FiNETIK – Asia and Latin America – Market News Network

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Latin America: Investors Newsletter 31 August 2012

Mexico

Analysis: Spanish cloud may mean discount for Santander Mexico listing
Mexico Pension funds hungry for Santander unit offering
Colombia Considering Move From Brazil’s to Mexico’s IMF Group
Delta Repair Center With Aeromexico to Boost Aerospace Hub in Queretaro
Brazil

Fitch says Brazil’s infrastructure plan as execution risk
SEC Charges Brokers for Defrauding Brazilian Public Pension Funds
Will increased stimulus for Brazilian transport infrastructure be sufficient?
Brazil’s BES Investment Bank Focuses on Infrastructure
Canadian pension funds cautious on Brazilian infrastructure plan

Latin America

Colombia Brags of Overtaking Argentina as Echeverry Eyes IMF Job
Colombia-led Group to Build $396 Million Peru Highway
Ferrovial sells BAA stake to fund Latin America push
Is Venezuela about to open up to foreign oil investment?
Investment insights from a Peruvian beach
YPF chief promises to protect foreign oil companies’ profits if they invest in Argentina

See also LIQ Latin America Infrastructure ALI Alternative Latin Investor  or MercoPress more information about Latin America

Filed under: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Latin America, Mexico, News, Peru, Venezuela, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Latin America: Investors Newsletter 15 June 2012

Petrobras Is Worst Big Oil Investment on Deepwater Disappointments: Energy   Petroleo Brasileiro SA is the worst investment among the world’s biggest oil companies this year as Brazil’s state-controlled producer suffers delays and cost overruns developing the largest oil finds in more than a decade.

Iusacell, Telefonica to challenge Mexico’s Slim America Movil  – Iusacell and Spain’s Telefonica said on Wednesday they have reached a deal to share their infrastructure in Mexico as they seek to mount a

FX swings may stir debt investors in Mexico, Peru  Mexico, Peru debt mkts most vulnerable to outflows in Latam. * Peru acting to curb FX, Mexico avoiding intervention.

Mexico’s Slim family (Grupo Carso) takes stake in Argentina YPF nationalized enegy company Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim and his family have taken a stake in Argentina’s recently renationalized energy company YPF in lieu of a loan guarantee, ..

Filed under: Argentina, Brazil, Energy & Environment, Latin America, Mexico, News, Risk Management, Venezuela, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Energy: Don’t Believe Long-Term Oil Forecasts

On 4 October 2009, The Wall Street Journal ran an article World Need for Oil Expected to Ease (subscription might be required), where the author, Spencer Swartz, wrote:

The International Energy Agency next week will make a “substantial” downward revision to its long-term forecast for global oil demand, a person familiar with the matter said, marking the second year running the group has slashed its view of the world’s thirst for oil.

If demand pessimists are correct, future increases in the price of crude could be damped as weaker consumption stretches world oil supply by billions of barrels. Various analyst estimates maintain that the roughly 2% a year average growth rate in world oil consumption seen earlier this decade — the biggest reason for crude prices hitting a record $147 a barrel last year — may turn out to be an anomaly and that annual growth in the neighborhood of 0.5% to 1% is more the norm.

The reality is that no one knows what the long term future holds. The IEA itself struggles with the Bull versus Bear oil outlook. Ask yourself, how many pundits foresaw the mess we are in now and anticipated the dramatic easing of oil demand?

Sure, one can gather relevant information and make a reasonable guess as to oil demand next year and the year after that. But after five years, the potential paths of demand growth become unwieldy. How will economic growth be sustained over the next five years? Will the OECD countries lag emerging countries? Will China and the rest of Asia power ahead and create substantial demand? If Asian countries do power ahead and create many millions of middle class citizens, will they demand their own vehicles and tickets on jet planes to see the world? Will Brazil and other South American countries enjoy strong economic growth? Will the Middle East be stable over this period? Will Iraq resume its full production capabilities? As you see, one can begin asking any number of questions that are impossible to answer with an accuracy or certainty and that might have a major bearing on demand or supply or both.

