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Month: October 2018

Fitch Shifts Mexico Debt Outlook From Stable to Negative

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Fitch Ratings changed its outlook on Mexico’s long-term foreign-currency debt issues Wednesday from “stable” to “negative,” citing the potential policies of President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

The leftist Lopez Obrador has tried to smooth anxieties in the business community, but upset many on Monday by cancelling a partly built, $13 billion new airport on the outskirts of Mexico City.

The private sector had strongly backed the airport project, but Lopez Obrador called it wasteful. Instead he plans to upgrade existing commercial and military airports. He made the decision based on a public referendum that was poorly organized and drew only about 1 percent of the country’s voters.

 

Alfredo Coutino, Latin America director at Moody’s Analytics, said the decision to cancel the airport project “added not only volatility but also uncertainty to the economy’s future, because it signals that policymaking in the new administration can be based more on such kind of subjective consultation and less on technical or fundamentals consistent with the country’s needs.”

“The cancellation has certainly introduced an element of uncertainty in markets and investors,” Coutino wrote, “which could start affecting confidence and credibility.”

Fitch confirmed its BBB+ investment-grade rating for Mexican government debt, but said Wednesday “there are risks that the follow-through on previously approved reforms, for example in the energy sector, could stall.”

Lopez Obrador has said he will review private concessionary oil exploration contracts granted under current President Enrique Pena Nieto’s energy reform, but won’t cancel them if they were fairly granted. The fear is that future exploration contracts may be delayed or cancelled.

Lopez Obrador won’t take office until December1, but has already announced major policy decisions.

 

Some of his policy announcements – like fiscal restraint, respect for the independence of the central banks and a pledge to avoid new debt – earned praise from investors.

But Fitch noted the decision to cancel the airport “sends a negative signal to investors.”

Lopez Obrador has also pledged to have the state-owned oil company, Pemex, build more refineries to lower imports of gasoline.

Fitch wrote that this type of proposal will “would entail higher borrowing and larger contingent liabilities to the government.”

 

 

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Categories: Економіка

Порошенко: в Україні мінімальну зарплату отримує понад 4,5 мільйони людей

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Мінімальну зарплату офіційно отримує понад 4,5 мільйони людей в Україні, повідомив президент України Петро Порошенко під час зустрічі з представниками бізнесу.

«Зараз в Україні понад 4,5 мільйони людей працює за мінімальну заробітну плату. Це неправильно і це означає, що нам є куди рухатися», – сказав Порошенко.

Він зазначив, що «є два шляхи»: підвищувати мінімальну заробітну плану або проводити детінізацію зарплат.

З 1 січня 2018 року мінімальна зарплата була встановлена на рівні 3 723 гривень. Уряд обіцяє, що у 2019 році «мінімалка» зросте до 4 170 гривень.

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Categories: Економіка

Birthday Blues for Bitcoin as Investors Face Year-on-Year Loss

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Bitcoin was heading towards a year-on-year loss on Wednesday, its 10th birthday, the first loss since last year’s bull market, when the original and biggest digital coin muscled its way to worldwide attention with months of frenzied buying.

By 1300 GMT, bitcoin was trading at $6,263 on the BitStamp exchange, leaving investors who had bought it on Halloween 2017 facing yearly losses of nearly 3 percent.

A year ago, bitcoin closed at $6,443.22 as it tore towards a record high of near $20,000, hit in December.

That run, fueled by frenzied buying by retail investors from South Korea to the United States, pushed bitcoin to calendar-year gains of over 1,300 percent.

Ten years ago, Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin’s still-unidentified founder, released a white paper detailing the need for an online currency that could be used for payments without the involvement of a third party, such as a bank.

Traders and market participants said the Halloween milestone was inevitable, given losses of around 70 percent from bitcoin’s peak and the continuing but incomplete shift towards investment by mainstream financial firms.

“The value mechanisms of crypto and bitcoin today are based more on underlying tech than hype and FOMO (fear of missing out),” said Josh Bramley, head trader at crypto wealth management firm Blockstars.

Growing use of blockchain – the distributed ledger technology that underpins bitcoin – is now powering valuations of the digital currency, he said, cautioning that some expectations for widespread use have not yet materialized.

Others said improvements to infrastructure such as custody services may allow mainstream investors who are wary of buying bitcoin to take positions.

“We see behind closed doors financial and non-financial institutions beavering away to create the infrastructure,” said Ben Sebley, head of brokerage at NKB Group, a blockchain advisory and investment firm.

Bitcoin has endured year-on-year losses before, according to data from CryptoCompare, most recently in 2015.

Retail investors still account for a strong proportion of trading, market players said.

Investors who bet early on bitcoin and have stuck with it have faced a roller-coaster ride in its first decade. Many told Reuters they are optimistic that they are still onto a winner.

