Saturday, April 28, 2012

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Brasil Wealthy Set To Double In 11 Years

April 26, 2012 4:48 pm

Brazil wealthy set to double in 11 years

At the Fazenda do Haras Larissa, the mood among the well-heeled crowd is tense with anticipation.
The vast luxury rural development in the hills near São Paulo, which has a rural English theme that includes imported 18th century carriages complete with liveried drivers, is due to host a polo match led by Britain’s Prince Harry.
When the prince finally lands on the helicopter pad, which has space for 30 choppers, he presents the only genuinely English moment of the day when he is self-deprecating about his chances of winning the polo match.
Brazil chart
“I’m a bit rusty,” he tells the gathered elite.
While the event was for charity, business is never far away in the new Brazil. In a country that produced 22 millionaires a day in 2010, Haras Larissa, whose most expensive plot sells for R$16m ($8.5m), is just another attempt to profit from the astonishing wealth created by a decade of economic growth in Brazil.
“The luxury property market is booming because Brazil is booming,” says the developer, Alvaro Coelho da Fonseca, one of Brazil’s richest real estate barons.
International attention over the past decade has focused on the rise of Brazil’s lower middle-class, who earn between R$1734 and R$7,475 per household a month and have turned the country into one of the world’s most promising consumer goods markets. But while this group accounts for more than half the population, it is the so-called B and A classes – those earning more than R$7,475 – that are poised to grow fastest in the coming years, analysts say.





Unlike China and India, Brazil’s growth story has been more about income redistribution than rapid expansion of gross domestic product. This has led to a ballooning of the lower middle class by nearly 60 per cent between 2003 and 2011, according to Professor Marcelo Côrtes Neri of the Getulio Vargas Foundation, an academic institution. Their numbers are set to grow another 12 per cent by 2014.
But more impressive will be the growth of the A and B classes. The ranks of those people with incomes more comparable to those of the middle and upper classes of advanced economies are expected to more than double by 2014, compared with 2003, to more than 29m, a population nearing the size of Canada.
The rise of the well-educated and financially empowered groups is changing Brazil’s political and social fabric, analysts say, in the form of greater demands for efficient government.
“There is a political tsunami coming in Brazil,” says Chris Garman, analyst with Eurasia Group, the consultants.
Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, enjoyed a record approval rating of 77 per cent in mid-March despite economic growth slowing last year. She was helped by low unemployment and salary increases.
But her government knows that a more prosperous population means a more exacting electorate. Analysts say it is partly for this reason that she has shownless tolerance of corrupt ministers than in the past, dismissing a swath of them last year.
“She is going to increasingly be held accountable on the quality of public services and no longer just on growth and income,” says Mr Garman.
Multinationals and domestic businesses, meanwhile, have also taken notice.BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen and other car manufacturers are targeting Brazilwith higher end models. Chivas Brothers, the owner of the Chivas Regal whisky brand, says Brazil’s booming north-eastern city of Recife has the highest per capita whisky consumption in the world.
“When we look at the world … Brazil is one of the top three opportunities,” says Christian Porta, chief executive of the company and one of the sponsors of Prince Harry’s polo match last month.
Financial services such as private banking are booming. There was R$434.4bn under management in the country’s private banking sector in December, according to industry data, an increase of 21.6 per cent from the previous year.
“We’re now seeing a second generation of wealthy families with this new economic phase of the country,” says Silas Caldana, the director of Oslo Patrimômio, which manages family fortunes in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul. His company, which caters to clients with more than R$50m, expects to double its number of clients in the next two years.
Local entrepreneurs, such as Mr Coelho da Fonseca, are also determined not to miss the boat. His development also has 700 sheep to give its tenants the feeling of being in Oxfordshire rather than subtropical São Paulo. It also has a test drive circuit for Range Rover.
“The whole thing was inspired by the English countryside – you know, roads that don’t have tarmac,” he explains, adding that he also keeps a residence on the development. “My house is also a type of English cabin. But it’s very small – only 400 square metres [4,305 sq ft].”
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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Health Insurance In Patagonia

Health insurance called prepagado is available at local hospitals and clinics. You need to make sure, if you have a special condition where the best care is available because this type of insurance does not travel. You have to be treated at the place you pay your payments.  That being said if your leg falls off they are responsible for sticking it back on with no extra payments. There is a national plan that actually covers travelers in Chile, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, as well as Argentina. I was quoted at under 50usd monthly for my family in the local plan, and under a 100usd for the Mercosur (international) plan. Prescription drugs are NOT covered, but are a fraction of USA prices. Some experimental drugs (like tamoxifen or irumidex) are about the same as USA prices. My prescriptions were reduced by over 50%. Bariloche has homes from $20,000usd and up. Prices were originally one peso equals one US dollar, so your buying power is trebled. A decent meal at Rock Chicken on Palacios St. can be had for $2 or $3usd including a soda. An incredible sirloin feast at El Boliche de Alberto with wine and dessert is $10usd. If you go to Albertos remember to split salads and potatoes. Grocery stores have a good selection of foods and questions were answered with a smile. 

