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  • Unify signs partner to extend unified communications portfolio in Latin America

    Communications software and services company Unify has reached a distribution agreement with Network1, Latin America distribution partner of specialty technology products distributor ScanSource. The agreement will focus on distributing unified communications and collaboration, network infrastructure, data center infrastructure, physical security and cloud computing solutions. The accord covers sales in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and countries in Central America and the Caribbean. The association with Network1 includes distribution of the complete Unify product portfolio including OpenScape Voice and OpenScape 4000 for large companies and OpenScape Business for SMEs and for optimizing remote working.

  • China's LatAm financing hits second highest ever in 2015

    Chinese financing for Latin America topped US$29bn in 2015, the second highest amount on record, according to the Inter-American Dialogue. Many of the loans were announced when China's Premier Li Keqiang visited Latin America in May last year, the Washington-based think tank said in a release announcing the figures. The amount was higher than that provided for Latin America by the World Bank and IDB combined, according to IAD. IAD said that China continues to be a key source of finance for countries in the region that have "weak access" to global capital markets, including Venezuela and Ecuador. Venezuela is the country in Latin America that has received by far the most financing from China, with a total of US$65bn since 2007. The figure represents 52% of the Asian nation's financing to the region, said IAD. Another combined 34% of the total has gone to Argentina, Brazil and Ecuador, the think tank added. IAD also said that Chinese banks continued in 2015 with their strong financing focus on Latin America's extractive and infrastructure sectors. UPCOMING BNAMERICAS EVENTS 5TH Mexico Infrastructure Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers 4TH Mexico Oil & Gas Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers

  • Interest on personal loans at highest level in 11 years

    The average monthly interest rate on personal loans in Brazil reached in January its highest level since February 2005. The average interest rate for individuals rose 0.11 percentage points in January when compared to the previous month, hitting 7.67%. The rate was 7.79% in February 2005, according to a survey from the association of finance and accounting executives Anefac. The average annual interest rate increased to 143% in January from 140% in December 2015. All six individual credit lines surveyed by Anefac saw interest rates increase from December to January. The interest charged on revolving credit cards increased to 14.56% per month from 14.35%, reaching the highest level since October 1995 (15.43%). The yearly rate jumped to 411% from 400%. The rate for overdrafts increased to 10.96% per month (248% per year) from 10.76% (241%). That rate is the highest since July 1999, when it stood at a monthly 11.73% and an annual 278%. For businesses, the average interest rate registered in January was 4.33% a month and 66.31% per year, which are the highest rates since 2009. UPCOMING BNAMERICAS EVENTS 5TH Mexico Infrastructure Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers 4TH Mexico Oil&Gas Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers

  • Telmex deploys new fiber for Pope's visit to Mexico

    América Móvil's fixed telephony operator Telmex has carried out extensive deployment of fiber infrastructure at all public locations in Mexico that Pope Francis is scheduled to visit during his stay in the country next week. The fiber links will provide public access to the Infinitum WiFi Mobile service at the Basílica de Guadalupe, Plaza Mariana, Polifórum Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Hermanos Domínguez Theater and Sedem sports complex. Additional locations include the Victor M. Reyna stadium in Chiapas state, the convention and exhibition center in Morelia, the Centro de Estudios in Ecatepec, the Morelos Stadium in Michoacán and Expo Ciudad Juárez in Chihuahua. The Pope will arrive in Mexico on February 12 before leaving on February 17. *** UPCOMING BNAMERICAS EVENTS 4TH Mexico Electric Power Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers 5TH Mexico Infrastructure Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers 4TH Mexico Oil&Gas Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers

  • China's LatAm financing hits second highest ever in 2015

    Chinese financing for Latin America topped US$29bn in 2015, the second highest amount on record, according to the Inter-American Dialogue. Many of the loans were announced when China's Premier Li Keqiang visited Latin America in May last year, the Washington-based think tank said in a release announcing the figures. The amount was higher than that provided for Latin America by the World Bank and IDB combined, according to IAD. IAD said that China continues to be a key source of finance for countries in the region that have "weak access" to global capital markets, including Venezuela and Ecuador. Venezuela is the country in Latin America that has received by far the most financing from China, with a total of US$65bn since 2007. The figure represents 52% of the Asian nation's financing to the region, said IAD. Another combined 34% of the total has gone to Argentina, Brazil and Ecuador, the think tank added. IAD also said that Chinese banks continued in 2015 with their strong financing focus on Latin America's extractive and infrastructure sectors. UPCOMING BNAMERICAS EVENTS 5TH Mexico Infrastructure Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers 4TH Mexico Oil & Gas Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers

  • Results roundup: Nokia, Cisco, Twitter

    Finnish telecoms network infrastructure provider Nokia saw its profits increase 54% year-on-year in 4Q15 to 499mn euros (US$565mn). Revenues fell 3% year on year in constant currency to 3.609bn euros. The company, which sold off its HERE mapping service in November after shedding its handset division, said it can expect a challenging first quarter as it prepares to compete as a global networks provider with Huawei and Ericsson, following its 15.6bn euro acquisition of French company Alcatel-Lucent. *** Cisco Systems posted a 31% increase in net profit to US$3.1bn in the second quarter of its fiscal year 2016, helped by a higher demand for its routers and security products. Revenues grew 2% to US$11.8bn. "Volatility led to a slowdown in spending impacting our business, especially during the last few weeks of January as we closed our quarter," CEO Charles Robbins said in a conference call with investors. "Despite this slowdown, we executed very well... As billions of things become connected, creating massive amounts of data, Cisco is playing an increasingly critical role, enabling our customers to drive their priorities with industry-leading security," he added. *** Micro-blogging site Twitter posted a US$90.2mn net loss in 4Q15 versus a loss of US$125mn a year ago. The social media site saw its user growth stall, with an average 320mn monthly active users, the first quarter in Twitter's history that its monthly user base has not grown. Q4 revenue rose 48% year-on-year to US$710mn. Rival social media sites have seen their user bases continue to grow. Facebook now has 1.5bn users and Instagram has 400mn, despite launching four years after Twitter. *** UPCOMING BNAMERICAS EVENTS 4TH Mexico Electric Power Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers 5TH Mexico Infrastructure Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers 4TH Mexico Oil&Gas Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers

  • China's LatAm financing hits second highest ever in 2015

    Chinese financing for Latin America topped US$29bn in 2015, the second highest amount on record, according to the Inter-American Dialogue. Many of the loans were announced when China's Premier Li Keqiang visited Latin America in May last year, the Washington-based think tank said in a release announcing the figures. The amount was higher than that provided for Latin America by the World Bank and IDB combined, according to IAD. IAD said that China continues to be a key source of finance for countries in the region that have "weak access" to global capital markets, including Venezuela and Ecuador. Venezuela is the country in Latin America that has received by far the most financing from China, with a total of US$65bn since 2007. The figure represents 52% of the Asian nation's financing to the region, said IAD. Another combined 34% of the total has gone to Argentina, Brazil and Ecuador, the think tank added. IAD also said that Chinese banks continued in 2015 with their strong financing focus on Latin America's extractive and infrastructure sectors. UPCOMING BNAMERICAS EVENTS 5TH Mexico Infrastructure Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers 4TH Mexico Oil & Gas Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers

  • Rio Tinto swings to loss on commodities price rout

    Multinational resource giant Rio Tinto reported a net loss of US$866mn for 2015, compared with net earnings of US$6.53bn the previous year. "The continued deterioration in the macro environment has generated widespread market uncertainty. We are embarking on a new round of proactive measures to cut our operating costs by a further US$1bn in 2016 followed by an additional goal of US$1bn in 2017," CEO Sam Walsh said in the company's latest earnings release. "We are also reducing our capital expenditure to US$4bn in 2016 and US$5bn in 2017, an overall reduction of US$3bn compared with our previous guidance," he added. Underlying earnings slumped 51% to US$4.54bn last year, compared to US$9.31bn in 2014, the company said. Revenues were down US$12.8bn to US$34.8bn. Rio Tinto realized US$6.20bn in pre-tax operating cash cost savings in 2015 and said it has made further strong progress with its cost-cutting program. The firm's copper group saw underlying earnings down 67% to US$274mn, heavily impacted by lower prices. These were partly offset by the delivery of further cash cost savings at Oyu Tolgoi in Mongolia and Rio Tinto Coal Australia and increased sales volumes from Oyu Tolgoi, the company said. Iron ore underlying earnings dropped 51% to US$3.95bn in the year, mostly driven by lower prices, which reduced earnings by US$5.5bn. "However, the loss of earnings from lower prices was partly offset by higher sales volumes together with a weaker Australian dollar, lower energy costs and the realization of further significant cost savings initiatives," Rio Tinto said. The group's aluminum underlying earnings dropped 10% to US$1.12bn. In Latin America, Rio Tinto has a 30% share in the Escondida copper mine in Chile and owns the La Granja greenfield copper project in Peru. The company also has a stake in aluminum assets in Brazil through Rio Tinto Alcan. UPCOMING BNAMERICAS EVENTS 5TH Mexico Infrastructure Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers 4TH Mexico Oil&Gas Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers

  • Total outlines LatAm ramp-up as it weathers oil crisis

    French oil major Total has cut its 2016 capital expenditure forecast by up to US$2bn as it limits the impact of sliding crude prices. In an earnings statement on Thursday, the Paris-based firm said it would outlay US$19bn this year, down from its previous guidance of US$20-21bn. The company invested US$23bn in 2015 and expects the amount to fall to US$17bn-19bn in 2017. More than half of the figure will be allocated to upstream projects already under development and about a quarter will go toward areas already in production. The remainder will be divided among its exploration, downstream and new energy segments, Total said. Total also revealed it is targeting asset sales of US$4bn this year as it seeks to bolster cash flow for new projects. "RESILIENCE" The announcements came as Total reported adjusted net income of US$2.1bn in the fourth quarter, down from US$2.8bn a year earlier. The result exceeded analysts' expectations by around 15%. It also compared favorably to other global oil giants Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell, which reported fourth-quarter earnings declines of 58% and 56%, respectively. Total predicts 2016 capex of US$19bn, down from its previous guidance of US$20bn-21bn. (CREDIT: Total) "It's quite a crisis that this industry is facing," Total CEO Patrick Pouyanné told an industry conference. "This resilience in a degraded environment demonstrates the effectiveness of the group's integrated model and the full mobilization of its teams." Pouyanné cited the firm's refining and chemicals businesses, and efforts to reduce costs, as reasons for the encouraging result. He added that the company aimed to reduce operating expenditure by US$2.4bn this year, having slashed the figure by US$1.5bn in 2015. Total's global production rose 9.4% in 2015 to 2.35Mboe/d and the company aims to raise volumes by 4% this year. LATIN AMERICA In its operations outlook, also published on Thursday, Total said it is planning five production startups this year, including two projects in South America. In Argentina, the company will bring online 70,000boe/d at its Vega Pleyade project, in which it holds a 37.5% stake. It will also begin producing 50,000boe/d at the Incahuasi project (60% stake) in Bolivia. In addition, Total has included drilling campaigns in Argentina and Brazil as part of its US$1.5bn 2016 exploration budget. The primary focus will be on Argentina, where the company is targeting wells at the onshore Vaca Muerta play and the offshore Leo and Fenix fields. In Brazil, a new exploration program has been earmarked for the pre-salt Libra northwest area. *** UPCOMING BNAMERICAS EVENTS 5TH Mexico Infrastructure Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers 4TH Mexico Oil & Gas Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers

