Media and LatAm Navel Gaze: July 10, 2017

Mark Kollar,  Ligia Vela-Reid

The G20-palooza took center stage with early focus on the “handshake” (the President and Ms Merkel finally got it “right”) and later spin on Trump stump for the West to “summon the courage” to battle terrorism and extremism while others seem to sum up their trade agreements sans the US (Japan and EU now big block, for example). That amid the backdrop that the US job machine is chugging along with non-farm up a BIG 222,000, more than educated guesses and the overall unemployment rate at 4.4 percent in June, up a tad but only because more of us have decided to leave the couch and become “officially” jobless and look for work. On the downside, wages lagged, good for inflation hawks, bad for worker bees.

Elsewhere and in other “big” news:

  • Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin finally meet face to face amid a mild face off on Russian hacks in US election (Putin claims nyet way) and critics said the US president didn’t push hard enough on the topic;
  • Warren Buffet goes big on electricity with a $17.5BB bid for Texas-based Oncor, his third largest investment ever and a boost to the power transmission industry;
  • And while on the subject of electricity, Volvo announced that it plans to transition its vehicles to all batteries or hybrid, giving added spark to the race with Tesla to dominate the powered-by-anything-but-fossils car market;
  • Shoppers are going big as well, with QVC and Home Shopping Network agreeing to merge in a $2.1BB deal, joining forces to battle the ever-changing retail industry;
  • And let’s not stop there, Amazon and Dish are in “talks” to disrupt the wireless business;
  • The Dow ended the week just slightly higher (up 0.3 percent) to close the week at 21,414; and
  • Snorting chocolate is now a thing, a kinda bad thing.

LatAm Gaze

  • Spain's GRI Renewable Industries partnered with Argentina’s Metalúrgica Calviño to start manufacturing wind towers at its plant in Argentina by the end of the year. The joint venture agreement will generate 300 wind farms per year and create of 350 new jobs; 
  • Brazilian investment funds recorded inflows of R$111.3 billion (US$34.5 billion) during the first half of 2017, the largest since 2002, for a total of R$3.8 trillion in AUM (US$1.1 trillion);
  • In Chile, the Monthly Indicator of Economic Activity (IMACEC) in May showed that the economic recovery is still elusive. The index increased by 1.3%, compared with the same month in 2016, which meant more than the March and April (0.3% and 0.1%, respectively) but below the 1.7% expected by the market;
  • On Thursday, El Financiero, in collaboration with Siemens, hosted the Oil & Gas Innovation Forum 2017 in Mexico, to understand the challenges and opportunities of the energy sector. The forum focused on the technological age of hydrocarbons, the future of oil, and competitive business models; 
  • Falabella Group, Peru's owner of retail chains Saga Falabella, Tottus and Sodimac, will invest $1 billion over the next four years to develop logistics and information technology; and
  • On Wednesday, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro condemned the violence at the National Assembly headquarters, where a hundred government supporters stormed into Venezuela's opposition-controlled National Assembly, and he said he ordered an investigation after the group left three deputies injured.
  • End of Week Market Updates
    • Merval (Argentina): + 0.67%
    • Bovespa (Brazil):     -  0.92%
    • IPSA (Chile):           + 2.27%
    • IGBC (Colombia):    + 0.43%
    • IPC (Mexico):          + 0.40%
    • BVL (Peru):             + 0.25% 

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