Crypto exchange Bitso starts operation in Brazil

Mexican cryptocurrency exchange Bitso closed a new round of funding of $250 million, which valued the company at $2.2 billion. It becomes, therefore, the first unicorn (a startup with a valuation above $1 billion) of the segment in Latin America. Bitso, which already has more than 2 million clients in Mexico and Argentina, had announced its arrival in Brazil for December, but only started operating in fact now. According to Bitso’s CEO, Daniel Vogel, the goal is for Brazil to become the company’s largest market, with 1 million clients in 12 months – or earlier.

Source: Valor international

https://www.valor.com.br/international/briefs

Development Bank unlocks privatization of power utility

The Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) has managed to unlock the privatization of Companhia de Eletricidade do Amapá (CEA) and expects a competitive auction in June, attracting investors interested in positioning themselves in the Amapá state to explore synergies and even opportunities in the basic sanitation industry. The project started in 2018 and was being blocked by a debt of R$2.3 billion. This amount was renegotiated with the company’s main creditors, who reached an agreement to reduce the value to R$1.1 billion. A binding agreement on debt renegotiation is close, a requirement for the privatization to continue. With the end of the debt issue, the bank awaits approvals from the Federal Court of Accounts (TCU) and expects to launch CEA’s call for bids later this month, so that the auction can be held in the second half of June.

Source: Valor international

https://www.valor.com.br/international/briefs

3tentos announces expansion before IPO

3tentos, the largest distribution network of agricultural inputs in Rio Grande do Sul, is setting in motion an expansion plan in Mato Grosso, the state that leads the Brazilian production of grains. The plan of the company – which reported more than R$3 billion in revenues last year – does not depend on the IPO originally scheduled for the beginning of the year. The offering foreseen at R$1.5 billion was suspended until further notice waiting for better market conditions.

Source: Valor international

https://www.valor.com.br/international/briefs

Casai lands in Brazil with R$100m to invest

The Mexican company Casai has launched its brand in Brazil with an estimated investment of R$100 million over the next two years. The residential real estate rental platform foresees disbursements with marketing, hiring people and renovation of properties. The company focuses on high-end units and will compete with other rental platforms, such as Housi, with hotels, and with lodging through Airbnb. The company has already started the pilot of its operations in São Paulo, with 100 properties. The plan is to make the Brazilian operation larger than the Mexican in 12 to 18 months.

Source: Valor international

https://www.valor.com.br/international/briefs

Mercosur countries sign digital trade deal

The countries making up Mercosur signed an electronic commerce agreement facilitating digital transactions and banning the creation of barriers on the segment. According to a note by Brazil’s Economy and Foreign Ministries, the document deepens regional integration by regulating an ever more relevant topic  in global trade.

The agreement represents a shared legal milestone in preventing the creation of possible obstacles to electronic trade among the four members of the bloc—Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay. Among the agreed topics are the prohibition of tariffs on downloads, streaming, and purchases on stores incompatible with the rules of the World Trade Organization.

Under the agreement, Mercosur nations are not allowed to demand from digital service companies to install servers in national territory. Thus, a platform operating in Brazil does not need, for instance, to install a server in Argentina to serve consumers in the neighboring countries. Only financial institutions must observe this requirement, in compliance with the central banks of Mercosur members.

Other items in the pact include accepting digital signatures in Mercosur countries, aligning national online consumer protection norms with bloc rules and adopting and preserving personal data protection and anti-spam legislation.

Strides

Also in the joint note, the ministry announced that the deal was based on the most advanced recommendations from international forums, like the G20 and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The regional agreement, the note reports, contributes to the creation of international rules for electronic trade within the WHO.

Since 1998, WHO countries have, every two years, renewed their commitment not to impose tariffs on electronic trade, thus establishing itself as a tool for the local protection of the segment in the absence of a global deal. The text signed is said to be similar to the commercial agreement forged with Chile in 2018.

Mercosur’s deal on electronic trade was signed on April 29 and unveiled by the Brazilian government also last week. “Its conclusion yet again reinforces Mercosur’s commitment with commercial integration and the strengthening of competitiveness conditions of its economies,” the note reads.

Another deal

Also on Thursday, President Jair Bolsonaro submitted to Congress the text of the Agreement on Border Locations Linked to Mercosur, signed during the 55th Summit of Heads of State of Mercosur, in 2019.

The agreement aims to provide the legal foundation in international law to have Mercosur governments guarantee to citizens of such areas the right to obtain a neighborly transit document facilitating the circulation between countries and granting benefits for studying, working, health care, and the trade of subsistence goods.

Holders of this document will be allowed to study and work on both sides of the border. They will also have the right to move through an exclusive or priority channel when available, at border stations. The right to health services in such areas may be granted in a mutual and complementary manner.

The agreement also concerns issues on cooperation between public institutions in these regions in epidemiological surveillance, public security, fight against transnational crime, civil defense, teacher training, human rights, cultural heritage preservation, mobility for artists, and the circulation of cultural goods, and the measures against the illicit traffic of such goods.

Source: Agência Brasil

https://agenciabrasil.ebc.com.br/en

Iochpe-Maxion raises $400m in first debt issue abroad

Iochpe-Maxion last week completed its first debt issuance in the international market. The automobile components manufacturer raised $400 million in seven-year sustainability-linked bonds (SLB) with a yield of 5.25% a year. When issuing this bond, the company commits itself to sustainability targets. If they are not met, the issue rate suffers a penalty of 0.25%. Iochpe has committed to a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. The company says it has a medium-term goal, which is not tied to the bond, of reducing these emissions by 70% by 2030.

Source: Valor international

https://www.valor.com.br/international/briefs

Highway corridor to speed up Brazilian exports to Asia

The only infrastructure project involving more than two countries in South America, the Bioceanic Highway Corridor will cut exports to Asia in 12 days. In cellulose and meat alone, freight savings are estimated at $75 million per year. In addition, intra-regional trade is expected to increase. The corridor will connect Mato Grosso do Sul to the ports of Chile, passing through Paraguay and Argentina, practically in a straight line. The project is expected to be concluded in in 2023. The corridor may also lower costs for Brazil’s imports of products such as fertilizers and lithium, used in the production of rechargeable batteries for cell phones and electric automobiles.

Source: Valor international

https://www.valor.com.br/international/briefs

Private sector gains ground in sanitation services

The auction of concessions by Rio de Janeiro’s state sanitation company Cedae, concluded Friday, drastically changes the panorama of basic sanitation in Brazil, with an increase of 32% in population benefited by private-sector investments. Disbursements committed by private-sector companies for basic sanitation projects in the country jumps to more than R$75 billion from almost R$48 billion. Held at stock exchange B3, the Cedae bidding ended with a total collection of R$22.7 billion in fixed concession payments and contracted investments of R$27.1 billion. Aegea Saneamento was the main winner, taking two of the three lots auctioned.

Source: Valor international

https://www.valor.com.br/international/briefs