  • Mexico replaces Pemex CEO

    Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto appointed a new CEO at state oil firm Pemex amid a slew of changes to various ministries and his cabinet. Emilio Lozoya Austin (pictured) was replaced by José Antonio González Anaya (pictured below), former director of the country's social security agency IMSS, according to a presidential press release. Local press were quick to refer to González Anaya as the "doctor" brought in to "cure" Pemex. Peña Nieto gave González Anaya two main tasks: to accelerate Pemex's transformation to maximize the opportunities brought about by the energy reform, focusing on greater environmental sustainability, and to strengthen the company's finances and production amid the oil price slump. [GRAFICO:FIGURA:ID_1543] $(function(){var grafico = '{"colors":["#001b96","#f78e1e","#181818","#8ec4fb","#fabb78","#2577cb","#d9d9d9","#1281b4","#7d7d7d","#3349ab","#0f648b","#343434"],"chart":{"renderTo":"chart_plotted","type":"column"},"xAxis":{"categories":["January","February","March","April","May","June","July","August","September","October","November","December"]},"yAxis":{"title":{"text":"Thousands of barrels / day"}},"series":[{"data":[2856,2865,2847,2840,2856,2796,2743,2776,2750,2719,2710,2705],"name":"2014","_colorIndex":0},{"data":[2602,2678,2659,2513,2550,2572,2601,2584,2589,2594,2578,null],"name":"2015","_colorIndex":1}],"title":{"text":"Mexico: Monthly oil production"},"subtitle":{"text":"November 2015 shows a 5% decrease year-on-year"},"credits":{"text":"Source: BNamericas.com with data from Pemex","href":"http://subscriber.bnamericas.com/Subscriber/en/data/dataset/produccion-mensual-de-petroleo/","style":{"fontSize":"11px"}},"exporting":{"enabled":true}}'; var json_grafico = JSON.parse(grafico); json_grafico.chart.renderTo="graficodiv1543"; var graficarlo = new Highcharts.Chart(json_grafico);}); [GRAFICO:FIGURA:ID_3205] $(function(){var grafico = '{"colors":["#001b96","#f78e1e","#181818","#8ec4fb","#fabb78","#2577cb","#d9d9d9","#1281b4","#7d7d7d","#3349ab","#0f648b","#343434"],"chart":{"renderTo":"chart_plotted","type":"column"},"xAxis":{"categories":["January","February","March","April","May","June","July","August","September","October","November","December"]},"yAxis":{"title":{"text":"Mm3/d"}},"series":[{"data":[182.8,185.3,185.7,185.4,183.7,184.7,184.1,186.1,182.7,183.9,184.7,189],"name":"2014","_colorIndex":0},{"data":[186.3,188.9,185.6,177.1,175.5,180.8,180.4,180.2,183.3,181,178.7,null],"name":"2015","_colorIndex":1}],"title":{"text":"Natural gas production in Mexico"},"subtitle":{"text":"January 2014 - November 2015"},"credits":{"text":"Source: BNamericas.com with data from Pemex","href":"http://www.bnamericas.com/en/data-stats","style":{"fontSize":"11px"}},"exporting":{"enabled":true}}'; var json_grafico = JSON.parse(grafico); json_grafico.chart.renderTo="graficodiv3205"; var graficarlo = new Highcharts.Chart(json_grafico);}); González Anaya is an economist, having graduated from MIT with a degree in economics before completing a PhD in economics at Harvard. Lozoya Austin was appointed CEO in 2012 and presided over changes to the company's structure as part of the energy reform, but under his watch the company also posted record losses. Pemex reported US$10bn losses in 3Q15 on account of the slump in oil prices and the depreciation of the peso. [GRAFICO:FIGURA:ID_1265] $(function(){var grafico = '{"colors":["#001b96","#f78e1e","#181818","#8ec4fb","#fabb78","#2577cb","#d9d9d9","#1281b4","#7d7d7d","#3349ab","#0f648b","#343434"],"chart":{"renderTo":"chart_plotted","type":"line"},"xAxis":{"categories":["January","February","March","April","May","June","July","August","September","October","November","December"]},"yAxis":{"title":{"text":"US$"}},"series":[{"data":[90.7,93.1,93.5,95.7,96.8,98.7,94.6,90.8,85.8,75.3,71.4,52.4],"name":"2014","_colorIndex":0,"_symbolIndex":0},{"data":[41.7,47.2,47.3,50.7,54,53.9,46.6,39.7,37.9,39,35.6,null],"name":"2015","_colorIndex":1,"_symbolIndex":1}],"title":{"text":"Average value of Mexico oil exports"},"subtitle":{"text":"50% year-on-year drop in November 2015"},"credits":{"text":"Source: BNamericas.com with data from PEMEX","href":"http://www.bnamericas.com/en/data-stats","style":{"fontSize":"11px"}},"exporting":{"enabled":true}}'; var json_grafico = JSON.parse(grafico); json_grafico.chart.renderTo="graficodiv1265"; var graficarlo = new Highcharts.Chart(json_grafico);}); Pemex will need to adjust its cost structure, capex plans and strengthen its investments by partnering with the private sector, Peña Nieto said. Other lineup changes announced by the presidency include the naming of José Narro Robles as health minister, and Mikel Arriola Peñalosa as IMSS director. *** UPCOMING BNAMERICAS EVENTS 4TH Mexico Electric Power Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers 5TH Mexico Infrastructure Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers 4TH Mexico Oil & Gas Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers

  • The challenges facing Pemex's new CEO

    Pemex's newly apppointed CEO, José Antonio González Anaya, (pictured) has some difficult jobs on his to-do list. He must improve the state oil company's financial position and operations – and while doing so may find himself also at the center of conflicts. González Anaya's appointment as CEO reflects Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto's focus on addressing Pemex's "grave" financial and operational challenges, which worsened under the previous leadership, Mexico analyst Grant Sunderland at UK-based consultancy Verisk Maplecroft said in a note to BNamericas. "González Anaya's appointment also holds strategic rationale for Peña Nieto's ruling PRI party, as the new CEO has strong ties to the state of Veracruz, the key battleground in the June 5 gubernatorial elections," Sunderland added. Peña Nieto gave González Anaya two main tasks: to accelerate Pemex's transformation to maximize the opportunities brought about by the energy reform, focusing on greater environmental sustainability, and to strengthen the company's finances and production amid the oil price slump. Pemex reported US$10bn losses in 3Q15. González Anaya told local broadcaster Radio Fórmula on Tuesday that Pemex will make the necessary cost adjustments to become more productive and efficient, and he denied that the company's financial situation is perilous. "In terms of external conditions, I think we're in a very difficult situation, and we have to accept this as reality and react accordingly," he said, while refusing to confirm if the structural adjustments would involve job cuts. "Pemex has often recovered from very low price scenarios," he added. Sunderland pointed out that, while lacking oil industry experience – a trained economist and having previously headed the Mexican social security institute (IMSS) – González Anaya's expertise in finance and the public sector should help Pemex streamline and tidy up the balance sheet. González Anaya had been appointed head of IMSS at a time when it was in serious financial dire straits. "With job losses mounting in the Mexican oil patch, González Anaya needs to become an effective go-between for the government and the powerful Pemex union," he added. The new CEO, Sunderland claimed, will also need to lead difficult negotiations to further reduce the Pemex roster, while avoiding a spike in labor unrest ahead of the gubernatorial ballot on June 5. Sunderland also pointed to González Anaya's family ties as a likely cause of conflict, as the new Pemex CEO is the brother-in-law of former president Carlos Salinas. Salinas was president from 1988-1994 and oversaw a slew of privatizations and signed the North American Free Trade Agreement, prior to a massive currency devaluation. Sunderland warned that González Anaya's links to Salinas will not go unmentioned. "Left-wing parties will be particularly active in making public allegations of corruption in the sector," he said, adding that left-wing parties Morena and PRD last July highlighted links between Salinas' inner circle and several companies that won blocks in Round One. "Such allegations could expose foreign companies with operations in Mexico to reputational damage," Sunderland said. There is no suggestion of wrongdoing by any of the firms awarded contracts. *** UPCOMING BNAMERICAS EVENTS 4TH Mexico Electric Power Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers 5TH Mexico Infrastructure Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers 4TH Mexico Oil & Gas Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers

  • Chile enacts Enap power generation law

    Chile enacted a law allowing national oil company Enap to participate in the electric power generation segment. The law, which was published in the country's official gazette, allows Enap to hold a stake of up to 66% in joint-venture generation projects with private actors. At the end of 2015, Enap and Japanese firm Mitsui inked a deal to jointly develop two combined-cycle gas turbine projects totaling 1.2GW and requiring combined investment of around US$1.3bn. Enap, in a statement issued on Friday, said the goal of the partnership is to allow it to participate in a series of regulated market power supply tenders between 2016 and 2018. Chile's only state-owned energy company, Enap operates in the refining, E&P and gas and power segments. *** UPCOMING BNAMERICAS EVENTS 4TH Mexico Electric Power Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers 5TH Mexico Infrastructure Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers 4TH Mexico Oil & Gas Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers

  • AT A GLANCE: Venezuelan natural gas

    In 2007 Venezuela's then president Hugo Chávez launched the Revolución Gasífera to inject new impetus into the country's natural gas sector drive and increase the fuel's use in the industrial, power, petrochemical, oil and residential segments. The country's gas potential is no secret: it had proved reserves at end-2014 of 197Tf3 (5.58Tm3), the second highest in the Americas after the US with 345Tf3, according to BP's Statistical Review of World Energy 2015. The report adds, however, that Venezuelan gas production and consumption in 2014 totaled 28.6Bm3 and 29.8Bm3, respectively. This means that Venezuelan gas production, and consumption, is around just 12% of the regional average for Latin America and the Caribbean. BNamericas' 2016 Oil and Gas Outlook points out that Venezuela's problem has never been resources but rather "mismanagement, poor infrastructure, corruption and the spending demands of a crumbling government." In the latest development, PDVSA said PDVSA Gas began production at the San Ramón (SRA-1) well (pictured) in the municipality of San Francisco, Zulia state. Initial production reaches 8.6Mf3/d of natural gas and 30b/d of condensate as part of a plan to increase gas output to develop the petrochemical sector. Production will be sent to the Caujarito valve station of the west coast distribution system to supply the municipalities of Maracaibo, Jesús Enrique Lossada and San Francisco. Offtake also will benefit 8,000 Zulia families as well as help replace liquid fuel in the industrial and power sectors. This half, PDVSA Gas looks to begin production at wells SRA-2 and JAV-1X in respective fields San Ramón and Javilla, and to begin drilling well SRA-3 at end June. This plan aims to increase output by 23Mf3/d by 2017 with investment in the fields reaching US$175mn. Below is a selection of Venezuela gas-related articles published by BNamericas. Venezuela to pursue natural gas, petchem synergies Venezuela delays gas delivery to Colombia Venezuela moves toward gas-based power sector Can Venezuela become a gas-exporting 'game-changer'? Venezuela, China discuss offshore gas strategy For a look at upstream projects in Venezuela, check out BNamericas' database that includes: UPCOMING BNAMERICAS EVENTS 4TH Mexico Electric Power Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers 5TH Mexico Infrastructure Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers 4TH Mexico Oil & Gas Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers

  • Costa Rica to begin auction for 70 MHz frequencies

    Costa Rica's telecoms industry regulator Sutel has received instruction from the executive branch of government to begin the public auction for 70 MHz frequencies for mobile telephony. The auction will grant concessions for radio spectrum bands 1730-1750 MHz and 1825-1845 MHz, local daily El Financiero reported. Licenses for 1940-1955 MHz and 2130-2145 MHz in the 1900/2100 MHz band will also be auctioned. The band is likely to be divided between Claro and Telefónica Movistar, who have both called for more spectrum to be released in order to expand their services. However, if additional operators can meet the conditions and provisions set out under the current legislation by Sutel, they will also be entitled to participate in the auction, deputy telecommunications minister Emilio Arias was reported as saying. *** UPCOMING BNAMERICAS EVENTS 4TH Mexico Electric Power Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers 5TH Mexico Infrastructure Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers 4TH Mexico Oil&Gas Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers

  • Telefónica México, Conagua developing SMS early warning system

    Telefonica México, operator of the Movistar brand, has signed an agreement with Mexico's national water commission (Conagua) as part of a strategy to strengthen the technical and forecasting capacities of early warning systems broadcast by the civil protection service. The agreement is focused on the development of a program to transmit SMS messages to Telefónica users in the event of extreme meteorological events, the company stated in a release. Francisco Gil Diaz, president of Telefónica México, said the agreement was signed as a joint initiative for the benefit of Mexico's population in the wake of Hurricane Patricia. During the hurricane, a preliminary test was done to warn users, mostly in Jalisco and Colima states on the Pacific coast, with some 726,000 SMS messages being sent out. Conagua General Director Roberto Ramírez de la Parra said that this was part of the works being done to coordinate action to face the challenges of climate change in the water sector. This initiative reinforces Conagua's other strategies, such as the improvement of the national meteorological service (SMN) web portal and a YouTube channel for weather forecasting. *** UPCOMING BNAMERICAS EVENTS 4TH Mexico Electric Power Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers 5TH Mexico Infrastructure Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers 4TH Mexico Oil&Gas Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers

  • Upstream M&A deals hit 5-year low in 2015

    Excluding Shell's pending US$70bn acquisition of BG, upstream M&A transactions reached their lowest level in the last five years during 2015. The industry recorded 909 upstream deals for a total deal book value of US$71bn, down 55% from 2014, according to Ernst & Young's annual review of oil and gas transactions published on Friday. Upstream capex was also cut by a record US$147bn, the report said. "Although some of the decline in value from 2014 to 2015 can be attributed to lower commodity prices, data also highlights a steady five-year decline in deal volume," the report said. M&A deals in the midstream segment, however, remain at historically high levels, despite having declined to a combined value of US$150bn from US$166bn in 2014. The US and Canada accounted for 84% of midstream transactions. The downstream segment recorded 142 transactions worth US$51.5bn, up from 134 deals worth US$29.6bn. The US accounted for about half of downstream deals, followed by Asia (25%) and Europe (12%). The deal book value of mergers in the services sector was US$26bn, more than US$10bn below the average of the preceding five years and down US$45bn on 2014, although this was distorted by pending mega-mergers between Halliburton and Baker Hughes (US$38bn), and Schlumberger and Cameron (US$15bn). *** UPCOMING BNAMERICAS EVENTS 4TH Mexico Electric Power Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers 5TH Mexico Infrastructure Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers 4TH Mexico Oil & Gas Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers

  • China's LatAm financing hits second highest ever in 2015

    Chinese financing for Latin America topped US$29bn in 2015, the second highest amount on record, according to the Inter-American Dialogue. Many of the loans were announced when China's Premier Li Keqiang visited Latin America in May last year, the Washington-based think tank said in a release announcing the figures. The amount was higher than that provided for Latin America by the World Bank and IDB combined, according to IAD. IAD said that China continues to be a key source of finance for countries in the region that have "weak access" to global capital markets, including Venezuela and Ecuador. Venezuela is the country in Latin America that has received by far the most financing from China, with a total of US$65bn since 2007. The figure represents 52% of the Asian nation's financing to the region, said IAD. Another combined 34% of the total has gone to Argentina, Brazil and Ecuador, the think tank added. IAD also said that Chinese banks continued in 2015 with their strong financing focus on Latin America's extractive and infrastructure sectors. UPCOMING BNAMERICAS EVENTS 5TH Mexico Infrastructure Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers 4TH Mexico Oil & Gas Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers

  • Power demand growth attracting private equity players - Actis

    Growth in global electricity demand over the next 25 years makes the electric power sector an attractive target for specialized private equity (PE) firms, according to Nicolás Escallón, a partner at Actis México, a London-based PE firm. Global power demand is expected to grow 37% by 2040, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Speaking at the BNamericas 4th Electric Power Summit in Mexico City, Escallón said PE firms play an important role in shaping and growing a country's electric sector and market by building local companies and forging collaborations. In Mexico, where it now has a regional office, Actis is targeting the construction of 700MW of wind capacity through Zuma Energía, a renewable energy company formed in 2014. Zuma currently operates the 50MW Ingenio wind farm in Oaxaca state. Elsewhere in Latin America, Actis also aims to build 600MW of wind and solar projects in Chile, where it formed Aela Energia, a JV with Irish energy firm Mainstream Renewable Power, which owns the 33MW Negrete wind farm. He said the energy strategy of Actis and other PE firms is to develop and aggregate hard assets with predictable cash flows and buy and improve high-growth monopoly distribution businesses. Asked about the evolution of Mexico's energy reform, Escallón said the key to success will be the tight collaboration between Mexico's regulatory authorities and the private sector, and that the regulatory framework facilitates investment so that projects are realized. *** UPCOMING BNAMERICAS EVENTS 5TH Mexico Infrastructure Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers 4TH Mexico Oil & Gas Summit Click here to see the agenda and speakers

  • Southern Copper sees earnings decline on metals prices

    Southern Copper, the largest producer of the metal in Peru and Mexico, saw earnings drop by nearly half last year as lower metals prices and rising costs offset gains in copper and silver output. Profits plunged 44.8% to US$736mn due to a 12.8% decline in sales to US$5.05bn, the US$100mn acquisition of the El Pilar copper project in Sonora, Mexico and a US$45mn environmental clean-up, the Phoenix-based company said in a statement. The company's cash costs net of by-products rose to US$1.12/lb in 2015 from US$1.07/lb a year earlier. Capex was 25% lower at $1.15bn, with the bulk of spending on the US$3.5bn Buenavista expansion in Mexico. Copper output for the year rose 12.7% to 769,060t, including third part concentrate, while that of silver increased 2.3% to 13.3Moz and molybdenum climbed 1% to 23,347t. Zinc production fell 7.1% to 61,905t. Southern, which signed three-year labor accords with its five unions through January, set 2016 production guidance at 903,300t of copper, while silver is expected to rise 21% and zinc 4.1%. PROJECTS The company added it has approved US$1.58bn in 2016 capex to finish Buenavista, start work on the US$1.2bn, 100,000t/d Toquepala concentrator plant and move ahead with its US$1.4bn Tía María project. The latter two are in Peru. The Buenavista expansion, where the company has invested US$3bn to date, is expected to boost production to 460,000t of copper this year and 500,000t in 2017. The mine's concentrator is operating at 90% capacity with five of six mills operational and will also produce 2.3Moz silver and 21,000oz gold a year once it reaches capacity in the second half, Southern said. The company added it has invested US$526mn to date at its 120,000t/y Tinajas SX-EW plant, which is scheduled to reach installed capacity in Q1. Work is also 87%-completed at the US$340mn, 80,000t/y Quebalix heap leaching project. Both those assets are also in Mexico. In Peru, the Toquepala expansion is on track for completion by the first quarter of 2018, while the company has invested US$80mn to date in a US$166mn, 43.8Mt/y conveyor belt at its Cuajone mine, to be completed by the first quarter of 2017. Southern, which secured an environmental permit last year for Tia María, said it is working on community relations and information campaigns to help overcome opposition to the project. The company is counting on Tía María and expansions in Peru and Mexico to help nearly double annual copper output to 1.2Mt by 2018.

  • Northeast Metropolitan Corridor Expansion - Campinas

    The initiative involves operating and maintaining a network of roads and terminals which will make up part of the region's Metropolitano Noroeste bus system. It is aimed at connecting Campinas to nearby municipalities such as Hortolândia, Monte Mor, Nova Odessa, Americana and Santa Bárbara D'Oeste, as well as Sumaré. Implementation of the system is being carried out in three lots, lot 1 between Campinas and Hortolândia, lot 2 between Hortolândia and Sumaré and lot 3 between Nova Odessa and Santa Bárbara D'Oeste. The tender also involves complementary works to lots 1 and 2.

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