence in Latin America — Korea Times
Medytox, Korea’s largest maker of botulinum toxin and dermal fillers, is looking to capitalize on Latin America’s rich and storied tradition of cosmetic beauty investment. Brazil is Medytox’s third-largest export market, and Medytox has access to 13 other countries in the region.

GCC eyes closer ties with commodity-rich Latin America — Zawya
The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry is looking to promote commercial ties between the Gulf and Latin America. In April, Dubai opened a trade mission in São Paulo, and is considering establishing another one in Argentina. But deeper connections are hampered by GCC unfamiliarity with tax systems, bureaucracy, corruption, and the lack of bilateral trade agreements.

China Econ/Policy

CR Land Adds $385M Acquisition to $4.7B in Chinese London Deals in 4 Months — Mingtiandi
China Resources Land has made its first major overseas investment, partnering with a European REIT to acquire a an office building in the City of London for £300m ($384.6m). The property, 20 Gresham Street, is located near St Paul’s Cathedral and the Bank of England in London’s financial district and offers 242,807 square feet (22,558 square metres) of office space.

Anbang Buys Amsterdam Hotel from Blackstone for $392M — Mingtiandi
Don’t call it a comeback: Anbang Group bought the 557-room DoubleTree by Hilton Amsterdam Centraal Station hotel in Holland from US private equity group Blackstone for €350m ($391.6m). This is the fourth hotel Anbang has bought from Blackstone, starting with the Waldorf Astoria in 2014.

China Life Takes 95% Stake in $950M US Real Estate Portfolio — Mingtiandi
Mainland insurer China Life is taking a 95 percent stake in a portfolio of US logistics and manufacturing centres, business parks and healthcare facilities valued at nearly $1 b. The joint venture’s portfolio initially comprises 48 single-tenant properties aggregating more than 5.5 m square feet across 20 states.

CIC to buy Blackstone's €12bn Logicor — EGi
China Investment Corporation is set to buy the 630-asset logistics business Logicor for more than €12b ($13.5b). The purchase of the 146.4m sq ft warehouse property ownership platform will become the largest European real estate deal. Mapletree Investments with Temasek Holdings out of Singapore and Global Logistic Properties, the largest owner of logistics properties in Asia.

The biggest political story in China is centered at a $68 million apartment overlooking Central Park — NYT
A good summary of the ongoing weirdness surrounding the corruption accusations leveled by Guo Wengui against Chinese leadership. After China asked Interpol to put out a red notice on him:

But then something unexpected happened. China stood down. The state media campaign against him tapered off. In mid-May, Mr. Guo announced on Twitter that his wife and daughter — previously barred from leaving China — had been allowed to visit him in New York.

What caused this turnaround, and what this means for Guo’s claims against HNA, is unclear.