Registrierungsdatum: May 2002
Registrierungsdatum: Jan 2002
South America's dominoes
Aug 2nd 2002
From The Economist Global Agenda
America’s treasury secretary, Paul O’Neill, is about to visit three Latin American countries which face economic disruption or meltdown. The problems of Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay may differ in many respects, but American and international help is crucial to resolving all of them.
WITH Paul O'Neill, there never seems to be a dull moment. In his eighteen months as America’s treasury secretary, Mr O’Neill, who struck many as a drab businessman on taking office, has provided governments and investors around the world with plenty of thrills. True to form, he preceded his visit to Latin America, which starts on Sunday August 4th, with yet another headline-grabbing example of the simple, or simple-minded, straight talking on which he seems to pride himself. Mr O’Neill said he was not going to Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay with offers of new financial help because there was too much chance that any new funds would immediately find their way into Swiss bank accounts. The remarks caused great offence. The Brazilian government, in particular, was outraged. The American ambassador in Brazil and the treasury in Washington have spent the run-up to the trip on the defensive, trying to soothe ruffled feathers.
As entertaining as the episode has been for fans of Mr O'Neill, it is a little unfortunate for Latin America, because the now-troubled continent, along with the international financial community, is counting on America to lead it out of economic crisis. The problems facing the three countries that Mr O’Neill will be visiting are all different, and all require different solutions. The one thing they have in common is that outside help is needed to resolve them; without America, that help is unlikely to be forthcoming. America has a veto in the ruling councils of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Without its agreement, there will be no new IMF cash for any of the three.
Argentina , Brazil
The Ministry of Economy in Argentina posts information on the country's economy. Brazil's central bank and its finance ministry post information on the country's economy. The IMF reports on its dealings with Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. The World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank post information on Uruguay.
In the long term, Brazil’s problems are probably the most worrying, if for no other reason than its huge size. But the crisis in Uruguay looks most urgent, and that in Argentina most intractable. Uruguay’s problem is primarily one of contagion from its larger western neighbour. For months, it looked as if the economic and political collapse in Argentina would not spread to other countries in the way that previous emerging-market crises have enveloped a whole region. Investors, on the whole, continued to look at each country on its merits.
Uruguay, though, is a small economy. Its currency, the peso, has lost about half its value since March, pushing up the cost of its public debt to alarming levels—it is now roughly 100% of GDP. Most bank deposits are in dollars, and many of those are held by Argentines, whose bank accounts at home remain frozen. A run on the banks is therefore draining the country’s foreign-exchange reserves, by around $500m a month. On July 30th, with reserves down to $655m, the government closed the banks until August 5th, while officials tried to negotiate disbursement of the remainder of an IMF loan already agreed.
Even a deal with the IMF, though, can bring only a brief respite, unless confidence in the banks is restored. Without that, it is hard to see how Uruguay will be able to avoid a debt default. This would be nearly as large as the record $133 billion on which Argentina defaulted at the end of last year, but it would be the second Latin American default in a few months, and so would be bound to make investors even more anxious than they already are.
A Brazilian default would have far more serious consequences, though, and this too remains a possibility. Brazil’s crisis is home-grown. The presidential election in October, and the prospect of a victory by a candidate seen as less market friendly, has caused the upset. Since April, when investors started to fret about the prospect of a leftish victor, the Brazilian currency has weakened significantly. At one point last week, it had lost lost about a third of its value, though it subsequently recovered quite sharply. The currency’s weakness has pushed up the cost of servicing the country’s debt burden, which itself has risen to almost 60% of GDP, from 52.5% a year ago, according to the central bank. The risk premium on Brazilian bonds has soared, leading some analysts to fear that the debt will become unserviceable. Some think the government should start an orderly restructuring of its debt, to avoid a more chaotic default.
But the structure of Brazil’s public debt is fundamentally different than that of Uruguay. Brazil’s public foreign debt is both relatively small and long-term. Most of Brazil’s debt is held by local investors, who have in the past reaped high returns from government bonds. Only a few have so far switched to cash.
