Should you buy Brazilian stocks right now?

Brazil is in a very binary situation right now and that’s bringing huge volatility. Brazil’s current crisis is a fiscal one. That’s what caused the huge drop up until 2015. The labor party added a lot to the social networking in its 12 years in power and did not do the reforms the country needs, most notably, the pension plan reform. Pension plan deficit represents already 2.8% of the GDP, without change and with an aging population, this number will be unsustainable in as soon as 5 years. The labor party did have its merits in the beginning by taking a lot of Brazilians out extreme poverty but the lack of political power and will to make the reforms, coupled with huge corruption, erased most of its merits. So, comes 2016 and everything changes? Stock market and currency jumps and interest rates go down. The economy must have improved, right? Wrong! The only thing that improved was the expectation. With the rumors and subsequent consolidation of Dilma’s impeachment, the new president, Temer, who has in congress support what he lacks in popularity, was doing all the necessary reforms to the economy. The GDP has not improved yet, but the perspective is great and the price is right.

Then, comes corruption again and now it implicates Michel Temer. Stocks go down 10% and currency another 7%

Short after, markets start to recover thinking that, with or without Temer, the government base in the congress will be the same and the reforms will happen.

Then the binary dilemma: economy will continue to improve if these reforms pass and that seems to be the scenario both with the current president or with one replaced by the congress. In Brazil, if a president and vice president are impeached after two years in power, the replacement is chosen by the congress until the next election. However, there’s strong popular movement and even a proposed constitutional amendment to do direct elections right now and not wait until 2018. If that happens, you could see the labor party or other extremist come up strong and drop the stock market and currency further.

So, will this “diretas já” movement happen? It’s possible. The country is in big disbelief with the political representatives and not without reason. The curious part is that the direct election is what would be the most harmful to the economy and therefore, the population.

Bottom line: if you are looking at the long term: more than 5 years, this is probably a good time to buy. But in the next two years, except a lot of volatility or just remain neutral altogether (my position right now). If you are looking for hedge, you can consider BZQ, an ETF that seeks daily results that correspond to twice (200%) the inverse of the MSCI Brazil Index

Brazil is out of recession. But should you buy it?

President Michel Temer and economic ministers will celebrate the growth of 1% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first quarter of this year, compared to Q4 of 2016, excluding seasonal factors. When they do this, they will actually be celebrating the growth of agriculture and foreign demand (exports). Domestic demand – household consumption and investments – continued to fall and with worse results than expected.In the economists’ estimates, GDP would grow, on average, 0.9% in the first quarter of 2017 QoQ, in the seasonally adjusted series. Here, the recorded growth of 1% was slightly higher. But economists predicted 9.4% growth in agriculture and the GDP brought a rise of 13.4%. In industry, the result was also better, of 0.9% against a forecast of 0.8%. The services sector remained stable, but the expectation was a growth of 0.3%.

It is on the demand side that the GDP has been more frustrating. Economists projected the first increase (of 0.4%) after eight consecutive quarters of falling household consumption. The IBGE indicated, however, a further retraction of 0.1%, postponing the recovery. And the investment retreat was much deeper than expected. Estimates indicated a small decline of 0.3%, but the reality was cruel and the figure was negative at 1.6%. All comparisons are QoQ, minus the seasonal effects.

Weak domestic demand is also clear in trade data, down 0.6% from the end of last year.

The government may even celebrate the outcome, but from the standpoint of indicating a domestic recovery, GDP in the first quarter was worse than expected. And the political crisis and the signal issued yesterday by the Monetary Policy Committee (Copom) that the interest rate down trend will slow down, act to further delay the good news, so long awaited.

Brazilian IGPM shows second month of deflation

The General Market Price Index – (IGP-M) recorded deflation of 0.93% in May, after falling 1.10% a month earlier, according to the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV). It is the lowest rate for May months since the beginning of the indicator series in 1989. It is also the third lowest variation for all months of the series, with June 2003 and April 2017 being the lowest ones. In May 2016, the indicator, which serves as a reference for the readjustment of contracts such as rent, rose 0.82%.The fall in the fifth month of 2017 was driven by wholesale deflation, especially industrial products, and by the slowdown in consumer price hikes. The decline of 0.93% was higher than the 0.82%, on average, estimated by economists. The range of estimates was for a decline between 0.74% and 0.89%.

