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Business South America

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  • CARACAS, Aug 28- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Friday said he will visit China and Vietnam to sign economic and financing deals, as the OPEC nation struggles to make ends meet at a time of low oil prices. "I leave tomorrow for Vietnam and China to seal agreements for the economic and financial security of Venezuela, and to seek support in these difficult...

  • RIO DE JANEIRO— The bottom seems to have fallen out of Brazil's economy, with the government reporting Friday that the gross domestic product plunged 1.9 percent in the second quarter alone, once again throwing the nation into a technical recession. Like most Latin American nations, Brazil has been hurt by the plunge in commodity prices and the slowdown in China,...

  • SANTIAGO, Chile— Chile's state-run copper giant Codelco says its profit plunged more than 30 percent in the first half of 2015 from the previous year because of tumbling prices for the metal. The world's largest copper company said Friday it earned $875 million in the first semester compared to $1.3 billion in the same period a year ago. The company has been hard...

  • SAO PAULO— Police say they have asked prosecutors to file charges against the former head of Eletronuclear, the state-owned company that operates Brazil's two nuclear power plants, for his suspected role in a bribery scandal. A federal police spokesman who was not authorized to be quoted by name said late Thursday that the department wants prosecutors to...

  • SAO PAULO, Aug 28- Brazil's economy shrank 1.9 percent in the second quarter, sinking into a recession that has hammered the popularity of President Dilma Rousseff as she struggles to save the country's investment-grade credit rating amid a vast corruption scandal. "The drop in consumption shows the crisis of confidence the economy is facing," said Newton Rosa,...

  • SAO PAULO, Aug 28- Brazil's economy shrank 1.9 percent in the second quarter, sinking the country into a recession that has decimated the popularity of President Dilma Rousseff as she struggles to save the country's investment-grade credit rating amid a vast corruption scandal. The quarterly contraction, reported by government statistics agency IBGE on...

  • US targets Swiss bodega for ties to Colombian rebels Thursday, 27 Aug 2015 | 11:40 AM ET

    BOGOTA, Colombia— The U.S. Treasury Department is levying financial sanctions on four Colombians accused of laundering money for leftist rebels through a speciality grocer and money transfer shop in Switzerland. The four individuals targeted Thursday as foreign narcotics kingpins ran a Zurich- based bodega called the Colombiano Latin Shop that...

  • President Rafael Correa explained on Tuesday, during a visit to areas threatened by the Cotopaxi volcano, that it costs the OPEC nation $39 to produce a barrel of oil for which it only receives $30. Ecuador produces 538,000 barrels a day and under current circumstances stands to lose up to $3 million a day on them, though the state-owned Petroecuador oil company...

  • Petrobras fuel tank explodes in Brazil, killing two Wednesday, 26 Aug 2015 | 4:42 PM ET

    RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug 26- A heating unit at a Petrobras depot in Brazil used to treat fuel for ocean-going ships exploded on Wednesday, killing two workers, the state-run oil company said in a statement. The blast and resulting fire broke out about 10 a.m. while workers were doing planned maintenance on the heating unit, said the press office of BR Distribuidora SA, the...

  • BRASILIA, Aug 26- Brazil's government is preparing a deal to allow construction companies implicated in a massive corruption scandal to do business again with state-run oil company Petrobras in exchange for the payment of fines and damages, a government official briefed on the matter said on Wednesday. Late last year, Petroleo Brasileiro froze payments to...

  • As Argentina struggles, TV ad producers flock to Chile Wednesday, 26 Aug 2015 | 10:41 AM ET

    SANTIAGO, Aug 26- When the creators of an elaborate 2013 Cadillac commercial began to scout for shooting locations three years ago, they began in Argentina, where varied landscapes and creative talent had long attracted ad producers. Argentina demanded hefty deposits on all vehicles, cameras, and lights, and producers were unsure when- or even if- their imports...

  • WELLINGTON, New Zealand— New Zealand's national airline on Wednesday posted a 24 percent jump in annual profit after benefiting from lower fuel costs and continuing its expansion in Asia and North America. Air New Zealand announced after-tax profits of 327 million New Zealand dollars for the year to the end of June. The company said it plans to add routes to...

  • Rio de Janeiro city council votes to ban Uber Tuesday, 25 Aug 2015 | 6:44 PM ET

    RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug 25- Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday became the latest city to move against Uber as its city council voted to ban unregulated ride-sharing services. In a statement, San Francisco- based Uber Technologies Inc said it would continue to operate normally in the city and that the vote was one against technology and the right of citizens to choose how they get...

  • BRASILIA, Aug 24- Brazil will sharply pare back the number of government ministries after years of expansion, the administration said on Monday, in a move to show wary markets President Dilma Rousseff's commitment to an unpopular austerity plan. The reduction of the cabinet posts could further complicate Rousseff's relations with political parties of her...

  • BRASILIA, Aug 24- Brazil's government announced on Monday it will slash the number of ministries and reduce its spending, in an effort to show commitment to austerity that could be politically costly for President Dilma Rousseff. Brazil's ruling Workers' Party has been criticized for bloating the size of government. The distribution of ministry jobs has been...

  • TORONTO/ VANCOUVER/ SYDNEY, Aug XX- Many of the world's junior miners are laying down their picks and shovels to start new ventures ranging from egg exporting to medical marijuana farming, as they as try to survive a crash in metals prices by shifting away from exploration. Canada made it legal to buy marijuana from licensed producers with a doctor's prescription...

  • SAO PAULO— The speaker of Brazil's lower house of congress on Friday strongly denied newly filed charges of corruption and said he won't resign from office. Attorney General Rodrigo Janot filed the charges Thursday against Chamber of Deputies speaker Eduardo Cunha and former President Fernando Collor, who is now a senator. In a meeting with union leaders in...

  • Success stories until recently, emerging economies are seen as casualties now— of slower growth in China, plunging prices for commodities like oil and iron ore, the prospect of higher U.S. interest rates and homegrown threats. The damage has spilled across oceans, with the turmoil jolting investors in New York, Tokyo and Europe. Investors there worry that China...

  • BRASILIA, Aug 17- McDonald's Corp, the world's biggest fast-food chain, was accused of mistreating its employees and dodging taxes on Thursday during a Senate hearing in Brazil, where politicians, union leaders and workers from five continents voiced allegations. Arcos Dorados Holdings Inc, the world's largest McDonald's franchisee and its main operator in...

  • BUENOS AIRES, Aug 20- Argentine President Cristina Fernandez said on Thursday she was sending a draft law to Congress making it harder for the government to sell state stakes in local firms, two months before elections seen bringing a more market-friendly leader to power. With Fernandez barred from a third consecutive term, the two main candidates are her...