Monday, October 6, 2014

Viva Brazil

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Here's why Brazil stocks are soaring today

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Michelle Caruso-Cabrera speaks to Arminio Fraga, Advisor to Brazilian presidential candidate Aecio Neves about the election there, and the huge moves in the market.
Arminio Fraga, the man who could become finance minister of Brazil, knows what he wants to do to help that country's economy. He calls it "getting the macro right."

Fraga is the economic advisor to AĆ©cio Neves, who made a surprise comeback in Sunday's election and will now face off against current Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff in a runoff on Oct. 26.

In an interview on CNBC, Fraga outlined what the economic priorities would be under a Neves government: "We've been sloppy on inflation," he said. "We haven't been hitting our budget targets, so we've got to get those right to the decimal—no gimmicks."

Sao Paulo's Bovespa Index, the nation's exchange traded funds and ADRs are rallying sharply on the surprise second-place finish for Neves, who is considered the most investor-friendly Brazilian candidate in decades.

Shares of Petrobras, the Brazilian oil company, were up about 13 percent in late trading Monday.

Some Wall Street analysts believe Brazil could be on the verge of what they're calling a "Narendra Modi moment"; that is, the Brazilian stock market could make an explosive move akin to the one the Indian stock market made as the pro-business candidate Modi rose in the polls there.

He eventually won the job of prime minister.

Presidential candidate Aecio Neves (C) of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB) and his wife Leticia Weber arrive to vote in general elections in Belo Horizonte, Oct. 5, 2014.
Pedro Vilela | Reuters
Presidential candidate Aecio Neves (C) of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB) and his wife Leticia Weber arrive to vote in general elections in Belo Horizonte, Oct. 5, 2014.
Another goal, Fraga cited is tax reform, specifically its simplification.

"We have a crazy, complex tax system, and we're going to go for a deep cleanup job, simplifying everything, and in particular to lift the tax burden on investment that is really hurt by this," he said.

A third goal is addressing Brazil's famously bad infrastructure—so bad, in fact, that it led to massive public protests last summer.

Fraga called infrastructure construction and improvement "a great frontier for new and huge investment," adding that he anticipates a combination of state spending and private capital to finance the work.

Fraga was the head of Brazil's central bank from 1999 to 2002, but he's familiar with markets. He currently runs an investment management firm and hedge fund in Rio, and previously worked for George Soros' fund, as well as Solomon Brothers.
Fraga said he thinks the Brazilian market will go higher if Neves rises in the polls.

"For now, the market's still uncertain who's going to win," he said.

"There's still three weeks of campaign, so there's a ways to go.

And I think what we see today is really only partially pricing in Mr. Neves' victory."


Richard "Ricardo Carlos" Charles

Candidate for Las Vegas District 1 US Representative 

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