In the year, the IGP-M decreased by 1.29%. In 12 months, it rises only 1.57%, compared to analysts’ forecast of 1.69%.

How to make sense of Brazilian inflation indexes?

Foreign direct investment in infrastructure grew more than 500%

Foreign capital inflows into infrastructure activities in Brazil grew more than 500% in the first four months of this year compared to the same period in 2016, reaching a mark of US$ 11.4 billion. The flow represents more than 50% of direct investment in the country for capital participation operations registered by the Central Bank (BC) from January to April, a total of US$ 21.5 billion.

Market analysts are projecting, however, that this performance may decline sharply as a result of the new political crisis directly involving President Michel Temer, although this reaction does not mean that investors and infrastructure operators are giving up on the country.

“Basically when an investor is going to put money into a project, he considers risks and returns, both are measurable,” said economist Cláudio Frischtak. “As long as this veil of uncertainty is not lifted, investors will wait,” he said. “That does not mean giving up, I do not know anyone who has given up the country.” Frischtak specializes in the infrastructure area of ​​Inter.B consulting.

Itaú pays US$1.8 billion for 49.9% of XP Investmentos

After two months of discreet talks, Itaú Unibanco closed on Thursday (May, 11th) the purchase of 49.9% of the total capital of XP Investimentos for R$ 6.3 Billion, which includes R$ 600 million in resources that the bank will inject into the company. With the transaction, the country’s largest private bank reserves its space in the process of “de-banking” in progress, in which people are leaving traditional banks for brokerage accounts with banking services. “I believe this transaction will take Itaú and other banks out of the comfort zone, as it will strengthen XP and increase its ability to compete in the investment market,” said Roberto Setubal, co-chairman of Itaú Unibanco’s board of directors.

Kraft Heinz Offers a Merger with Unilever for $143 billion: Rejected for now

Unilever has rejected a $143 billion merger proposal from Kraft Heinz, the Brazilian-controlled food conglomerate 3G Capital and mega-dealer Warren Buffett, setting the stage for a battle between two of the world’s largest consumer products companies.The Anglo-Dutch company, behind big brands like the Dove soap and the Ben & Jerry ice cream, said the offer of $ 50 per share and new papers – an 18% premium on the closing price on Thursday (16) – “fundamentally undervalues ​​Unilever”.

“Unilever has rejected the proposal because it sees no merit, financial or strategic, for its shareholders. Unilever sees no basis for further discussions,” the statement said.

Kraft Heinz’s approach comes at a sensitive time for the UK, with its politicians and big companies trying to maneuver through the uncertainty generated by the country’s exit from the European Union. The decision to leave the world’s largest trading block caused a fall in pound sterling’s value, which made UK assets significantly cheaper and attractive to the attack by wealthy non-British investors.

Unilever has a complex shareholding structure, with papers listed on the London and Amsterdam stock exchanges.

Kraft Heinz said it had made “a comprehensive proposal for Unilever on combining the two groups to create a leading consumer products company with a mission of long-term growth and sustainable living.”

“Although Unilever has declined the proposal, the company is eager to work out an agreement on the terms of a transaction. There can be no certainty that any other formal proposal will be made to the Unilever board.”

Unilever said Kraft Heinz’s offer consisted of an existing Unilever payout of $ 30.23 in cash and a further 0.222 share of the company resulting from the merger.

Shares of Unilever rose 12.5 percent to 37.59 pounds on Friday, giving the company a market capitalization of 113 billion pounds, which means that any acquisition would be one of the largest in history. Its US-listed stocks rose 10.6% to $ 47.08 in pre-opening trading. It is the fourth largest company in the world of consumer products by sales, with revenue last year of 52.7 billion euros.

Under UK rules on takeovers, Kraft Heinz has until markets close on March 17 to make a firm bid or refrain from making a new bid for Unilever for six months.

This merger would unite some of the top brands in the global consumer industry, adding Dove and Knorr to Kraft Heinz’s list of Philadelphia cream cheese, Heinz ketchup and Weight Watchers.