Meanwhile, Brazilian officials are in talks with the IMF about a new loan agreement. The IMF said on August 1st that these discussions are being pursued “intensively”. But it also said that no new agreement can be reached without what a spokesman called an “understanding” from the main presidential candidates that they will maintain basic economic policies. The two left-leaning candidates who are currently ahead in the opinion polls appear to have ruled out such a deal. Although front-runner Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has tried to adopt a more politically moderate tone recently, he said on August 1st that he would “prefer to look for another remedy and not rely on the IMF”. The other left-wing candidate, Ciro Gomes, who is now in second place in the polls, also ruled out a commitment to an IMF programme. “No way”, he said. The two men could find themselves under intense pressure to modify their positions if that was the only obstacle to a new IMF deal.
The race may change when the government candidate, Jose Serra, who is currently trailing third, gets access to the dominant share of free television time from mid-August. If Mr Serra’s fortunes improve and if the IMF holds out the prospect of extra assistance, investors’ near-panic might start to subside. Soothing words of support for Brazil from Mr O’Neill might also help, but the government would be unwise to count on anything too concrete. Mr O’Neill is known not to favour bail-outs.
Argentina’s embattled caretaker government knows that only too well. After agreeing to a rescue package in August last year, America has steadfastly blocked further help until substantial economic reforms have been put in place. Most economists now acknowledge that the last bail-out simply postponed the crisis without helping to mitigate it. Hence the insistence of the IMF—and its paymasters—that reform must this time be delivered in advance. When negotiations reached an apparent stalemate on the nature of the reforms needed, an independent panel of advisers, known as the four wise men, went to Argentina in July: their report, though, seems to dodge some of the basic differences between Washington and Buenos Aires.
So the interim government of President Eduardo Duhalde will be seeking to persuade Mr O’Neill that its case is a deserving one. Mr Duhalde has brought forward the presidential elections to March next year, in the hope of giving Argentina a fresh political start and, he hopes, having secured a new deal with the IMF. He may be disapppointed. Mr O’Neill has said he wants to see Argentina return to a position of strength and stability. He has not said how he envisages that happening.
stock-channel.net senior member
Registrierungsdatum: Jan 2002
Brazil: Tipping Points
Gray Newman,Claudia Castro and Jaime Valdivia (New York)
The sharp deterioration in Brazilian markets in recent weeks has heightened concerns about a possible unraveling of Brazil’s debt dynamics and its potential impact on the region’s second-largest economy. With limited central bank intervention, the real has fallen to new lows of 3.61 intra-day on July 31 and Brazil’s benchmark external debt instrument, the C bond, was trading at 52 cents on the dollar, 2,024 bps over US treasuries. Local markets are showing a massive pickup in corporate hedging activity, while concerns over the risk of capital or exchange controls have caused convertibility premiums to soar over 1,000 bps in the past week. Not only have concerns over convertibility emerged, but we see nervousness over systemic and counterparty risk in the futures market.
The recent sell-off has caused many Brazil watchers to begin arguing that the worst-case scenario is now inevitable. While we have argued that investors should be wary of those who claim that the worst-case scenario is "inevitable," we have also cautioned against those who assert that the policy steps in place provide a guarantee against a dramatic chain of events. In our view, neither outcome is inevitable at this time (see "Brazil: It’s Not Inevitable" in GEF, June 18, 2002). Nonetheless, we believe the risk that the pronounced sell-off in the markets could foment a self-fulfilling prophecy has risen.
While the debate has raged for months (and in some quarters for years) over whether Brazil’s debt burden is sustainable, we fear that this debate has been superseded by the more immediate question of what could trigger or "tip" Brazil into the realm of heterodoxy. The debt sustainability debate is at the heart of investors’ long-term concerns, but we believe it is unlikely to help investors address the near-term risks in Brazil. For example, our Brazil fixed-income strategist Jaime Valdivia has run scenario analysis showing that the maintenance of a 3.6% primary surplus with Selic rate averaging 18.3% this year and 16.75% next year leads to further debt deterioration (see "’Til Debt Do Us Part" in EMD Perspectives, July 19, 2002). In contrast, using a more optimistic interest-rate scenario, Brazil’s Central Bank argues that debt-to-GDP should start declining over the next few years. The difficulty lies in determining which set of interest rate, growth, and FX assumptions are the most likely. While that debate may continue for some time, we see investors are increasingly focused on what could prompt Brazil to "tip" in the near-term.