Argentine Rules Hinder Oil Exploration

April 24, 2012 5:49 pm

Argentine rules hinder oil exploration

Argentina has the geological conditions to be the world’s next big frontier for exploration of shale oil and gas. But even before last week’s nationalisation ofYPF, the Spanish-owned oil company, which sent shockwaves through the industry and has put shale development in the Neuquén basin in western Argentina on hold, Argentina’s new import restrictions were threatening to strangle exploration.
The government of Cristina Fernández has been tightening restrictions on imports in recent months to shore up a shrinking trade surplus by favouring local production. Since February, importers in all sectors have been required to obtain prior permission from the authorities, which can lead to delays or shortages.





“The rig market in the Neuquén basin is fairly tight at the moment . . . There are currently a number of import hurdles that make it difficult for the industry to bring in tools and equipment,” said Michael Bose, country manager for Apache Corp in Argentina.
Argentina spent $9.4bn importing fuel last year – a key reason cited by Ms Fernández forexpropriating the bulk of Repsol’s shares in YPF and putting the group under state control – and has high hopes of the hydrocarbon prospects in the Vaca Muerta (Dead Cow) bedrock formation in Neuquén. YPF has announced a 1bn barrel discovery there and the US has signalled that the country could contain the world’s third-largest shale resources, behind the US and China.
But rigs and other specialist equipment are in short supply in Neuquén, and companies also need to prepare for the shale revolution with training, according to Rubén Etcheverry, head of Neuquén’s provincial energy company, Oil & Gas of Neuquén, which partners with oil companies in some exploration areas.
“When this production boom starts, we won’t have enough people or rigs and pumping equipment,” he said. “We are trying to develop [the conditions] so that equipment can come.”
Mr Bose of Apache said: “It will be very difficult to develop Vaca Muerta or any other large project because of the lack of infrastructure – equipment and resources – required to support that kind of activity”.
Big US oil services companies, including Halliburton and Schlumberger, have been active in Argentina for decades. Schlumberger, which has a contract with YPF for a range of services, operates the first fully dedicated shale completions crew in Latin America and has performed more than 100 treatments in Vaca Muerta.
To try to overcome equipment and training bottlenecks, the province is organising a workshop next month to bring service companies with shale experience together to help foster alliances between local and multinational companies. It hopes thiswill help spur local production of equipment for the industry.
The YPF nationalisation, expected to be approved in the Senate on Wednesday before passing to Argentina’s lower house of Congress, was the culmination of months of speculation and government pressure on YPF that, even before last week’s announcement, was spooking investors.
Mr Etcheverry remains optimistic that shale will take off in earnest in Argentina within the next three to five years. “There is an urgent need for local reserve development and production growth in Argentina and the country has few alternatives but to ensure they are developed,” echoed Mr Bose.
Though Argentina’s shale promise has attracted big oil companies includingExxonMobilEOG Resources and Total, as well as junior players, it is YPF that has advanced the furthest in exploration.
Overall, 83 unconventional wells were drilled in the province in 2011, and 120 are planned, said Mr Etcheverry. “From 2012, shale will represent more than 50 per cent of all exploration in Neuquén,” he said. The province has half of Argentina’s gas and a quarter of its oil reserves. It is the top gas-producing province and ranks second for oil.
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Orders for BTG shares outstrip supply -

Orders for BTG shares outstrip supply -

'via Blog this'

Petrobras,Vale Eye Rare Earths Deal To Replace China

Petrobras, Vale eye rare earths deal to replace China
By: Reuters
25th April 2012 
Updated 5 hours ago
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RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras and mining giant Vale are in talks over a rare earths deal that would allow Vale to replace China as Petrobras' supplier of lanthanum oxide for oil refining, sources close to the negotiations said.
The deal is part of a series of recent ventures involving Brazil's two biggest companies, which highlights a major expansion of their previously limited cooperation in mining, oil and logistics.
Vale wants to secure a long-term supply contract from Petrobras for around 900 t of lanthanum oxide a year, one of 17 minerals that are classified as rare earths, which would cut China out of the deal.
China currently supplies Petrobras with the raw material, used as a catalyst in refining crude into gasoline, at about $50 000/t. Vale expects to supply Petrobras with lanthanum for around $20 000/t, sources who did not want to be identified said.
Prior to 2010, when China restricted exports of its rare earths, lanthanum sold for about $5 700/t. The country has a near monopoly on production of rare earths which are essential to the modern global economy. The minerals are used in all sorts of cell phone, television, computer and military technology.
Officials at Petrobras and Vale had no comment on the talks.
The two companies are also studying the export of large deposits of rare earths from Brazil that Vale had acquired from multinational food producer Bunge.
Vale, the world's largest iron-ore miner, is studying the viability of producing rare earths from the mineral deposits in Araxa in Minas Gerais state and Catalao in Goias state.
The development of rare earths production in Brazil will require large scale investments, which Vale and Petrobras are well-suited to carry out, but Vale wants a long-term supply contract from Petrobras before moving ahead with some investments, the sources said.
Petrobras and Vale on Monday signed a deal for Vale to produce potash from one of Petrobras' oil blocks in the northeastern state of Sergipe.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Joran Van Der Sloot May Soon Be Extradited To The USA

