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October 23, 2013

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EXCLUSIVE Mars sees sweet future in Latin America 
Company seeks to boost consumption and help cocoa producers

With $200 million to invest in Latin America over the next 12 months, Mars will try to take advantage of the region’s economic growth to raise its chocolate consumption, while at the same time supporting regional cocoa producers. Blas Maquivar, Mars Chocolate president for Latin America, says it's a critical time to encourage sales in the region, Latin Business Chronicle reports.

Brazil's BTG considers bid for JPMorgan commodities business
New York-based bank is seeking $3.3 billion for the unit

Brazilian investment bank Grupo BTG Pactual is considering a bid for JPMorgan's physical commodities unit. JPMorgan is seeking $3.3 billion for the unit and the auction is set to be carried out before the end of the month. The New York-based bank said earlier this year it wanted to leave the physical commodities trading business, Bloomberg reports.

Cuba to end dual currency system
Move is part of Raúl Castro's economic reforms

The Cuban government announced it will end its dual currency system, the latest initiative in leader Raúl Castro's (left) economic reforms. According to a government statement, the council of ministers had approved a timetable for implementing “measures that will lead to monetary and exchange unifaction," The Telegraph reports.

Venezuela's 2014 budget targets growth of near 4 percent
Upbeat forecast contrasts with country's soaring inflation 

Venezuelan Finance Minister Nelson Merentes said the proposed 2014 budget of $87 billion targets 4 percent economic growth and aims to cut inflation to half the current rate. "Some people laugh," Merentes said, in response to the reaction of opposition legislators after he announced the inflation target. "But people know that this government knows how to solve complex problems," he said, MSN Money reports.

Carlos Slim hunting for other telecoms companies after KPN  
América Móvil generated more cash than 99 percent Latin American firms through June 

Mexico's Carlos Slim is seeking other ways to expand his mobile business after his botched bid for Royal KPN. Slim's América Móvil could make a move on Brazil's Tim Participacoes, as its parent company Telecom Italia struggles with debt, while Telekom Austria and Telefónica's Czech unit could also provide another way for Slim to enter the European market, Bloomberg reports.

MOREOVER

Punta Arenas, Chile, sees 23 percent increase in cruise arrivals MercoPress

Russia offers Brazil new joint space projects Space Daily

Brazil considers opening skies to foreign airlines for World Cup Reuters

Uruguay sees deepwater port as regional master plan UPI

Cuba to hold largest trade fair in its history Solvisión

Argentina's September trade surplus drops 4.4 percent Reuters

Goldman Sachs to open broker dealer in Mexico next year Bloomberg

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