Chile

Asia-Latin America Round-up — 28 Apr 2017

Highlights

Ant Financial sees rich opportunities — China Daily
Alibaba’s financial arm, Ant Financial, is to extend its indigenous mobile payment technologies to economies along the Belt and Road Initiative and unveil a number of Alipay-like services this year. The firm is counting on partners outside China to bring its model of online finance and local services to its target markets in emerging Asia.

Alibaba quer entrar no mercado de crédito no Brasil — Estado de São Paulo
Jack Ma syas he wants to provide credit services in Brazil - "We want to invest in e-commerce, logistics and inclusive financing.” However, details on the investment and what credit services they would provide are not spelled out. Per the Estadão, Alibaba started operations in Brazil in 2014 but has faced hurdles over logistics and the monitoring of product authenticity on its website.

International millennial buyers are eyeing Miami luxury real estate: AREAA panel — The Real Deal
According to panelists at an the Asian Real Estate Association of America event, a small, high net-worth segment of millennials are increasingly shopping for homes in South Florida. Karen Chau, Asia general manager for real estate tech company Investorist, says that Chinese millennials are bullish on real estate.

China-Latin America

China: Shenzhen is first choice port of entry for Chilean cherries — Fresh Plaza
The Chilean cherry juggernaut continues. In the five months ending in March, 75,600 tons were exported to China, a 25% increase on the same period last year. Shenzhen alone received 61,000 tons, or 80% of all Chilean cherries exported to China in that period, an increase 41%.

China Communications Construction Company plans to invest in Brazil — Macauhub
China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) intends to expand its presence in Brazil, the largest market in Latin America, by carrying out projects from scratch, Chang Yunbo, chief executive of CCCC South America, told the Brazilian press recently. Last year CCCC acquired a stake of 80% in Brazilian company Concremat – Soluções Integradas de Engenharia and signed a contract to buy 51% of a new port in São Luís, Maranhão state, to be built under a partnership with WPR, a subsidiary of Brazilian group WTorre. The port construction will cost an estimated 1.7 billion reais (US$545 million) and will take three years to complete.

Avocado imports soar as China develops taste for ‘butter fruit’ — FT

Exports of avocados from Latin American (especially Mexico and Chile) are growing by about 250 per cent a year, from just 154 tonnes in 2012 to more than 25,000 tonnes in 2016. Chile has the advantage of a free-trade agreement with China, while Mexico faces a 10 per cent tariff on fruit imports. Yum China, which operates 5,000 KFC stores in the country, last month launched an “avocado series” of chicken burgers and wraps slathered with guacamole to help upgrade the image of its fried chicken chain, sourcing the fruit from Mexico. Peru is getting into the act, with the first batch of Peruvian “Big Mac” avocados flown to China this month.

Chinese enterprises widen frontiers in Latin America winning appraisal — Xinhua
Interesting, if a little platitudinous, profiles of the experiences of seven Chinese companies doing business in Latin America, including Haier, JAC Motors, China Southern, CRRC, Gree (China's largest air conditioner producer), Yanjian Group, and China National Electronics Import & Export Corp. (CEIEC). However, the most interesting part may be the last paragraph:

Many Chinese enterprises in Latin America believe there are still great challenges for them to do business in the continent, due to long distance, disparate standards, absent policy backup and financial constraints. But the big market and the local people will keep them staying on, no matter how hard it will be.

China becomes Brazil's biggest investor so far in 2017 — Xinhua
Through mid-April, Chinese investors spent $5.67b on M&A in Brazil, representing 37.5% of total investment in the country.

China makes record investment in Argentina’s mining sector — Latin Lawyer
State-owned Chinese mining company Shandong Gold is to purchase a 50% stake in Barrick Gold’s Veladero mine for $960m. The deal will also see the two firms look at jointly developing the nearby undeveloped Pascua-Lama gold and silver project which straddles the border of Argentina and Chile, as well as additional investment opportunities on the El Indio Gold Belt. Shandong Gold is affiliated with the provincial government of Shandong.

Asia-Latin America

Zee forays into Latin America — India Today
Zee Entertainment Enterprises — the Indian content company — has launched an expansion into Latin America with its Spanish-language Bollywood movie channel, Zee Mundo, in Mexico and Ecuador. Zee Mundo is headquartered in Miami.