Joran Van Der Sloot Extradition Process Started For Extortion From Natalee Holloway's Mother

First Posted: 04/23/2012 7:04 pm Updated: 04/24/2012 6:39 am
UPDATE: 8: 19 p.m. -- The process to extradite Joran van der Sloot from Peru to the United States has begun, CNN reports. Documents obtained by Maximo Altez, van der Sloot's attorney, show a judge has approved the U.S. request for a provisional detention, the first step in sending him to America to face charges for extorting money from the mother of missing teen Natalee Holloway.
Joran van der Sloot, the convicted killer of a young Peruvian woman and the prime suspect in the disappearance of missing American teen Natalee Holloway, could soon be extradited to the United States.
Van der Sloot's attorney, Maximo Altez, has confirmed Peruvian authorities are evaluating a request by the U.S. to extradite the Dutchman for extorting Holloway's mother.
Altez said his client is afraid of extradition because U.S. prisons have a reputation for being "very hard" on inmates, according to the Associated Press.
On Jan. 13, Van der Sloot, 24, was sentenced to 28 years in prison for the murder of Stephany Flores.
The Peruvian business student was found stabbed to death in van der Sloot's Lima hotel room on June 2, 2010. Police in Peru say Flores, 21, was killed on May 30, the five-year anniversary of the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, an 18-year-old from Mountain Brook, Ala., who vanished while on a class trip to Aruba. She was last seen leaving an Oranjestad nightclub with van der Sloot, then a 17-year-old Dutch honors student living in Aruba.
Holloway's body has never been found, and van der Sloot has not been charged in her disappearance. He was, however, indicted in the U.S. on charges that he extorted $25,000 from the young woman's parents. Prosecutors said that in exchange for the money, he promised to reveal how Holloway died and the location of her body.
Van der Sloot would probably face a five- to 10-year sentence for the alleged extortion.
The most recent developments were predicted months ago by Michael Griffith, senior partner at theInternational Legal Defense Counsel. In a previous interview with The Huffington Post, Griffith, whose most renowned case, involving an American incarcerated in a Turkish prison, was the basis for the film and book "Midnight Express." said he expected van der Sloot to be extradited. However, Griffith said the move would likely be a ploy so the U.S. could get him in their grips for Holloway’s alleged murder -- something that could earn him a life sentence.
"The key to that is that the U.S. has jurisdiction over anybody, anywhere in the world, who kills or injures a U.S. citizen. It kind of originated with the Leon Klinghoffer case," said Griffith.
In 1985, Klinghoffer, 69, and his wife were celebrating their 36th wedding anniversary on the cruise ship Achille Lauro. Palestinian terrorists hijacked the liner, and Klinghoffer was murdered and thrown overboard. The hijackers were later given safe passage on a flight to Tunisia, but the U.S. Air Force intercepted the plane and forced it to land in Italy, where the suspects were taken into custody.
That principle, which has been used in limited cases, is being used more often today and could be applied to the Holloway case. Van der Sloot's alleged statements, along with his previous confessions in the case, are enough for U.S. authorities to make a circumstantial murder case against him, Griffith said.
PHOTOS: JORAN VAN DER SLOOT (Article Continues Below)
Joran van der Sloot
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Joran van der Sloot attends the continuation of his murder trial at San Pedro prison in Lima, Peru, on Jan. 11, 2012. Van der Sloot pleaded guilty on Wednesday to the 2010 murder of a 21-year-old Peruvian woman he met at a Lima casino who was killed five years to the day of the unsolved disappearance in Aruba of an American teen in which he remains the main suspect. (Karel Navarro, AP)
Whether or not van der Sloot is charged with murder in the U.S. is yet to be seen. However, Max Altez, the attorney who briefly represented van der Sloot after his arrest in the Flores case, said he expects authorities in Peru to agree to the extradition. He also expects his former client to be found guilty of extortion.
"He will be sentenced in U.S. and then be brought to Peru to serve his sentence for the murder of Stephany Flores," Altez predicted to News America .
Authorities in Peru have yet to comment on when they will make a decision on the extradition. Meanwhile, van der Sloot remains imprisoned at Piedras Gordas prison in Ancon.