News of the offer comes a day after Kraft Heinz shares fell nearly 5 percent, the biggest daily drop since the big merger that shaped the company in 2015. The company reported a 3.7 percent drop in quarterly sales Quarter and said it intended to step up cost cutting

Like many other consumer products companies, Unilever has been seeing slowing growth as consumers are not loyal to brands in mature markets and are increasingly turning to start-ups for new products.

Emerging markets account for 58% of Unilever’s sales, more than the industry average, and the company relies heavily on them to grow.

Kraft Heinz was formed in a $ 100 billion deal orchestrated by Buffett and 3G Capital in 2015 and has focused on aggressively reducing costs in the companies it has purchased, with the goal of saving $ 1.7 billion annually by 2018.

Analysts expect further consolidation in the industry and speculate that 3G could strike again, two years after its last big business. Some point to Mondelez International as a possible target.

In January, Unilever chief executive Paul Polman shocked investors by warning of “challenging” conditions in the first half of this year, after a slow 2016.

Unilever reported a 3% increase in pre-tax profit in 2016 to 7.5 billion euros, driven by a reduction in costs and an increase in efficiency that raised basic operating margins by 50 basis points to 15.3% .

Polman warned on the occasion that “difficult market conditions” would only ease in the second half of this year. “We expect a slow start, with improvement as the year progresses,” he said.

The immediate cause of poor performance in the last three months of last year came from India and Brazil: Unilever’s second and third largest markets, respectively, representing 14% of the group’s revenues.

Heineken Acquires Schincariol’s Owner, Brasil Kirin, for 664 Million Euros

The Dutch multinational Heineken announced on Monday (13) the purchase of Brazil Kirin, controlled by the Japanese group Kirin, for 664 million euros (R$ 2.2 billion). With the acquisition, Heineken becomes the second largest brewery in Brazil. After the conclusion of the deal, Brasil Kirin will be consolidated with Heineken.The transaction evaluates Brazil Kirin at 1.025 billion euros (R $ 3.3 billion), including debt. Brazil Kirin closed 2016 with a revenue of R $ 3.706 billion, against a revenue of R $ 3.698 billion a year earlier, and an operating loss of R $ 262 million, against R $ 322 million in 2015.

Kirin Brazil has 12 factories and its own distribution network. The company has a particularly strong presence in the North and Northeast, where Heineken has less exposure. The beer portfolio, which includes brands such as Schin, Devassa, Baden Baden and Eisenbahn, has a market share of 9.9%. Brazil Kirin also has a line of soft drinks, with a market share of 2% in the category.

Heineken operates five plants in Brazil and distribution is done by Coca-Cola bottlers. The company said it expects significant cost synergies with the acquisition, with efficiency gains in production, logistics optimization and sales, general and administrative expenses.

Completion of the purchase is subject to the approval of the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (Cade).

Luxottica to Acquire Brazilian Óticas Carol for € 110 million

Loja Óticas Carol

The Italian company Luxottica, largest company in the world for glasses, will buy Óticas Carol for € 110 million (R$ 368.6 million). The agreement was signed with the partners of the Brazilian company 3i Group, Neuberger Berman and Siguler Guff & Company, and depends on the approval of the Administrative Council of Economic Defense (Cade) to be concluded. Ronaldo Pereira, president of Óticas Carol, said that the request for approval will be sent to Cade in the coming days. The expectation is to complete the purchase this semester.

The acquisition is the first move by the Italian group since the global acquisition two weeks ago of France’s Essilor International for € 46.3 billion. This operation gives rise to the largest global company of glasses and lenses, with market share of 32% in the world and 28.3% in Brazil, according to Euromonitor International.

The purchase of Óticas Carol in Brazil will lead Luxottica to the leadership in the optical market as well. Óticas Carol has 950 stores in operation in the country and closed 2016 with revenues of R$ 813.7 million, a result 21.4% higher than in 2015. Its market share is 2.3%, according to Euromonitor International .

In a statement, the president of Luxottica, Leonardo Del Vecchio, said the company will verticalize its operation in Brazil with the purchase. Overall, Luxottica has 12 optical networks and a total of 7,400 stores in operation on five continents. From January to September 2016, the company’s retail revenue grew 5.7% to € 3.297 billion and accounted for 81% of total revenue. Total revenue in the period rose 0.2% to € 4.085 billion.

