ARGENTINE UPDATE – Jan 28, 2016


1. YAHOO IS SHUTTING OFFICES IN MEXICO, ARGENTINA TO TRIM COSTS (Bloomberg News)

2. ARGENTINA’S CLARIN PUSHES INTO MOBILE MARKET WITH NEXTEL BUY (Reuters News)

3. BRAZIL SEEKS FREE AUTO TRADE WITH ARGENTINA (Reuters News)

4. YAHOO TO SHUT ARGENTINA AND MEXICO OFFICES (Reuters News)

5. YAHOO TO CLOSE ARGENTINA, MEXICO OFFICES (The San Francisco Chronicle)

6. ARGENTINA’S BANKING SECTOR POISED FOR M&A (Business News Americas)

7. ARGENTINA’S MACRI MAKES UTILITY MOVE AHEAD OF ‘CHOPPIER’ POLITICS: TENEO (Barrons)

8. NEW ARGENTINA SUBSIDIARY JOINS ACTON INSTITUTE IN GLOBAL THINK TANK RANKINGS (Acton.org)

1. YAHOO IS SHUTTING OFFICES IN MEXICO, ARGENTINA TO TRIM COSTS (Bloomberg News)
By Brian Womack
January 28, 2016

Yahoo! Inc. is shutting down two offices in Latin America, seeking to trim costs by scaling back some international operations.

The Web portal will close sites in Mexico and Argentina, while keeping open offices in Brazil and Florida, according to a statement Thursday. The number of employees affected wasn’t disclosed, though the company said the offices are small.

“Yahoo is focused on maximizing growth,” the Sunnyvale, California-based company said. “Latin America is an important region for Yahoo and we will continue to invest in the people and products there.”

After more than three years of unsuccessful efforts to revive growth, sales remain in a slump, and pressure is mounting on Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer. The CEO is set to unveil a new plan to streamline the company’s operations by next week — one that’s likely to include job cuts, a person familiar with the matter said earlier this month.

Yahoo is scheduled to report fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 2. Analysts estimate that revenue, minus sales passed on to partners, declined 20 percent to $948.2 million.

2. ARGENTINA’S CLARIN PUSHES INTO MOBILE MARKET WITH NEXTEL BUY (Reuters News)
By Maximiliano Rizzi and Richard Lough
Jan 28, 2016

Argentine media firm Grupo Clarin S.A. said on Thursday its subsidiary Cablevision has taken full ownership of Nextel Communications Argentina, the country’s fourth-largest mobile telephone company.

Clarin’s move to take 100 percent ownership of Nextel gives it a greater stake in Argentina’s mobile market, in which Nextel holds a 3 percent share.

In a notice to the country’s market regulator, Clarin said Cablevision, Argentina’s leading cable-TV provider, exercised an option to buy an additional 51 percent stake in Nextel.

The deal is subject to approval by Argentina’s media watchdog ENACOM, established by new President Mauricio Macri who has eased restrictions on media ownership since he entered office in December.

Nextel faces much larger competitors in Argentina, such as Claro, owned by America Movil, Telecom Argentina’s Personal, and Telefonica’s Movistar.

Clarin on Sept 14 bought an initial 49 percent stake in Nextel, a subsidiary of NII Holdings Inc, a Latin American mobile service provider. Days later the-then AFTIC media regulator rejected the deal, but that decision was later suspended by a local court.

Clarin had been locked in a years-long battle with former President Cristina Fernandez that centred on the so-called Audiovisual Media Law introduced in 2009 that curbed media ownership. Clarin said Fernandez was taking deliberate aim at the company.

In its first month in power, Macri’s government dissolved the AFTIC watchdog and began easing restrictions laid out in the Audiovisual Media Law.

The law capped corporate ownership of the broadcasting market, with the controls also applying to the cable sector.

3. BRAZIL SEEKS FREE AUTO TRADE WITH ARGENTINA (Reuters News)
By Silvio Cascione
Jan 28, 2016

The Brazilian government will propose the full liberalization of vehicle trade with Argentina from July, newspaper Valor Econômico reported on Thursday.

Brazilian Trade minister Armando Monteiro will travel to Buenos Aires in February to make a formal offer, Valor added, without saying how it obtained the information.

The press offices of the Brazilian and Argentinian governments were not immediately available to comment.

Officials in both countries are already working on a potential deal, which was discussed by Finance Ministers Nelson Barbosa and his Argentinian counterpart Alfonso Prat-Gay last week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Valor said.

Brazil also plans to propose a deal to allow companies from both countries to participate in public tenders under the same conditions as local firms, Valor reported.

The two states have imposed quotas on bilateral automobile trade despite being major partners in South America’s trading bloc Mercosur.

