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December 6, 2013

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EXCLUSIVE Argentina and Brazil lead labor index decline
Chile is this year's top performer, followed by Mexico and Guatemala

Latin Business Chronicle's Latin Labor Index shows declines for another year in the region's labor environment. Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela led declines this year, while Pacific Alliance members Mexico, Chile and Colombia saw a better performance. Chile is this year's most attractive labor environment, with few restrictions on firing and hiring, and little government interference in the workplace. 

Latin American countries lure Silicon Valley giants 
Chile and Brazil have implemented programs aimed at attracting U.S. firms' talent

Latin American countries are boosting efforts to attract investment from Silicon Valley companies. Chile and Brazil have started programs aimed at attracting talent from the U.S. firms. "Brazil represents an enormous opportunity for companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Google and Evernote," said Jesse Martinez, co-founder of San Francisco-based Media Relevance, GlobalPost reports.

Chile's CorpBanca nears sale
Spain's BBVA and Brazil's Itaú are leading bidders

Chilean billionaire Alvaro Saieh (left), is close to finalizing a merger for CorpBanca, where he holds a 54 percent stake. The frontrunners in the bidding for a controlling stake in the Santiago-based bank are Spain's BBVA and Brazil's Itaú. The timing of the deal surprised investors, who expected CorpBanca first to finish the integration of two banks it bought in Colombia before attempting a sale, Reuters reports.

Colombia's Ecopetrol says Caño Sur is commercially viable
Block has proven reserves of 22.4 million barrels, and an estimated 492 million, says firm

Colombian state-owned oil firm Ecopetrol said the Eastern Caño Sur block is commercially viable, adding it has proven reserves of 22.4 million barrels of oil, and estimated crude oil reserves of 492 million barrels. Ecopetrol owns 100 percent of the block, which is located in the municipality of Puerto Gaitán, in the eastern part of Meta Province, MarketWatch reports.

U.S. backs Argentina at Supreme Court in bank case
South American nation seeks to block an order enforcing subpoenas against two banks

The Obama administration urged the U.S. Supreme Court to hear Argentina’s challenge to a court order requiring Bank of America and  Banco de la Nación Argentina to turn over information about the country’s assets. The case is part of a fight by hedge funds to collect billions of dollars owed by the South American country on defaulted bonds, Bloomberg reports. 

MOREOVER

Brazil accounts for 40 percent of all data center space in region Realwire

Mexico housing hits US investors as plan collapses Bloomberg

Chinese steel exports to Latin America up 23 percent SteelGuru

Peru opens borders to New Zealand meat exports Bernama

Brazil's auto sales and output retreat in November Reuters

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