China Econ/Policy

China lifts renminbi capital controls as outflows pressure eases — FT
China Eases Capital Controls – But Not Very Much — Mingtiandi
Financial institutions are no longer required to maintain a balance of inflows and outflows when processing cross-border renminbi payments, reversing a decision made by the PBOC (China’s Central Bank) in January. This may suggests the authorities are increasingly confident they have weathered the country’s worst-ever bout of capital outflow. David Green-Morgan, Global Capital Markets Research Director at JLL in Singapore tells Mingtiandi that it’s a small tweaking that won’t substantially change things, however that’s not necessarily bad, because there are deals still being done: “There’s still a number of Chinese deals going on around the world, so I suspect this is just maybe tweaking the fine print slightly. I think it’s such a small change in the regulations that I don’t see it significantly impacting on the amount of money that’s flowing. Certainly in the real estate space we continue to see pretty strong demand from China on the residential side and the commercial side,” he says.

China Seeks Arrest of Billionaire Who Accused Officials’ Relatives of Graft — NYT
He Tweeted About Chinese Government Corruption. Twitter Suspended His Account — NYT
The plot around Guo Wengui thickens. The former Chinese crony, later Chinese corruption whistleblower, and more recent Mar-a-Lago gadfly would seem to see the Chinese noose tightening around him. The Chinese government says it has asked Interpol to issue a so-called red notice to its member countries for Guo’s arrest, but his name does not appear on Interpol’s wanted list (a country can request that wanted notices not be publicized). Ominously, Guo’s Twitter account was apparently suspended for about four hours before it was restored

Will China-led development banks get the coveted boost to shape a new financial world order? — SCMP
The BRICS Bank (technically the New Development Bank) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), are seeking credit ratings from Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s and Fitch, a vital step for them to borrow money in global capital markets and a key factor in deciding their financing costs. This will allow them to diversify the lending products they provide for development in the Emerging Markets they work in.

Chinese ambassador says relationship with US is improving, and that’s good for NYC real estate — The Real Deal
China’s ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai says the relationship between the two countries has improved markedly since Donald Trump and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping met in Florida earlier this month:

“Frankly, maybe many of you were a bit concerned at the end of last year and the beginning of this year about where this relationship was going. I think for a while the word uncertainty dominated discussions about this relationship. But fortunately, thanks to the joint effort of so many people, things have turned for the better.”

China, Sending a Signal, Launches a Home-Built Aircraft Carrier — NYT
China’s first domestically built aircraft carrier slipped into the sea for the first time this week. It won’t be seaworthy for at least another three years, but is a powerful symbol for the growing strength of China on the global stage.

The Rise of China's New Consumer Class — Goldman Sachs
A little dated, but well-put together infographic on the rise of China’s middle class and it’s potential. The Chinese consumer market has seen enormous growth—and only 11% of the population has reached the middle class. As their ranks swell, so will their effect on the global economy. There will be huge opportunities for the entertainment, food service, technology and other industries.

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Asia-Latin America Round-up — 7 Apr 2017

Highlights

Trump’s Bad Deal With China — Politico
China’s growing clout in international economic affairs — The Economist
Averting a Chinese-American trade war — The Economist
Inside the Kushner channel to China — Washington Post
The big news this week is Xi and Trump’s meeting today at Mar-a-Lago. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the meeting, not least because Trump’s goals for the bilateral relationship are unclear, if not contradictory. However, China’s interests are well known:

China wants the Trump administration to adopt its concept of “a new model of great power relations,” Xi’s proposal to avoid conflict and focus on cooperation. China also wants Trump to endorse Xi’s signature “One Belt, One Road” initiative, China’s massive regional infrastructure and development project. China also seeks U.S. noninterference in issues it considers core interests, including Taiwan, Tibet and its internal affairs.

Interestingly, that message has been delivered to Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, who the Chinese see as either an influential princeling, playing a role similar to those played in China; or - more concerningly - an out-of-his-depth novice who will get played.

China’s Currency Takes a Twist Ahead of Trump-Xi Meeting — WSJ
The yuan is up 1% against the dollar so far this year, a rise that began shortly before Donald Trump was inaugurated as president. The rise could complicate a central criticism that Mr. Trump has leveled against China: that it is manipulating its currency downward at the expense of the U.S. to help bolster exports and its economy.

