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August 13, 2013

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EXCLUSIVE Latin America's top 100 banks in 2013
Largest year-on-year increases in assets and income were dominated by Venezuelan firms

By and large, 2012 was a good year for Latin America’s Top 100 Banks. With very few exceptions, all banks saw an increase in assets over 2011, although net income was more of a mixed bag. But the top 5 banks this year are entirely dominated by Brazilian banks, all with assets over $200 billion and net incomes exceeding $1 billion, Latin Business Chronicle reports.

Ecuador to spend $47 billion in public investment through 2017 
Thirty-five percent will go to strategic sectors such as oil, electricity and transport 

Ecuador's government is planning public-sector investments worth about $47 billion from 2013 through 2017, the country's Planning Secretary Pabel Muñoz said. Among the plans is to build a $2 billion petrochemical plant linked to the Refineria del Pacifico, for which the government expects to attract interest of local investors, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Brazil slows down bullet train tender
Project is expected to cost $38 billion

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff has decided to put off an upcoming bullet train tender after a Spanish consortium in the running for the blockbuster contract requested more time to prepare its bid. The head of Brazil's government infrastructure agency EPL, Bernardo Figueiredo (left), said last week that any decision to delay bidding would be aimed at attracting as many offers as possible. The high-speed rail is planned to link the 260 miles between Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Reuters reports.

John Kerry goes to Colombia and Brazil on two-day trip 
Visit comes amid tension from South American countries over U.S. surveillance 

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will seek to allay the concerns of Brazil's top leaders about U.S. surveillance in their country while highlighting the expanding relationship the U.S. is nurturing with the economic powerhouse in Latin America. In Colombia, Kerry's discussions focused on trade, energy and counter-narcotics,The Calgary Herald reports.

Mexico proposes energy reform but some investors skeptical
If enacted, it would be the largest private sector opening in decades for country's energy sector

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Monday proposed an overhaul of Mexico's energy industry to offer private companies profit-sharing contracts, but investors said it might be too cautious.The bill stops short of proposing concessions to tap Mexican oil, or production-sharing, viewed as the best-case scenarios by oil companies, Reuters reports.

MOREOVER

Peru sees 20 percent growth in exports to Costa Rica Peru this Week

Brazil economists cut growth forecast for this year and next Businessweek

 Sonda falls in Chile amid Panama contract loss concern Bloomberg

Cuba receives double amount of tourists from South America Cuba News

Peru set to become largest player in U.S. avocado market Produce News 

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