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October 30, 2013

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EXCLUSIVE Panama leads 2013 infrastructure index
Country boasts region's best ports and lowest requirement of documents for exporting

Getting products to market remains one of the greatest challenges in Latin America. Insufficient road coverage, blackouts, delays at seaports and airports, and bureaucracy are some of the challenges the region faces. But for the third year, Panama comes out on top of Latin Business Chronicle's 2013 Infrastructure Index , boasting the region’s highest-quality seaports and airports, and among the best roads.

Eike Batista's OGX prepares bankruptcy protection filing
Decision sets up a corporate default that would rank as the largest ever in Latin America

OGX Petroleo & Gas Participacoes, the oil company controlled by former Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista, could file for bankruptcy protection as soon as October 30. The filing would be done after the close of trading in Rio de Janeiro, where the company is based. While Batista is yet to decide, his shipbuilder probably will also seek protection against creditors, Bloomberg reports.

Russia and Ecuador to boost ties
Priority to be given to high-tech cooperation

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Russian business participation in large scale projects in Ecuador, after a meeting with his Ecuadoran counterpart, Rafael Correa, in Moscow. The projects, worth $1.5 billion, include hydrocarbon exploration and extraction and railway. But Putin said priority will be given to cooperation in high-technology sectors, The Voice of Russia reports.

Argentine court approves law to break up media conglomerates
Grupo Clarín will be forced to hand over most of its broadcasting licenses

A controversial law forcing the break-up of media conglomerates was approved by Argentina's Supreme Court. Under the new law, Clarin Group, the country's largest media company, will be forced to hand over most of its broadcasting licenses. The verdict was hailed as victory for free expression by Kirchner supporters but decried as the death knell for independent journalism by her opponents, The Telegraph reports.

China's CCB close to buying Brazil's Banco Industrial & Comercial
Chinese firm won the rights last week to help develop South American country's Libra oil field 

China Construction Bank, the Asian nation’s second-biggest lender by assets, is close to reaching a deal to acquire Brazil’s Banco Industrial & Comercial, known as BicBanco. Under the agreement, Construction Bank would buy the 70 percent held by the controlling shareholders, the Menezes de Bezerra family, and make a tender offer to acquire the rest, Bloomberg reports.

MOREOVER

Global Exchange starts operations in Ecuador Moodie Report

New York and Mexico City announce partnership to boost travel eTurbo News

Chile's Endesa profits jump 48 percent Reuters

Mexico and Maine agree to expand trade ties Global Post

Peruvian Prime Minister Juan Jimenez resigns Reuters 

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