As Trump Meets Xi at Mar-a-Lago, There’s a ‘Wild Card’ — NYT
Guo Wengui is a member of Mar-a-Lago, but maybe better known as the developer of the "Dragon Building,” the Pangu Plaza near the Olympic complex in Beijing. Guo is now in the US because he left China during a corruption scandal linked to the jailing of his political patron, a top security official named Ma Jian. 

Latin America, trade on the line, will watch closely as Trump and Xi meet in Florida — McClatchy DC
Latin American leaders will be watching Mar-a-Lago to be looking for signs of stability and assurances that trade would remain open. Latam will see any signs of protectionism and nationalism as harming trade prospects and creating more inequities in the hemisphere’s trade relations.

Trade After the Trans-Pacific Partnership — NYT
As an example of the region's (and especially the Pacific Alliance’s) interest in pursuing trade in the era of Trump, Chile’s Foreign Minister Heraldo Muñoz wrote an op-ed on Monday stating: "The signal …is clear: Multilateral trade and Pacific integration are alive and kicking.”

Construction in Trump’s crosshairs — The Real Deal
Windows, steel beams, concrete, doors, floorings and entire curtain walls used in New York City skyscrapers and around the country are now regularly imported. These imports could be impacted by Trump’s economic nationalism or House Speaker Ryan’s proposed Boarder Adjustment Tax. Richard Wood, the president and CEO of Plaza Construction is noted, saying the percentage of materials from overseas is steadily increasing, and any restrictions could be damaging unless they are slowly phased in. “Otherwise,” he said, “a lot of domestic companies will be hurt very badly.”

Miami ficou 'cool': trocou o brega pelo cosmopolita — Brazil Journal
“Miami is now more than beaches and shopping centers” to Brazilians, says NP-friend Santiago Fittipaldi. He notes interest in Art Basel and the Pérez Art Museum.

China-Latin America

Why are Chilean fruits so successful in China? — Fresh Plaza
Chinese delegation visits the Chilean fruit industry — Fresh Plaza
Chile’s advantage in the Chinese market is a long time coming. In 1970, they became the first South American country to establish diplomatic relations with China. In 2005, Chile and China signed a free trade agreement; in 2015, they established a bilateral currency swap agreement; and in 2016, they announced the establishment of a comprehensive strategic partnership. Further highlighting the bilateral relationship, a Chinese delegation traveled to Santago last week to meet with Chile's Association of Fruit Exporters.(ASOEX). Led by the director of the Entry & Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau of the Port of Shenzhen (CIQ), the delegation also included representatives from the Association for Consumer Products Quality and Safety Promotion (CPQS), as well as representatives of several Chinese import companies.

Peru: 38% of ag companies exporting to China quit within a year — Fresh Plaza
However, there still remain opportunities in the agricultural space. According to the Peruvian Chamber of China Commerce (Capechi), Peruvian agricultural companies who export to China have a high rate of quitting because they don't continue doing business there. The companies simply disappeared or stopped exporting to China and have focused on other markets.  

Gezhouba plans to buy Brazilian utility — China Daily
Chinese construction conglomerate China Gezhouba Group Co announced on Thursday it was spending $200 million to acquire the Sistema Produtor São Lourenço water company in São Paulo in Brazil. In 2013, São Lourenço signed a deal with São Paulo utility Sabesp to manage local water supply and sludge treatment for 25 years. 

Expanding China invests in America's backyard: Latin America — CNBC
While trade between the U.S. and Latin America has doubled since 2000, China's trade with the region has multiplied 22 times, according to OECD economist Angel Melguzio. In fact, Beijing is now the biggest trading partner for the major economies of Brazil, Chile and Peru — and Argentina, El Salvador and Guatemala are well-placed to profit from China's booming demand for global food. Meanwhile, China lends the region a lot of money — around $30 billion in 2015, up from $231 million in 2005. And the funds largely come with no strings attached.

Chinalco to ramp up investment in Peru copper mine — FT
China's state-owned Chinalco said it would step up investment at its flagship project in Peru, as the country becomes an increasingly important to China’s raw materials — copper — needs.

CIC-led group buys stake in Brazil pipeline — China Daily
Sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp (CIC) said on Wednesday it had-jointly with Canada's Brookfield Asset Management Inc and other institutional investors-acquired 90 percent stake in Nova Transportadora do Sudeste SA from Petrobras, which controls a natural gas transmission asset in southeast Brazil.