We would also caution against looking at a single FX level or interest rate that forces Brazil to "tip." For example, we have long noted that for every 10% that the currency weakens, the debt stock increases by approximately three percentage points. It is easy to calculate that if the real were to trade at 4.0 versus the average of 2.8 in June (last reported debt data) then the debt stock would rise from 59% of GDP (June) to around 70% of GDP. It is easy to conclude that the fiscal effort required to deal with such a dramatic jump in the debt stock would be politically unfeasible, but we fear that this logic misses the point. We view it as highly unlikely that Brazil’s real will suffer from a sustained real depreciation from current levels. Indeed, in almost any but the most extreme and dire scenarios, we would expect a real appreciation (either from the nominal exchange rate regaining ground or inflation picking up). Attempts to pick a "magic" exchange rate level that results in Brazil moving into the realm of no return are unlikely to be useful exercises.
In contrast, we’ve decided to once again resurrect our "tipping points" framework we used last year to understand the Argentina crisis and examine what it tells us about Brazil. Our tipping point analysis is designed to look at those manifestations of uncertainty that could force Brazil to break or "tip" from its current path. While we argued last year that Argentina’s case was largely a "one-way" bet and that the only question was which of the "tipping points" would take place first, we do not believe that Brazil’s situation is inevitable.
Tipping Point 1: Capital Flight
Perhaps the most frequent problem that emerging market economies face, which simultaneously cause and constitute a crisis, is capital flight. Brazil’s stands in sharp contrast to Argentina on this front. While we have seen some evidence of capital flight, it pales in comparison with the collapse of bank deposits in Argentina — more than one out of every four dollars (or pesos) deposited in the banking system departed during the first 11 months of 2001 before controls were introduced. It is also worth noting that despite the sharp decline in Argentina, the outflows and the eventual break did not take place in a matter of two or three months. Finally, we believe at the core of the run on the banking system (and the currency) in Argentina was the lack of confidence in the promise of one-to-one convertibility. With a fixed-exchange rate regime, depositors had an incentive to withdraw dollars at a subsidized price and were able to do so uninterrupted until capital and exchange controls were introduced. In contrast, in Brazil’s floating exchange rate regime, increased demand for dollars simply drives up its price (weakens the exchange rate) for the marginal buyer, as we have seen in recent weeks as the real has moved from 2.82 at the end of June to 3.46 at the end of July.
Nonetheless, the risk of capital flight could emerge. In recent weeks, concerns of possible introduction of capital and exchange controls have caused a breakdown in the BMF futures market and has produced an unusual gap between onshore and offshore forward contracts. Concerns over the prospects of capital controls could produce substantial capital flight, which in turn could prompt the imposition of controls.
Indeed, even in the event of an IMF package, the risk of capital flight cannot be ruled out. The IMF has signaled a willingness to support Brazil in some form. But we fear that even with a substantial IMF package, capital flight could be triggered if the election outcome calls into question the commitment of the next administration to maintaining fiscal policy. Time and time again we have seen that a successful defense requires both money and credibility. We believe that without both — which will require at some point a commitment from the next administration — Brazil could find itself faced with capital flight, which in turn could force Brazil to "tip" and introduce controls.
Tipping Point 2: The Debt Roll
The other principal concern is of course debt roll. When external, then domestic and even multilateral financing dries up, countries faced with an unusually large short-term debt stock or a bunching of maturities can find themselves forced to "tip" into heterodoxy. This became an issue for Argentina, particularly with auction of Letes; in the case of Brazil, it represents a more immediate concern than does capital flight. But despite the difficulties on the rollover front, Brazil’s downfall hardly appears inevitable in the near term. Between now and the end of the year, Brazil has roughly 108 billion reais worth of domestic debt instruments (largely LTNs) coming due. Approximately another $3 billion of external debt financing also come due.
