São Paulo’s Citi to host Davos Forum research unit

The government of São Paulo wants to take advantage of the new legal framework of science and innovation in the country to circumvent obstacles and materialize its idea of creating a “Brazilian Silicon Valley” in the state capital. A campaign promise of Governor João Doria, the International Center for Technology and Innovation (Citi) took the first concrete step at the end of July, when the centenary Institute of Technological Research (IPT) published an invitation for bids to receive private companies in its space. Representatives of the Ministry of Economy, the state government and the World Economic Forum signed an agreement on Wednesday for IPT to also house an arm of the international organization’s study center for Industry 4.0 projects. The minimum annual cost to run the center is $1 million. According to the São Paulo government, the investment will be made almost entirely in partnership with the private sector.

Source: Valor Econômico

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

 

IMC wants burgers and steakhouse amid portfolio reorganization

Restaurant operator International Meal Company (IMC) wants to move forward over other areas of food retail through future partnerships or associations. It is interested in segments that cancomplement its current portfolio, including burger, steakhouse and ice cream chains, the company’s management says. The reorganization of the group’s current portfolio intensified after IMC (Viena, Frango Assado) and MultiQRS (Pizza Hut, KFC) combined to create a single operation this year. The merger was announced in July and is pending approval by Cade, the Brazilian antitrust agency. “[The search for new deals] is something to think about with the idea of keeping a simplified portfolio. It’s no use having dozens of brands when none is growing,” Newton Maia, president of IMC, says, noting that evaluating potential associations “is not something to [happen] now

Source: Valor Econômico

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Bolsonaro shakes up Coaf amid budding crisis

President Jair Bolsonaro transferred the Financial Activity Control Council to the Central Bank from the Ministry of Economy and changed its name to Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) In a move to counter any accusations of political meddling, just a few hours after publishing the decree with the change the government announced Ricardo Liáo would lead the UIF. The economist had directed the council’s supervisory department since January and has occupied different enforcement roles at the Central Bank until retiring in 2013. He replaces Roberto Leonel, who came under fire from some government sectors after criticizing a Supreme Court ruling that halted the use of council data in investigations without warranty. The president initially wanted to transfer the Coaf to the Justice and Public Security Ministry, but Congress balked at giving even more power to Minister Sergio Moro.

Source: Valor Econômico

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Atlas invests R$1.3bn and expands to four solar plants in Brazil

Atlas Renewable Energy, which has a $600 million from a fund created by British asset-management firm Actis for investments in renewable energy generation, plans to expand to four operational solar plants in Brazil by the end of this year, totaling 421 megawatts peak (MWp, power unit of such projects) of capacity and R$1.3 billion in investments. Of this total, R$600 million was financed by the Bank of the Northeast (BNB). Created in 2017, the power company aims to reach 1.5 gigawatts (GW) of capacity in the coming years in Latin America, mainly in Brazil.

Source: Valor Econômico

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Gafisa shifts focus to partnering in and managing projects

Gafisa announced the proceeds of its next capitalization, up to R$273 million, will go toward reinforcing its capital structure and building a new real-estate platform. Gafisa CEO Roberto Portella says developing will remain a core business, but Gafisa increasingly will expand into other areas like allotments blending residential and commercial properties, small shopping malls and hotels. “We’ll work in ventures as partner and manager, and less as a construction company,” Mr. Portella says. The main goal is to generate bigger returns faster with its land inventory and lots owned by others.

Source: Valor Econômico

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Union warns sale of Correios would require constitutional change

The government would have to change the Constitution to privatize Brazil’s postal service, warns the vice-president of postal workers’ union ADCAP, Marcos Alves Silva. He points out that article 21, paragraph X, states that keeping up a postal service is a federal responsibility. Even if the government splits the company and sells only the logistics part, it would still be impossible because the operations are connected too tightly. A listing where the federal government keeps a controlling stake is constitutionally allowed, but ADCAP and other unions oppose it, Mr. Silva warns

Source: Valor Econômico

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EU removes two Brazilian steel products from restriction list

The European Union (EU) has removed Brazil’s stainless steel and steel profiles from the list of products facing quotas to enter its market. This paved the way for Brazilian producers to compete for new business in the European Common Market. On Thursday, Brussels submitted to the World Trade Organization (WTO) a plan to “adjust” tariff quotas that were adopted last year in the face of increased imports and trade diversion as a result of the US decision to slap surcharges on steel products. In Brazil’s case, the good news is that the safeguard withdrawal for the two products. “It is positive because it frees both products to prospect more market, and even more because in the case of stainless steel is of higher added value,” Marco Polo de Mello Lopes, CEO of the Brazil Steel Institute, said.

Source: Valor Econômico

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BC’s dollar sale announcement takes effect

The Central Bank’s new foreign-exchange policy is already starting to have effect even before coming into force. The announcement that the BC will sell dollars in the spot market next week was enough to bring down the exchange coupon (interest in dollars), which has been pressured in recent months by the shortage of foreign capital inflow to the country. One of the most liquid contracts of the day, the October exchange coupon, tumbled to 2.91% at the day’s low and closed at 3.04%, well below the previous day’s 3.21% rate – the highest since mid-June.

Source: Valor Econômico

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Central Bank sees open banking as a way of lowering spreads

The Central Bank’s financial system organization and settlement director, João Manoel Pinho de Mello, said that installing open banking standards in Brazil could potentially lead to a significant reduction of bank spreads. “Leveling information among rivals raises competition,” he said during a financial competitiveness event promoted by payments company Stone. Mr. Mello went as far as claiming that worries about high concentration in Brazilian banking would ebb under an open standard. The Central Bank plans to hold public hearings this year on regulating open banking and begin setting up the framework next year.

Source: Valor Econômico

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Chamber passes “Economic Freedom” bill

The Chamber of Deputies approved a diluted version of the government’s “Economic Freedom” bill that still allows work on Sundays and holidays without overtime as long as workers get time off on another day of the week. The change is mainly aimed at the retail sector but could benefit construction and other service segments. The opposition stayed focused on the issue and ended up offering weak challenges to other significant changes to business permits, making it automatic in some cases, and partnership rules. The proposal now moves on to the Senate, where lawmakers study how to bring back some labor legislation ideas axed in the first round of voting

Source: Valor Econômico

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