In the Brazilian retail market, Luxottica entered in 2011 with the Sunglass Hut network, which reached 100 stores in the country in 2016, being 73 own units and 27 franchises. The goal was to reach 200 units in five years. “Luxottica has a major retail operation in the international market, but faced difficulties in Brazil to grow in this area, due to the complexity of the sector,” Pereira said.

Óticas Carol president added that with the purchase, the retailer gains a more robust structure to carry out its expansion plan. For 2017, Óticas Carol aims to open 175 franchise stores and reach a revenue of R$ 918 million. Pereira said that this goal can be changed in the coming months, depending on the definitions that Luxottica takes on the network.

Asked about the maintenance of two optical retail chains in the country, Luxottica reported that “Óticas Carol has proved to be efficient and effective in the market” and that “it is too early to discuss the future of Sunglass Hut, since the acquisition still needs Be approved by Cade. ”

The Brazilian optical market is very pulverized, with approximately 26 thousand companies in the country, according to the Brazilian Optical Industry Association (Abióptica). In addition to Óticas Carol, Óculos Diniz is among the leaders, with more than 900 stores, followed by Chilli Beans, with just over 700 units. The other networks have less than 100 stores.

For the president of the Abioptica, Bento Alcoforado, the acquisition will have limited effect in the sector. “Even if Óticas Carol opens another 150 stores this year, it will continue with a very small portion of the market,” said Alcoforado. He considers it possible to see new acquisitions in the sector throughout the year, as the Brazilian economy shows signs of improvement. Last year, the sector shrank 17% in revenues, to R$ 16.9 billion.

The deal between Luxottica and Óticas Carol took about a year. As part of the agreement, the contracts of Ronaldo Pereira and the directors of the retailer were renewed for another three years. Luxottica will continue to provide its frames and lenses to other retail chains in addition to Óticas Carol in the country.

Brazilian Government Announces Economic Package with 12 Measures

President Michel Temer announced on Thursday (15) a new economic package with measures to stimulate the economy. Also taking part in the announcement were the house or representative’s president, Rodrigo Maia (DEM-RJ), Senate’s President Renan Calheiros (PMDB-AL), Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles and the Minister of Planning, Dyogo Oliveira.

Temer started the announcement saying that the goal is to stimulate growth and reduce unemployment. Before announcing the measures officially, the president commented on the approval of the PEC 241, which limits spending increases for the next 20 years, approved on Wednesday.

According to Temer, “these reforms aim to increase the growth of the Brazilian economy. We never ignored the difficulties that we would have when we took over the government, but we are succeeding in advancing these topics.”

Despite being positive for the economy, these 12 measures are seen as a desperate way to try and deviate the attention from the corruption investigations that are currently hitting Temer’s government right in the core. In any case, the measures are positive. To them:

Tax Debt Negotiation

Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles was responsible for giving more details on each of the measures. The first provides for tax debt negotiation for companies with debts due through November 30. Meirelles said that “any tax debt” is eligible, including social security. For debts that are being questioned in the Court, it is necessary to prove the desistance of the lawsuits.

“The program allows tax negotiations for companies that are preparing to grow again, as macroeconomic adjustment is under way,” said Meirelles.

Guaranteed Property Letter

Another measure, according to Meirelles, is the regulation of the “Letra Imobiliária Garantida”, an instrument of funding for real estate credit. The objective is to broaden the supply of long-term credit for civil construction.

Meirelles said that this type of bond, being both secure and long-term, is an “important alternative source for real estate lending and increases the supply of long-term lending to the industry.” This measure will have to go through public consultation and then be regulated by the National Monetary Council (CMN).

Improvement in the “positive register”

Meirelles also announced the improvement of the positive credit rating, which allows the creditor to analyze the person’s history. Membership becomes automatic, and exclusion has to be requested. The goal is to reduce credit risk and make room for lower interest rates for good payers.

Credit measures

Meirelles says another measure is to allow price differentiation according to the mode of payment. Such a change allows retailers to charge different prices depending on the payment mode used, ie different prices if the customer pays cash or credit card, which is currently prohibited by law. He recalled that it is common for stores to give discounts for purchases made in cash, but not the same on credit cards.

