Media and LatAm Navel Gaze: June 19, 2017

Mark Kollar,  Ligia Vela-Reid

#WOW! Amazon disrupted again, this time in the supermarket by buying Whole Foods for nearly $14 billion (a rounding error for the behemoth one reporter called it amid coverage that was full of superlatives and jokes of drone deliveries of kale). Extremely exciting news that lifted the stock of both companies (kinda rare) and hurt other grocery retailers for a move that was likely aimed at Wal-Mart.   

Elsewhere:

  • The Session Sessions became the “I don’t recall” testimony as the AG and Trump loyalist defended himself from “scurrilous” lies;
  • In shocking news, a gunman opened fire on Republican congressmen playing baseball, seriously injuring Sen Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Capital policemen before dying from multiple gunshots;
  • Short on surprise and impact, the Fed raised rates last week, with the benchmark overnight in a range of 1 percent to 1.25 percent with the kicker that it will start unloading its $4.5 trillion portfolio later this year, which should have the biggest impact;
  • GE CEO Immelt steps down in a story first reported on CNBC very early Monday morning and covered everywhere from every angle;
  • The Dow eked out another record, closing Friday at  21,384;
  • Uber to test drive management-sharing with CEO stepping down;
  • Oath takes the office of Yahoo and will combine with AOL now that the  Verizon acquisition of the Internet business is complete (diagram now included here) with AOL Chief Tim Armstrong leading the new venture;
  • Et tu, Delta and BofA? Both pulled sponsorships of a production of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” in Central Park when the Emperor looked too much like Trump -- and we all know how that play ends; and
  • A new study out of Asia shows that CEO’s appearance on CNBC has a positive impact on his or her salary the next year – start pitching!

LatAm Gaze:

  • According to the Global CEO Outlook survey, prepared by the KPMG, 77% of executives in Argentina believe that the local economy will grow in the next 12 months.  
  • In a tell-all interview with Revista Época, JBS’ Joesley Batista, who in a plea bargain shed light on a long-standing bribery scheme involving current Brazilian president Michel Temer, spoke in more detail about the corruption scheme, denouncing Temer and his cabinet as “Brazil’s largest criminal organization”. In response, President Temer announced that he will be bringing a slew of charges against Batista starting this week, including but not limited to doctoring false evidence.
  • The Chilean export sector has not played a leading role in the current economic cycle, although there has been a significant depreciation of the Chilean peso against the dollar. According to BBVA Research, this is due to the low competitiveness in shipments.  
  • In six months, Colombian airline company, Wingo, has had its ticket sales exceed $38 million represented by 3,257 flights, showing a 78% increase in traffic between the two countries.  
  • In Mexico, the rent of office spaces in the City could fall by 8 to 12 percent by 2018, due to the construction of an additional 1.8 million square meters in the next 18 to 24 months.  
  • Peru’s Minister of Council President, Fernando Zavala, announced the approval and enactment of a law that promotes healthy food for children and adolescents. This law will require products to have a warning on the packaging and advertisements.
  • End of Week Market Updates
    • Merval (Argentina):    -   1.49%
    • Bovespa (Brazil):        -   0.94%
    • IPSA (Chile):               -  21%
    • IGBC (Colombia):       +   1.40%
    • IPC (Mexico):              +  0.28%
    • BVL (Peru):                  - 10% 

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