 

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Categories: Економіка

«Укрзалізниця» стала приватною, але лишається в державній власності

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Кабінет міністрів змінив тип акціонерного товариства «Українська залізниця» з публічного на приватний – таке рішення уряд ухвалив 31 жовтня

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Categories: Економіка

In Venice’s War on Mega-Ships, Cruise Lines Fire Back

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The population of Italy’s Renaissance canal city of Venice has been on a steady decline for years. At the same time, the number of tourists keeps rising and many Venetians complain their city should not be turned into what some critics describe as a “Disneyland on water.” Their biggest complaint is about the arrival of gigantic cruise ships that dock right at Saint Mark’s Square. Big ships present a dilemma for the city and its economy.

The Venetians have long called them “monsters” because, many say, the massive cruise ships in their lagoon are not only eyesores that block the view, but also displace water due to their size and have been hurting the foundations of the city’s gorgeous Renaissance-era buildings.

Nearly 99-percent of the 18,000 Venetians who voted in an unofficial referendum organized by the No Big Ships campaign group in June last year said they wanted the vessels to stay out of the lagoon.

Fewer than six months later and under intense public pressure, the Italian government announced ships weighing more than 96,000 tons will be banned from entering St. Mark’s basin and have to dock elsewhere.

Now, questions are emerging — mainly by the cruise industry — on what the restrictions mean for the economy of Venice, and Italy in general.

Cruise lines say they have an interest in protecting the sites they seek to showcase, and are defending their presence by pointing to the economic benefits their ships bring to port cities. Cruise Lines International Association President Roberto Martinoli spoke to reporters in Rome.

He said the cruise industry represents nearly three percent of Venice’s GDP and this, he said, cannot be ignored.

Martinoli contends the ships should not be blamed for Venice’s problems and notes they represent less than 10 percent of traffic in the lagoon.

He said cruise ships are not the “giants of evil” that some say are responsible for the city’s overcrowding. Cruise passengers represent, he added, only five percent of Venice’s tourist numbers and have diminished by a quarter from their peak five years ago.

He also said the cruise industry has spent billions on environmental research and innovation projects.

It will not be easy to convince Venice residents who say the damage done by cruise ships — especially to the environment — outweighs any economic benefit from tourists who patronize the city’s cheap souvenir shops, restaurants, and museums.

At a demonstration earlier this year, Stefano Micheletti of the No Big Ships committee expressed sentiments common to many Venetians.

Micheletti said large ships must stay out of the lagoon because it is not only about the visual impact next to St. Mark’s Square or the possibility of an accident, but about the lagoon’s eco-system. Big ships must stay out, he added, because they are a cause for pollution that critics say is ruining the historic city.

 

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Categories: Економіка

Росія: вибух у Архангельську розслідують як теракт

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Слідчий комітет Росії порушив кримінальну справу за статтею «теракт» через вибух в будівлі управляння ФСБ в Архангельську. Про це повідомили у Слідчому комітеті Росії.

Розслідувати справу буде центральний апарат відомства у Москві.

За попередньою інформацією, в результаті вибуху загинув 17-річний місцевий житель, який проніс в будівлю саморобний вибуховий пристрій. Його особа встановлена.

Незадовго до вибуху в Архангельську в одному з анархістських телеграм-чатів користувач під ніком Валер’ян Панов з емблемою RAF ( “Фракція червоної армії”, німецька ліворадикальна угрупування) на аватарі написав, що вибуховий пристрій “ініціюється безпосередньо ним через натискання кнопки, закріпленої на кришці бомби “. Сам вибух він пояснює тим, що “ФСБ фабрикує справи і катує людей”. У минулому користувачі чату припускали, що “Валер’ян Панов” – провокатор через підкреслено агресивний тон його повідомлень, повідомили у російській службі Радіо Свобода.

Вранці 31 жовтня стало відомо про вибух в управлінні Федеральної служби безпеки Росії в Архангельську. Внаслідок вибуху один чоловік отримав поранення, від яких помер на місці події. Постраждали також троє працівників ФСБ.

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Categories: Світ

У «Роскосмосі» назвали причину аварії «Союзу»

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Причиною аварії ракети «Союз» стала некоректна робота датчика, що сигналізує про відділення першого і другого ступенів носія. Про це повідомив в середу виконавчий директор «Роскосмосу» Сергій Крикальов.

Він зазначив, що одну з бічних панелей при відділенні не відвели на потрібну відстань, вона вдарила по баку пального другого ступеня, що призвело до розриву бака і руйнування другого ступеня.

Він сказав, що зараз працюють над усуненням дефекту, щоб убезпечити подальші польоти.