What do we know? We know that for a long time, oil prices were usually within $20-$30 real per barrel. Now those prices are laughable. No reasonable person expects the world to return to those prices any time soon. Many major oil fields around the world are in decline. Oil companies are searching in more remote and sometimes more unfriendly regions of the world to develop further existing fields and to discover new fields. And, the rise of oil prices has given new prominence to some national oil companies. A sample list, though incomplete, of companies include: Gazprom OAO (OGZPY.PK), Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., and Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. – Petrobras (PBR).

If we were to accept the 1% annual growth of oil demand mentioned in the WSJ quote for a long duration, what would that mean or imply? A child born tomorrow will see by her seventieth birthday a doubling of daily world oil production from about 85 million barrels per day to 170 million barrels per day. Moreover, during her seventy years, the world will have produced more during that time than the total cumulative amount prior to her birth. Call me a skeptic, but I am unable to see where we would find that much additional oil to produce at such high rates for such a sustained period.

To be clear, neither the article nor the IEA is suggesting that we endure a 1% growth forever. Rather, I wanted to use this seemingly small innocuous number of only 1% growth to draw attention to its implication. If the long term growth were 2%, then in 35 years the daily world oil production would double to 170 million barrels per day and the oil produced during those 35 years would exceed the prior total cumulative amount of oil produced.

I recommend two excellent sources of information to learn more about oil, oil demand, oil prices and various policy initiatives:

  • Statistical Review of World Energy from BP p.l.c. (BP). I found the link to the Adobe pdf document toward to the bottom on its homepage.
  • Monthly Oil Market Report from the International Energy Agency. The link is to the webpage that hosts the document that is released two weeks after the initial release date. Subscribers receive immediate access through a different link.

Both documents are extremely helpful. I find the BP document provides concise information and historical context. The IEA document provides the agency’s latest thinking and forecasts.

As the world struggles to find new sources of oil, there will be dramatic changes. I have already discussed some questions we should ask ourselves as we contemplate future oil demand growth. Of course, many more questions need to be considered. And I have indicated that some national oil companies have gained strength and prominence with higher oil demand and prices. As investors, we should also think about what long term oil demand growth means for oil sands companies such as Suncor Energy, Inc. (SU) and Canadian Oil Sands Trust (COSWF.PK), and for large multinationals such as ConocoPhillips Company (COP), Chevron Corporation (CVX), and Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM).

As demand continues to rise, I am curious what will happen. Will scientific breakthroughs help? How will the world cope with the environmental consequences? How will people adapt to possibly much higher prices? How will countries and regions change because of either having or lacking domestic oil supplies? If the world does experience higher prices, what are the implications for global world trade? And do higher prices imply that people will travel less and have less of an understanding of other regions? These questions are just a small sample of what investors should begin considering.

A few years ago, Professor Bartlett gave a compelling lecture, captured in a series of YouTube videos, to some students at the University of Colorado. In his lecture, he discussed oil demand growth. The lecture starts a bit slow; however, when you reach the latter part of the third video, you’ll see how the prior information is relevant to his discussion on oil. In other words, because they are important, don’t skip the initial video segments and jump to the third. I urge you to watch the complete video series.

And after you’ve watched the videos, ask yourself, “What time is it?” This question will make sense once you’ve seen the videos.

When I initially saw the WSJ article, I was drawn by the long term forecasts. My personal bias is that most longer term things in life are difficult, if not impossible, to forecast with any reasonable degree of accuracy. Then as I read the article, I saw the 1% growth number, which by itself seems very innocuous. But if you think about what 1% growth means over a long and sustained period, you quickly realize there are going to be changes. Moreover, the world has already witnessed a significant shift in oil prices over the last decade. We are no longer in our prior historical norm of $20-$30 per barrel. Some might argue that we are now in unchartered territory. As part of that possible unchartered territory, I wanted you to think about some larger questions. The questions mentioned in this article are just off the top of my head without much thought. I am sure you can think of many more. And last, I wanted to draw your attention to Professor Bartlett’s excellent lecture. His lecture will make you think about oil demand (and others) growth differently. I hope this article causes you to further your own research.

