Media and LatAm Navel Gaze: January 29, 2017

Mark Kollar,  Ligia Vela-Reid

Executive order/disorder was the order of the weekend with Trump signing an executive order banning travel to the US from seven mostly Muslim countries, sending protestors to airports around the US in support of refugees and others flying here (including New York City taxi drivers going on strike) and the federal court issuing a stay to detainees. Then there was the wall, the Twitter standoff and the cancelled Trump/Nieto meeting.


  • The Dow hit 20,000, a really, really big deal amid debates of “is this shaky” (most think no) and whence and when 30,000 (Barron’s say 2025);
  • The Blue Chips ended the week 1.3 percent higher at 20,009;
  • Verizon and Charter are looking to hook up;
  • J&J is buying Actelion for $30 billion;
  • UK’s May paid a visit to the White House and Trump phone timed with leaders from Germany to France to Japan to yup, Russia;
  • The media were called the “opposition party,” which they are seeming to wear proudly;
  • Megyn Kelly seems to be disrupting the NBC morning lineup amid reports of a 9 or 10 am slot, shaking up extended Today show hours;
  • “Brave New World” surged to No. 15 on Amazon;
  • CNY happened and it’s now the Year of the Rooster;
  • LaLa Land crushed it on Oscar nods; and
  • RIP, “Oh, Rob!”

 LatAm Gaze:

  • On Thursday, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto canceled a visit to the White House, scheduled for January 31st, following President Donald Trump’s demands that Mexico pay for the construction of a wall across the US-Mexico border. The two engaged in an hour-long phone call on Friday, where they agreed to stop speaking publicly about who would pay for the wall, and, according to Mr. Trump, discussed renegotiating trade deals, including NAFTA.
  • Following the phone call, the Mexican peso was up by more than 1 per cent on Friday, hitting the highs of the day. The peso has performed well since Mr. Trump’s inauguration a week ago, soaring by 4.81 per cent against the greenback. However, it is still down by more than 12 per cent since Mr. Trump’s election win in November that shocked global financial markets.
  • In Brazil, police raided businessman Eike Batista’s home on Thursday as part of an ongoing investigation into Mr. Batista’s alleged payment of R$16.5 million in bribes to the former governor of Rio de Janeiro, Sergio Cabral. Mr. Batista’s presumably fled the country last week and his whereabouts are currently unknown.
  • On Tuesday, Argentina’s Ministry of Treasury posted a primary fiscal deficit of 359.4 billion pesos (US$22.57 billion) in 2016, larger than the 235.1 billion peso (US$14.76 billion) deficit posted in 2015. The primary budget balance, which measures government spending relative to income and does not include debt payments, is followed by the markets as an indicator of Argentina's ability to meet its financial obligations.
  • On Friday, Peru's largest construction company, Graña y Montero, said it had a loss of 130 million soles (US$39.4 million) in the fourth quarter of 2016 due to the cancellation of a large project that it had with Brazil's Odebrecht. During the same period last year, Graña y Montero reported a gain of 82 million soles.
  • Chile has been having the worst wildfires in the country’s history. President Michelle Bachelet’s administration has declared a state of emergency as hundreds of thousands of acres have been destroyed in the southern and central parts of the country.
  • End of Week Market Updates
    • Merval (Argentina):  +  0.93%
    • Bovespa (Brazil):      +  2.34%
    • IPSA (Chile):             +  0.41%
    • IGBC (Colombia):      +  1.50%
    • IPC (Mexico):            +  2.35%
    • BVL (Peru):               +  2.09%  

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