Читайте також: Американський астронавт заявив, що продовжує довіряти системі «Союз» навіть після аварії

11 жовтня космічний корабель «Союз МС-10» здійснив аварійну посадку. На борту корабля були космонавт «Роскосмосу» Олексій Овчинін і астронавт NASA Нік Гейґ. Вони приземлили пілотований блок на парашутах у ручному режимі.

За останні кілька років російський «Роскосмос» здійснив кілька невдалих космічних запусків. Два із них – з російського космодрому «Східний» (27 квітня і 28 листопада 2017 року), в обох використовувалися ракети-носії «Союз», які випускає ракетно-космічний центр «Прогрес» у Самарі. Вона була використана і при запуску з Байконура 11 жовтня.

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Categories: Світ

Bolsonaro’s Economic Guru Urges Quick Brazil Pension Reform

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The future economy minister tapped by Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro insisted on Tuesday that he wanted to fast-track an unpopular pension reform to help balance government finances despite mounting resistance to getting it done this year.

Paulo Guedes, whom Bolsonaro selected as a “super minister” with a portfolio combining the current ministries of finance, planning and development, has urged Congress to pass an initial version of pension reform before the Jan. 1 inauguration.

“Our pension funds are an airplane with five bombs on board that will explode at any moment,” Guedes said on Tuesday. “We’re already late on pension reform, so the sooner the better.”

He called the reform essential to controlling surging public debt in Latin America’s largest economy and making space for public investments to jump-start a sluggish economy. Markets surged in the weeks ahead of Bolsonaro’s Sunday victory on the expectation that he could pull off the tough fiscal agenda.

Brazil’s benchmark Bovespa stock index rose 3.7 percent on Tuesday, boosted by strong corporate earnings and the resolve shown by Guedes on pension reform.

Yet the University of Chicago-trained economist, who is getting his first taste of public service, met with skepticism from more seasoned politicians.

Rodrigo Maia, the speaker of the lower house of Congress, said on Tuesday that reform is urgent, but cautioned that the conditions to pass it were still far off.

Major Olimpio, a lawmaker from Bolsonaro’s own party who helped run his campaign, agreed the political climate was not ready for reform.

Even Bolsonaro’s future chief of staff, Onyx Lorenzoni, said in a Monday radio interview that he only expects to introduce a reform plan next year.

After a meeting with Lorenzoni, Guedes said the decision on timing was ultimately a political one that the chief of staff would weigh.

“We can’t go from a victory at the ballot box to chaos in Congress,” Guedes told journalists.

On other issues, Guedes made clear he was the final word on economic matters, laying out plans to give the central bank more institutional independence and clarifying comments made by Lorenzoni about exchange-rate policy.

“You are all scared because he is a politician talking about the economy. That’s like me talking about politics. It’s not going to work,” Guedes said.

Hot Button Issues

While advisers work out the details of his economic program, Bolsonaro revisited some of his most contentious campaign promises on Monday night: looser gun laws, a ban on government advertising for media that “lie,” and urging a high-profile

judge to join his government.

In interviews with TV stations and on social media, Bolsonaro, a 63-year-old former Army captain who won 55 percent of Sunday’s vote after running on a law-and-order platform, made clear he would push through his conservative agenda.

Bolsonaro said he wants Sergio Moro, the judge who has overseen the sprawling “Car Wash” corruption trials and convicted former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of graft, to serve as his justice minister.

Barring that, he said he would nominate Moro to the Supreme Court. The next vacancy on the court is expected in 2020.

Bolsonaro had not formally invited Moro as of Tuesday afternoon, and the judge remained noncommittal on the proposal.

“In case I’m indeed offered a post, it will be subject to a balanced discussion and reflection,” Moro said in a statement.

Media Showdown

Late on Monday, Bolsonaro said in an interview with Globo TV that he would cut government advertising funds that flow to any “lying” media outlets.

During his campaign, the right-winger imitated U.S. President Donald Trump’s strategy of aggressively confronting the media, taking aim at Globo TV and Brazil’s biggest newspaper, the Folha de S.Paulo.

“I am totally in favor of freedom of the press,” Bolsonaro told Globo TV. “But if it’s up to me, press that shamelessly lies will not have any government support.”

Bolsonaro was referring to the hundreds of millions of reais the Brazilian government spends in advertising each year in local media outlets, mainly for promotions of state-run firms.

The UOL news portal, owned by the Grupo Folha, which also controls the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper, used Brazil’s freedom of information act as the basis for a 2015 article that showed Globo received 565 million reais in federal government spending in 2014. Folha got 14.6 million reais that year.

Globo said on Tuesday that federal government advertising represented less than 4 percent of the revenue for its flagship channel, TV Globo, without providing more detailed figures.

Grupo Folha did not reply to requests for comment.

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Categories: Економіка