Brazil and Argentina are among the region’s most protectionist countries, but are moving to open their economies.

Argentina’s recently-elected President Mauricio Macri has vowed to reduce trade barriers with his country’s key trade partner.

His Brazilian counterpart Dilma Rousseff is aggressively trying to open up new markets abroad in an attempt to revive an economy mired in its worst recession in nearly 30 years.

4. YAHOO TO SHUT ARGENTINA AND MEXICO OFFICES (Reuters News)
Jan 28, 2016

Yahoo Inc plans to close its offices in Argentina and Mexico, a company spokeswoman said on Thursday.

The company will maintain its Latin American operations through its teams in Brazil and Coral Gables, Florida.

Yahoo declined to specify how many jobs were affected, but said the offices were “small sales-focused”.
Technology news website TechCrunch first reported the closures.

5. YAHOO TO CLOSE ARGENTINA, MEXICO OFFICES (The San Francisco Chronicle)
By Wendy Lee
29 January 2016

Yahoo said Thursday it plans to shut down its offices in Argentina and Mexico, as the struggling tech giant looks for ways to trim expenses.

The move was part of Yahoo’s focus on “maximizing growth,” the company said in an e-mailed statement. “Latin America is an important region for Yahoo and we will continue to invest in the people and products there,” the company said, adding that its teams in Brazil and Miami “remain vital” to Yahoo.

Yahoo declined to say how many employees would be affected, but said these were “small sales-focused offices.” A person familiar with the business said there were roughly 8 people in the Argentina office.

On Tuesday, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is expected to unveil her future plans for Yahoo, moves that will likely include layoffs, people familiar with the matter said. Mayer has been under pressure to turn around the struggling tech giant and sales results in the fourth quarter are expected to be weak.

6. ARGENTINA’S BANKING SECTOR POISED FOR M&A (Business News Americas)
28 January 2016

The banking sector in Argentina is likely to see a new wave of M&A activity in the next few years, a top bank executive told BNamericas.

The economic and financial reforms that the government of President Mauricio Macri is pursuing are set to increase competition among banks and trigger deal-making, said Norberto Rodríguez (pictured), board member at largest private sector bank Santander Rio.

The upcoming M&A activity could involve deals among local banks as well as foreign banks coming to Argentina, Rodríguez said, including institutions from other Latin American nations that view the Argentine market as attractive and with significant future potential.

Santander Rio will look at acquisition opportunities when they arise, but the bank’s main focus is on organic growth, he said.

“We have shown that you can gain market share through organic growth and it’s cheaper than buying market share through acquisitions,” said Rodríguez. A corporate culture clash is a significant risk when purchasing another bank, he added.

The subsidiary of Spanish banking giant Santander has a loan and deposit market share of around 10% in Argentina; the bank sees this as a floor and not a ceiling, said Rodríguez, who believes Santander can outperform the market in the coming years.

Santander Rio’s organic growth plan in Argentina entails opening some 40 branches a year – as it did in 2015 – for the near future, focusing on small and remote underserved towns.

7. ARGENTINA’S MACRI MAKES UTILITY MOVE AHEAD OF ‘CHOPPIER’ POLITICS: TENEO (Barrons)
By Teresa Rivas
January 28, 2016

Earlier this week, Argentina announced subsidy cuts for wholesale distributors through the end of April, an expected part of its push for fiscal consolidation, Teneo Intelligence’s Nicholas Watson writes.

While exact prices increases aren’t yet clear, they could be fairly substantial for some residents; yet they are so low now that new tariffs will still be below generating costs, Watson explains. He writes that another round of increases will likely take place after this structure expires in three months, but keeping inflation down is a major government concern, and could slow future cuts.

Moreover, though President Mauricio Macri has made plenty of changes early in his administration, political conditions are also poised to become more difficult next month, which explains the need to make moves now.

More detail from Watson’s note:

President Mauricio Macri retains the political latitude to push ahead with his gradual fiscal reduction plan. A recent poll put the president’s approval rating at 71%. Macri’s recent trip to Davos was a success, with Argentina widely seen as a relative bright spot amid an otherwise gloomy panorama for EMs; Macri brought back a major investment pledge from Coca-Cola, and has talked of up to USD 20bn in investment inflows in 2016. The government will also look to introduce palliative measures when congressional sessions start on 1 March; these include measures to reduce VAT on basic goods and lower the threshold at which income tax becomes payable. These measures will be essential if inflation is seen to jump significantly in the early part of this year.

