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April 14, 2014

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EXCLUSIVE The hydropower debate in Latin America
Environmental concerns have given rise to public opposition to hydropower

Like leaders across Latin America, newly elected Chilean President Michelle Bachelet faces major decisions about her country’s energy future.Her administration has set a deadline for deciding on the controversial HidroAysén hydropower project led by Endesa. Stopping it would distance the president from her pro-business predecessor, Sebastián Piñera, and boost her credentials with younger supporters. But if it is stopped, it is unclear how Chile will build new capacity to meet rising electricity demand, LBC reports.

Minmetals to buy Glencore Peru mine for $5.8 billion
Mine is expected to produce 400,000 metric tons of copper per year

A group led by a unit of China's Minmetals agreed to buy Glencore Xtrata's  Las Bambas copper mine in Peru for $5.85 billion. “It’s a good price, probably toward the top end of market expectations,” Jeff Largey, an analyst at Macquarie Group said. Las Bambas is scheduled to to produce 400,000 metric tons of copper a year from 2015, equivalent to 12.5 percent of 2013 imports of copper metal by China, the world’s biggest buyer, Bloomberg reports.

Brazil's Eike Batista faces insider trading probes
OGX and other firms Batista controlled through EBX face investigation

Former Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista (right) is under investigation for allegedly engaging in insider trading while he chaired his now-bankrupt oil-producing and shipbuilding firms, securities industry watchdog CVM said. Batista is a respondent in six of nine probes that executives of his Grupo EBX conglomerate are facing for breaching securities rules, CVM said, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Latin America pushed to reform amid slow growth
Region, particularly the southern cone, is exiting period of high growth: IMF

Latin America's economies will have to make changes in order to drive economic activity, as the rising cost of capital and lower commodity prices threaten to dampen growth, policy-makers warned. "The region is clearly exiting from a period of high growth, above all in the southern cone," IMF Western Hemisphere chief Alejandro Werner (left) said. The IMF expects Latin America's economy to expand 2.5 percent this year, Reuters reports.

Chile to grow 3.5 percent this year, government says
Country may turn to Codelco's sovereign wealth fund to finance investment

The Chilean government cut its 2014 economic growth forecast to 3.5 percent, Deputy Finance Minister Alejandro Micco said. But the country is betting on the expansion of state-owned copper producer Codelco, and may turn to its sovereign wealth fund to finance the investment, even as metal prices and economic growth approach four-year lows, Bloomberg reports.

MOREOVER

Drummond barge with building material wrecked in Colombia Reuters

French foreign minister makes historic visit to Cuba France24

From boom to bust to rust; big projects languish in Brazil Boston Globe

Cuba and Norway promote cooperation projects Radio Cadena Agramonte

Trafigura looking to expand in Latin America logistics SteelGuru

Brazil inaugurates first city totally wired with optical fibre GlobalPost 

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