Source: Seeking Alpha, 08.11.2009

Filed under: Brazil, China, Energy & Environment, Mexico, News, Risk Management, Venezuela, Vietnam, , , , , , , , , , ,

China and Latin America; the new conquistadors – Update 1

When Hugo Chávez first met Barack Obama at the Summit of the Americas in April, the Venezuelan leader could not resist pressing one of his favourite tracts into the US president’s hands. Eduardo Galeano’s Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent, a staple of student radical literature, tells the story of a continent that has long seen itself as the victim of foreign exploitation. Mr Chávez, though, may have given the book to the wrong leader. It should have been given to the Chinese.

China’s links to the region are deepening fast. Indeed, if the mooted $15bn bid for Repsol YPF’s Argentine oil unit by China’s state-owned energy companies CNOOC and CNPC comes off, South America will also be the recipient of China’s largest outward investment to date. Bilateral trade with the region has risen 10-fold since 2000, reaching $143bn last year. China is now Brazil’s largest trade partner. It takes almost three-quarters of the iron ore produced by Vale, the world’s largest iron ore company. It has been a bigger buyer of Chilean copper than the US, and it is already a major investor in Venezuelan oil – even as Caracas has nationalised several western concerns.

FiNETIK recommends:

    Beijing formalised this heightened level of Latin attention last November. In a policy statement, it talked amicably of “win-win” strategies, and mutual political respect. Deeds followed words, with a renminbi currency swap extended to Argentina worth $10bn, a $1bn pledge to invest in an Ecuadorean hydroelectric plant and, in the Caribbean, loan packages to Jamaica and continued trade credits to Cuba. Meanwhile, Chinese light manufacturers eat their Latin American counterparts for lunch. A few years ago, the most oft-cited economic statistic in Mexico was that more sombreros were made in China than at home.

    Filed under: Argentina, Asia, Brazil, Chile, China, Energy & Environment, Latin America, Mexico, News, Venezuela, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Venezuela announces joint oil venture with Vietnam

    President Hugo Chavez’s government says it is forming a joint oil company with Vietnam to exploit Venezuela’s heavy crude.

    State-run Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA, will cooperate with Vietnam’s state oil and gas monopoly, PetroVietnam, on oil exploration and production in Venezuela, according to a presidential decree in the Official Gazette issued Friday.  The company, to be called PetroMacareo SA, will operate in Venezuela’s eastern Orinoco River basin, and may also participate in transporting and selling oil, the decree said.  Under Venezuelan law, PDVSA’s partners may hold only a minority stake in oil production projects.

    During a visit from Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet in November, the two leaders discussed the possibility of building an oil refinery in Vietnam, and of cooperating with the Asian nation to build oil tankers. Chavez’s government has been forming joint oil ventures with allies ranging from Russia to China as Venezuela aims to diversify its oil clientele.

    The United States remains the top buyer of oil from Venezuela, which is the fourth-largest oil supplier to the US.

    Source: Forbes, 25.05.2009  click here for original article

    Filed under: Energy & Environment, News, Venezuela, Vietnam, , , , , ,

    China and Venezuela Launch Joint Oil Venture

    BEIJING – State-owned PetroChina and Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA, have formed a joint venture to pursue exploration and production projects in Venezuela, the official Xinhua news agency reported Wednesday.

    China’s largest oil company will hold a 40 percent stake in the joint venture, PetroChina CEO Jiang Jiemin told company directors. PetroChina also approved the signing of a loan totaling 100 billion yuan ($14.7 billion) to fund foreign operations in 2009.

    “The drop in oil prices on the international market represents a special opportunity for expanding horizons,” PetroChina said.

    PetroChina and PDVSA plan to form two other joint ventures that will focus on transporting crude and developing two refineries, one of which will be in the southern province of Canton, Jiang said. The executive did not provide specific figures on the agreements reached with PDVSA.

    PetroChina, the world’s second-largest oil company in terms of market capitalization, trailing only U.S. behemoth ExxonMobil Corporation, expects to produce 40 million tons of Venezuelan petroleum annually, Jiang said.

    The joint venture created by PetroChina and PDVSA will allow the oil companies to work together and cut exploration and production costs.

    Source: Xinhua 13.05.2009, LatinAmerica Harald Tribune 18.05.2009

    Filed under: Asia, China, Energy & Environment, Latin America, News, Venezuela, , , , , , , , ,