However, the political window for adjustments will not remain open for long. The political waters are set to become choppier from late-February. First, collective salary negotiations with the Buenos Aires provincial teachers’ union are set to begin in mid-February; these negotiations usually set a marker for other union wage talks extending into March. The inflationary effects of December’s devaluation and the subsidy cuts will make this year’s wage talks challenging for the government. Second, former president Cristina Fernandez (2007-15) is planning to launch her new foundation in late-February; the launch event will mark Fernandez’s re-entry into the political fray as she attempts to position herself as the strongest opponent to Macri within the broad Peronist movement. Although the Peronists are split, which offers Macri an opportunity to leverage divisions for political gain, Fernandez remains a formidable adversary.

The Global X MSCI Argentina exchange-traded fund (ARGT) is climbing 1.2% in recent trading. Among utilities with ADRs, Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora Norte S.A. (EDN) is up 1.6% and Pampa Energia (PAM) is up 2%.

8. NEW ARGENTINA SUBSIDIARY JOINS ACTON INSTITUTE IN GLOBAL THINK TANK RANKINGS (Acton.org)
January 28, 2016

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Jan. 28, 2016)—The Acton Institute made another strong showing in a leading ranking of global think tanks which showed the Grand Rapids-based research and educational institution among the best organizations of its kind in the United States and abroad. Acton’s new Argentina subsidiary in Buenos Aires, Instituto Acton, made its first appearance among the “best independent think tanks” category. The University of Pennsylvania’s Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) released its 2015 Global Go-To Think Tanks Report today.

Highlights from the 2015 University of Pennsylvania report:

Acton Institute is 9th (out of 90) in the Top Social Policy Think Tanks ranking (9th in 2014).
Acton Institute is 29th (out of 75) in the Top Think Tanks in the United States (29th in 2014).
In Top Think Tanks Worldwide, Acton ranks 155th (out of 175) (previously unranked).
10th in Best Advocacy Campaign (11th in 2014) for PovertyCure.
17th (out of 61) in Best Think Tank Conference (17th in 2014) for Acton University.
Instituto Acton was ranked 100th (out of 144) Best Independent Think Tanks.
The Think Tank & Civil Societies Program maintains comprehensive data on more than 6,500 think tanks worldwide, of those more than half are considered in the ranking, but fewer than 300 organizations make it into the final report. Free market think tanks had a strong presence on the report this year, taking top spots in several categories in the U.S. and internationally.

While the TTCSP has been in existence for more than 25 years, this is the program’s 9th ranking report. James G. McGann, director of the program said that the goal of this research and report is “to increase the profile and performance of think tanks and raise the public awareness of the important role think tanks play in governments and civil societies around the globe.”

The program has a rigorous ranking criteria which includes: the “quality and commitment of the think tank’s leadership;” the “quality, number, and reach of its publications;” the think tank’s “reputation with policymakers;” its “media reputation;” its “ability to produce new knowledge;” “financial stewardship;” and the organization’s “impact on society.”

The Go-To Think Tank Report also included some interesting facts about think tanks: 30 percent of all think tanks are located in North America and 27 percent are in Europe. The United States has the most think tanks with 1,830, followed by China with 429. In the United States, Washington, D.C., has the most of any state or district with 396 and Michigan is home to 30 other think tanks besides Acton.

The full report here: http://www.timbro.se/pdf/2015-Go-To-Think-Tank-Report.pdf

Impacts

A recession is likely this year and growth thereafter will remain muted.

The continuing economic malaise in Brazil will also be a drag on manufacturing recovery.

The political panorama is currently fluid but is likely to solidify in opposition to Macri.

Outlook

Despite some international applause for new President Mauricio Macri’s efforts to roll back the policy choices of the 2003-15 Kirchner governments, domestic opinion is broadly sceptical and short-term expectations poor.

Macri’s tendency to opt for decrees thus far – an approach adopted by his predecessor, who was much criticised for it – is likely to stiffen opposition, especially in provinces where his government, characterised as pro-finance and pro-business, is not seen as representative of views outside the capital.

The dominant Peronist party is in some disarray and in search of new leadership, leaving an opening for Macri to reach accords with at least some factions. However, the party will regroup quickly; governing without at least some Peronist backing is likely to prove near impossible.

Responder Responder a todos Reenviar Más
Hacer clic en Responder, Responder a todos o Reenviar

Responder

Introduce tus datos o haz clic en un icono para iniciar sesión:

Logo de WordPress.com

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de WordPress.com. Cerrar sesión / Cambiar )

Imagen de Twitter

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Twitter. Cerrar sesión / Cambiar )

Foto de Facebook

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Facebook. Cerrar sesión / Cambiar )

Google+ photo

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Google+. Cerrar sesión / Cambiar )

Conectando a %s


A %d blogueros les gusta esto: