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Archive for September, 2009

Brazil gets foreign investment boost

September 22nd, 2009

Brazil’s hopes of luring greater levels of foreign investment received a shot in the arm on Tuesday, when investment ratings agency Moody’s raised the country’s government-backed bonds to investment grade.

Though Moody’s is the last ratings agency to do so, it is not ruling out a further upgrade to Brazil’s so-called ’sovereign debt’.

“Evidence of strong economic and financial resilience…can be seen in the modest and short-lived contraction in GDP, minimal weakening in the country’s international reserve position, moderate deterioration in the government debt indicators and lack of financial stress in the banking system,” Mauro Leos, Moody’s regional credit officer for Latin America said in a statement.

Moody’s is also reviewing Brazil’s foreign and local currency credit ratings for possible upgrade, citing the country’s resilience to the shocks from the global financial and economic crises.

It’s more good news for Brazil’s government, after the country pulled out of recession in the second quarter from April to June by posting 1.9% growth. The technical definition of a recession is when the total of all the goods and services in an economy (GDP) has shrunk for two consecutive quarters.

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who was criticised by some at the start of the global crisis for saying the downturn would prove to be a ‘little wave’ not a tsunami was last week lauded by French newspaper Le Monde for his insight.

Opponents have called it a lucky guess.

Economy, News

Brazil stamps World Cup passport

September 6th, 2009

Brazil’s World Cup carnaval can start early this week, with a game against Chile in Salvador, after the country’s national team sealed a place in next year’s finals competition with a 3-1 away victory against Argentina in Rosario on Saturday night.

In a plodding match, punctuated by two excellent goals, Brazil turned in a workmanlike performance against a misfiring Argentina side, whose coach Diego Maradona wore a worried frown for most of the match.

Argentina looked the more dangerous in the first few minutes, but once Luisão was left in oceans of space to nod in a downward header on 23 minutes, Brazil hardly looked troubled.

Seven minutes later, Argentine goalkeeper Anjúdar could only parry a shot to the feet of Luis Fabiano, who made no mistake.

After the interval, the game appeared to be petering out in Brazil’s favour, until on 65 minutes, Dátatolo unleashed a left-foot exocet into the top right hand corner from nigh-on 30 yards, leaving the normally very solid Brazilian keeper Júlio César with no chance.

Argentina’s response briefly lifted the atmoshere to boiling point, but this was extinguished two minutes later when Kaká threaded the ball through the Argentine defence to Luis Fabiano, who, as he fell away to the right, chipped the ball diagonally over the rapidly advancing Anjúdar into an empty net.

The finish was reminiscent of Michael Owen’s ‘wonder goal’ for England in the 1998 World Cup second round, also against Argentina.

In a league of ten-teams from which four qualify and a fifth faces a play-off, the result leaves fourth-placed Argentina on 22 points, sweating on their qualification with Ecuador and Colombia breathing down their necks 2 points behind.

Tricky away matches follow against third-placed Paraguay (27pts) and Uruguay (18pts) in seventh spot, who could still snatch a place in South Africa next year by winning their last three games.

Brazilian media were quick to celebrate the victory against their team’s fiercist rival. “Good to win, even better to win in Argentina,” said one TV presenter. “As a player Maradona was god, as a coach he’s mortal,” cried the Folha de São Paulo newspaper.

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