Asia-Latin America

Mexico’s Oaxaca eyes economic ties with Korea — Korea Herald
The secretary of economy of Oaxaca and his team spent a four-day visit to Korea working to boost economic ties. Oaxaca is a southern state in Mexico that is heavily agricultural. In order to build further cooperation, Oaxaca is planning to open a Korea desk to promote bilateral investment.

Estados Unidos retira fondo de desarrollo para América Latina — Reuters
In another penny-wise, pound-foolish move, the US has informed the Inter-American Development Bank that we will no longer be contributing toward hemispheric development.

Latin American-Gulf Economic Ties Are Still Largely Aspirational — World Politics Review
Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue, outlines the geographic, political and cultural obstacles that have stymied attempts to deepen ties between Latin American and Gulf countries.

India: The next big opportunity for Latin American and Caribbean trade — Inter-American Development Bank Beyond Borders
According to the report India: Latin America’s Next Big Thing? the opportunity lies in focusing on where India’s emergence will be seen most: trade and investment in goods and services.

China Econ/Policy

HNA backs Tishman Speyer’s bets in Brooklyn, Hudson Yards — The Real Deal
HNA Puts Manhattan Tower on the Block as China’s Mega-Buyer Starts Selling — Mingtiandi
HNA Property Group — an arm of Hainan Airlines — is busy in NYC. They’ve announced plans to sell their 90 percent stake in a 383,983-square foot building on Sixth Avenue in Manhattan. They’ve also partnered with Tishman Speyer on the development of the Wheeler, a 10-story 620,000-square-foot creative office project rising above the Macy’s in Downtown Brooklyn, as well as on the 2.85-million-square-foot, Bjarke Ingels-designed tower known as the Spiral in the Hudson Yards area.

HNA in $375M Deal to Add London Exhibition Centre to Global Portfolio — Mingtiandi
Not content with NYC, HNA is also shopping in London. HNA, together with Bugsby Property, is said to be in talks to acquire the venues division of the UK’s Capital & Countries Properties (CapCo), which owns the Olympia exhibition center in west London, for £300 million ($375 million). The Olympia, a London landmark originally built in 1886, is made up of seven event venues.

China Creates SEZ for Medical Tourism — Marginal Revolution
Hainan Boao Lecheng international medical tourism pilot zone, the first of its kind in the country, was approved by the State Council in 2013. It enjoys nine preferential polices, including special permission for medical talent, technology, devices and drugs, and an allowance for entrance of foreign capital and international communications. The pilot zone also has permission to carry out leading-edge medical technology research, such as stem cell clinical research. The zone is too small to have a significant impact on worldwide R&D but China’s original SEZs soon expanded.

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What We’re Reading — 23 Aug 2016

S&P and Moody’s lower outlook for Mexico and Banorte to “negative”...
S&P baja perspectiva crediticia de México por deuda alta (El Universal)
Moody’s baja a “negativa” perspectiva de banca mexicana (El Universal)

... growth shrinks in Q2; Mexico now lucky if GDP grows 2.5% in 2016 — this doesn’t help.
SHCP ajusta a la baja su pronóstico de PIB (El Financiero)

Maduro hoping oil will go from $50 to $70/bbl.
Venezuela to push for a deal at Algeria meet (Gulf News)

Also a big step towards the OECD - Argentina should pass it.
Argentina's Quiet (Giant) Step Against Corruption (Americas Quarterly)

Low prices for imports from FTAs turning Chile into the new Miami? Maybe if you don’t like the beach.
¿Por qué Chile se convirtió en el nuevo Miami?

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What We’re Reading — 17 Aug 16

It’s voluntary until 2018, but it’s a start.
Mexico announces launch of cap-and-trade pilot program (Reuters)

Cuba feels the pinch of the brain drain.
Cuba steps up campaign against U.S. immigration policies (McClatchy)

Chile moves to cover the shortfall.
Chile Awards Contracts in Its Largest Power Auction (WSJ)

A lot of steps to get there, but worth taking.
Explaining Colombia’s Peace Plebiscite (WOLA)

Bolivia becomes the latest supplier to feed the Chinese raw materials machine.
Bolivia makes first shipment of lithium to China (FT)

Of the 11 Brazilian Olympic medalists so far, 9 are military officers.
Com toda a reverência: dos 11 medalhistas brasileiros, nove são das Forças Armadas (Correio Brasiliense) 

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