Media and LatAm Navel Gaze: November 13, 2017

Mark Kollar,  Ligia Vela-Reid

President Trump made a big swing not at a golf course but through Asia as domestic issues (the tax bill, elections, sexual harassment, for example) overshadowed the pomp and circumstance overseas and headline fights with North Korea and the Philippines, culminating in classic @realDonaldTrump style with name calling between the president and the North Korean leader a la Mean Girls. #NeverDull.

Elsewhere:

  • The potential tie-up between Time Warner and AT&T is under threat with DOJ asking for divestitures (like CNN) in what is one of the biggest media deals ever;
  • Toy Story: Hasbro has made a takeover offer for Mattel, with as the WSJ described would put Barbie and GI Joe under the same roof;
  • GE expected to announce as soon as Monday its restructuring plan, which will likely include a dividend and job cuts;
  • Apple hit the $900-billion valuation mark, a first for a US company;
  • Stocks edged slightly lower last week, cutting short recently ongoing gains with the Dow down just 0.5 percent to end Friday at 23,422;
  • Broadcom $105-billion bid for Qualcomm remains underway in a put your big chips on the table for chips kind of way; and
  • New York Fed Chief William Dudley gives notice with notice to watch out for too much dereg.

LatAm Gaze:

  • On Thursday, the international reserves of the Argentine Central Bank (BCRA) closed with a total of US $54.747 million, reaching a new historical maximum. The increase was due to a payment of US $3.148 million from the emission of International Bonds of the Argentine Republic which are due to expire in 2023, 2028 and 2047.
  • According to a monthly survey conducted by the Argentine central bank, Argentina's annual core inflation forecast for the end of 2017 rose by 0.7 percentage point (pp) in November to 21%. Analysts estimate a 14.3% annual inflation for 2018.
  • Brazil is looking to implement rules to reduce the overflow of false stories that could mislead voters. The country's Superior Electoral Court (TSE) is looking at ways to monitor fake news in next year's presidential elections as well as holding politicians accountable for fraudulent digital campaigns.
  • On Thursday, Brazilian Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles said that changes to the pension reform that reduce tax savings will have to be compensated by other measures so that their effects continue to benefit the economy.
  • On Friday, a Chilean Central Bank survey showed, Chile's referential interest rate would remain stable at 2.50% at least until April next year, amid expectations of low inflation and a gradual rebound in activity. Analysts estimated economic activity growth of 3% for October and 2.7% for the fourth quarter. For all of 2017, they forecast a 1.5% increase.
  • Russia and Venezuela will sign a debt restructuring agreement on November 15 for a period of close to 10 years and with payments that will increase gradually. For the agreement to take place, Venezuela will have to return a significant amount of money to Russia before the end of 2017.
  • According to new estimates released by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in Chile, in 2017 Latin America and the Caribbean have achieved an overall 10% growth in the value of its shipments abroad.
  • Japan, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Canada and six other countries approached an agreement to promote the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) without the participation of the US, which demonstrates the way economies of The Pacific Coast are advancing with globalization despite the resistance of Donald Trump. 

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