Petrobras plans to invest $1.4bn in refining, R$370m in logistics

Petrobras expected to spend $1.4 billion in refining and $370 million in logistics over the next few years. The information was announced Tuesday by logistics executive manager Mauro Mendes, who added that the stateowned oil company plans to continue investing “firmly” in refining despite a plan to shed eight plants. Two new pipelines are in the plans, one for liquefied petroleum gas and another for oil in São Paulo state, with pumping facilities in Cubatão. “We are going to provide aviation fuel supplies to Brasília through [pipeline] Osbra, increasing our efficiency and cutting costs.” He also cited refining investments in low-sulfur diesel. The president of Transpetro, Antonio Rubens, also attended the same Brazilian Oil Institute event in Rio de Janeiro and said the company would position itself to provide services to the new operators of the company’s former refineries.

Source: Valor Econômico

http://www.valor.com.br/international

 

CBMM studies longer rail link to export niobium ore

The world’s leading niobium producer, Brazil’s CBMM, studies adopting a more extended rail link to curb transportation costs. The company already has a contract with MRS to ship ore from Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, to ports in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. But it still needs to have its output trucked from Araxá, located 317 kilometers west of the state capital. VLI confirmed the early-stage talks and said it has assets potentially useful to the desired route. But it would still require some investments, including for a loading terminal in Araxá.

Source: Valor Econômico

http://www.valor.com.br/international

 

Adding cities to pension reform would save R$170bn

Not including cities in the pension reform will waste potential savings of R$170 billion over a decade, according to data from the Special Secretariat of Social Security. The most affected cities would be São Paulo, whose projected savings in the period amount to R$20.5 billion, followed by Rio de Janeiro (R$13.2 billion), Curitiba (R$5.3 billion), Fortaleza (R$3.8 billion) and Belo Horizonte (R$3.7 billion).

Source: Valor Econômico

http://www.valor.com.br/international

 

With only 16,000 robots, Brazil ranks low in global automation push

Experts say Brazil fell behind in industrial automation between 2008 and 2017 and will find it difficult to join the “fourth industrial revolution.” One of the reasons is its small inventory of industrial robots – consultancy firm dados says the country only had 12,373 such machines in 2017 or 0.6% of all manufacturing robots globally, ranking 18th among nations in automation. Today the three largest robot makers in Brazil – Fanuc, ABB and Yaskawa – estimate the current inventory stands at 16,000.

Source: Valor Econômico

http://www.valor.com.br/international

 

Distributors seek to share costs of extra power volume in A-6 auction

Distributors want expenses for the extra volume of electricity contracted at the next energy auction on October 17 to be apportioned among all users in Brazil, including “free” consumers (unregulated market). The Brazilian Association of Electric Energy Distributors (Abradee) will submit the request to the Ministry of Mines and Energy. Abradee says the proposed model is likely to have an impact on rates for residential and small commercial consumers, just as the government and the power industry regulator Aneel discuss ways of cutting rates and making them more transparent. The auction slated for October 17 will be of the A-6 type, for generation capacity from projects slated to come online in 2025.

Source: Valor Econômico

http://www.valor.com.br/international

Guedes forecasts R$42bn boost from FGTS and PIS withdrawals

The government is expected to announce this Wednesday widely anticipated changes to mandatory savings accounts Workers’ Severance Fund (FGTS) and PIS/Paseb. Presidential Spokesman Otávio do Rêgo Barros confirmed reports the administration will clear withdrawals of around R$500. Economy Minister Paulo Guedes also issued an estimate of R$42 billion becoming available for consumer spending with the measures, including R$30 billion now and R$12 billion in 2020. The plan will be to allow scaled withdrawals from the accounts permanently. Government experts will continue holding meetings on Wednesday to finish a provisional measure (MP) enacting the changes that avoids any legal challenges.

Source: Valor Econômico

http://www.valor.com.br/international

 

President creates monitoring committee for gas market reforms

President Jair Bolsonaro launched Tuesday the New Gas Market Program, including by decreeing a monitoring committee focused on encouraging competition. The government wants to add flexibility to the cooking gas market and cut the gas volume reinjected into oil fields as one way of lowering natural gas prices by as much as 50% in two years. Regulators also study permitting sales of unbranded cooking gas canisters allowing self-service refills as one way of cutting the average cost for consumers.

Source: Valor Econômico

http://www.valor.com.br/international

 

e.Bricks Ventures to set up third fund aiming to raise $130m

Venture capital firm e.Bricks Ventures is in the process of raising its third and largest fund. The company expects to raise $130 million between September and October to invest in early-stage startups (rounds A and B) and also in maturing companies (seed capital). In the new fund, the goal is to take on a little more risk, with investments of up to R$50 million (from R$30 million in the second fund set up in 2016) in fintechs, education, food and agriculture as well as offers for small and medium-sized companies. Health and consumer segments are also on its radar. As in its second fund, the idea is to make more room for consumer-oriented companies.

Source: Valor Econômico

http://www.valor.com.br/international

 

Caixa postpones sale of Banco do Brasil and Alupar stakes

State-owned lender Caixa Econômica Federal will postpone until September the sale of stakes in Banco do Brasil and Alupar, Valor has learned. Caixa wanted to tender the shares still in July, but talks with the Investment Fund of the Workers’ Severance Fund (FI-FGTS) ended up delaying the process. The fund only approved selling the BB shares last week and will reconvene again in a couple of days to decide on the Alupar stake. “It made it too late for the [Northern Hemisphere’s] vacation period, and it’s better now to wait for the international market to resume in September,” said a person familiar with the issue. Caixa, which has 12% of Alupar and 2.5% of BB, invested in the shares with FI-FGTS capital.

Source: Valor Econômico

http://www.valor.com.br/international

 

Lorenzetti gears up for recovery of real estate market

Lorenzetti is preparing for the real-estate market’s comeback. In September, the company will start manufacturing at facilities acquired from Arno in São Paulo, which will allow it to expand its total installed capacity of showers, water purifiers, plumbing fixtures and light bulbs by 37%. Investment in the unit totals R$210 million from its own cash. Also on Lorenzetti’s radar is growth through the acquisition of competitors. In the first half, the company increased revenues by 9.3% and expects annual sales to rise 10% from R$1.37 billion in 2018.

Source: Valor Econômico

http://www.valor.com.br/international