Reduction of card interest

Another measure presented by Meirelles is the reduction of interest rates on the credit card charged to the consumer and the term of payment to the merchant. The minister says the regulation should be submitted within 10 days.

Bank spread

According to the finance minister, the government is also proposing the creation of the electronic duplicate with the objective of reducing the so-called “spread” of the banks (difference between the rate of funding, close to the basic rate of the economy, at 13.75%/ year today, and the rate charged to bank customers).

“We want to create a central registry of duplicates, credit card receivables and allow the granting of credit with a lower guarantee, which increases the security for creditors and the supply of credit for small and medium-sized enterprises, with lower interest rates. “, he said.

Reduction of bureaucracy

On the issue of de-bureaucratization, Meirelles says that they will simplify the payment of labor, social security and tax obligations through a system called eSocial. The objective is to reduce the time spent by companies to fill declarations, forms and books and the redundancy of information provided to the tax authorities. The deadline for implementation in all companies would be July 2018.

Refund of taxes

Another proposal is to simplify the procedures for restitution and compensation of the taxes administered by Receita (Brazilian IRS), including the compensation between the social security contribution and other taxes.

Business Start-up

Meirelles says another measure will reduce the time to open ventures. A national network for simplifying the registration and legalization of companies and businesses will be implemented.

Competitiveness

The government also announced measures to speed up purchases and sales in foreign trade. According to Minister Meirelles, a single web-accessible portal will be created to forward all documents and data required for business transactions with other countries.

“The idea is to cut import and export procedures by 40 percent”, he said. The implementation period for exports is until March 2017 and for purchases from abroad until the end of next year.

BNDES

Following this, the Minister of Planning, Dyogo Henrique de Oliveira, spoke about other measures. The first deals with the increase from R$ 90 million to R$ 300 million the limit to access the BNDES credit for micro, small and medium enterprises.

Companies with up to R$ 300 million in revenues can also renegotiate debts of operations of up to R$ 20 million with the BNDES. Therefore, companies can seek cheaper interest rates, based on the Long-Term Interest Rate (currently at 7.5% per year).

According to him, the total volume of refinancing is estimated at R$ 100 billion, which will “increase the liquidity of companies”.  “Today, companies are suffering from a great deal of liquidity,” said the Planning Minister.

For large companies, with revenues above R$ 300 million per year, operations included in the Investment Support Program (PSI) may be refinanced. “These refinanced amounts will be with BNDES’ own resources, but with funds with TJLP (Long-Term Interest Rate) funding, with a lower cost”, he said.

FGTS

Another measure announced is the distribution of half of the profits in the FGTS to the workers. “That is to say, when there are profits, part of them will continue to be deposited and the other half will be made available to the worker to pay debts or make a different use”, he said.

Still on the FGTS, he announced the gradual reduction of the additional fine of 10% – which is paid by employers at the time of dismissal of employees, on top of the 40% that goes to employees. According to him, the idea is to reduce that 10% at the rate of one percentage point a year to relieve the entrepreneurs.

Nubank captures US$ 80 million in round led by DST Global

Startup credit card issuer Nubank finalized on Wednesday a US$ 80 million fund-raising, equivalent to approximately R$ 276 million. The investment round was led by the DST Global fund, in its first investment in South America, and also had the participation of Redpoint Ventures and Ribbit Capital funds.

Nubank is a fintech company and the first “online-only” credit card issuer in Brazil. 

This is Nubank’s fifth investment round since it was launched in September 2014. Until then, investor contributions to the company amounted to $ 99 million, mostly international funds specializing in technology companies, as well as a line of Goldman Sachs’ R$ 300 million loan. In the fourth round of contributions, in January this year, NuBank received $52 million in investment led by the Founders Fund, one of Facebook’s first investors.

Nubank does not disclose the number of credit cards issued or the financial volume of its base transactions. According to the company, since its foundation, about seven million orders have been made for a Nubank card. In the middle of this year, he said that orders were close to R$ 3.5 million.

According to a statement sent by Nubank, the funds raised will be used to accelerate growth and investments in technology infrastructure.

Information and news for people considering or actively investing in Brazilian stocks or bonds.

Don't miss the news related to Brazil investment!


Subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.