One possibility is that the government relies on moral suasion to prompt the local banks to roll over the multi-billion dollar quarterly maturities. Indeed, we suspect that this is likely. Recall that in 1999, when default was expected by the market and yet was averted, Brazil’s success was linked to local willingness (combined with coercion) to roll over the debt. Moreover, the banks have enormous exposure to public debt instruments and hence would appear to be vulnerable to pressure on that front, in our view. The holdings by the three largest private domestic commercial banks in Brazil of government securities accounted for nearly 230% of their shareholders' equity as of March 2002, according to our Latin American bank analyst, Jorge Kuri. He adds that government securities represent 69% of total securities held by the banks and 24% of earning assets. Indeed, government securities less allowances and unrealized gains are 223% of shareholders’ equity.
Another possibility to deal with a roll-over risk — indeed it has already been raised by the authorities — is the presence of nearly 50 billion reais that the Brazilian treasury currently has in an account set up with the Central Bank, which can be used to pay off nearly half of all debt coming due during the last five months of the year. Indeed, the treasury’s fund would virtually cover all domestic amortization between August and the October elections. It is worth noting that none of the 50 billion reais are included in the central bank’s net (adjusted) international reserves, which amount to about $27 billion.
Finally, IMF support could aid Brazil in dealing with its debt amortization. An IMF package may include revisions down of the FX reserve floor (allowing more FX intervention), condoning external debt buybacks, with further fiscal adjustment, and/or some combination. In a very illiquid and bearish market, this could put upward pressure on prices at least for a while. An IMF package could contain funds allowing the government to avoid having to come to market to meet its financing needs in the near-term. The goal of the program would be to allow the new administration time to demonstrate to the markets its commitment to maintaining tight fiscal policy. However, in order for the program to continue into 2003, the IMF would almost certainly require some form of commitment from the next administration.
The size of the package needed to calm markets may be considerable. A package would likely have to look beyond the end of the year into 2003. In addition to the R$108 billion of domestic securities due between now and the end of the year, another R$96 billion come due during the first six months of 2003. In the 12 months from August 2002 to July 2003, the government currently has R$204 billion in domestic amortizations and roughly $9 billion in external debt. The magnitudes can only be approximations since changes in interest rates and the exchange rate can have a significant impact on the size of debt. We are not arguing that the IMF package must cover the full amount. After all, domestic banks likely can be counted on to absorb most of the domestic debt, which needs to be rolled over.
Tipping Point 3: Public Sector Cash Flow
The least likely tipping point, but it should not be ignored, is the cash flow needs of the public sector. In Argentina, given the structure of convertibility, the public sector was eventually unable to meet its cash flow needs due to insufficient funding. In contrast, authorities in Brazil clearly have available the use of an inflationary tax to boost spending if a shortfall emerges — at least in the very short term. Ultimately, the inflation tax would likely fail because the savings on the primary front would likely be offset by increased debt servicing, given the fact that more than half of the domestic debt is floating. But it could ease some pressure temporarily: the printing of additional currency was largely unavailable to Argentina.
Still, the recent sell-off raises the risk that the combination of Brazil’s debt and its floating exchange rate regime could produce a negative outcome. The PSBR is vulnerable to rising interest payments, no matter what the government does with the primary balance. This ultimately aggravates the "flow" problem, and in a vicious circle validates investor concerns over fiscal performance, raising rates further. A "bad equilibrium" cannot be ruled out.
Investors have shifted their focus from the long-term concerns over debt sustainability and have now turned to the short-term question of whether a break in Brazil is imminent. The sharp sell-off in recent days raises the risk of a self-fulfilling prophecy and is likely to require some positive shock in the form of new support from Washington and a sharp reduction in the uncertainty over the future policy direction in Brazil. One without the other is unlikely to be sufficient, in our view. Our concern centers more in Brazil than in Washington. The challenge we see for Brazil is whether the policymakers will strongly reiterate their commitment to appropriate economic policies. Until that commitment has been made, we remain cautious.
Further, while much of the focus is on the "home grown" aspects of the Brazil crisis, the risks of a further global downturn are on the rise. Our chief economist Steve Roach recently warned of the first significant reductions to our 2003 global growth forecast and warned that with US economic growth back at its "stall speed," the odds of a double dip have risen. Without a more positive world environment, Brazil could find its growth prospects for 2003 even more complicated and investor risk appetite waning: both in turn could contribute further to a dire self-fulfilling prophecy.
Registrierungsdatum: May 2002
Geteiltes Leid sit halbes Leid
ftd.de, So, 4.8.2002, 17:34
Uruguay gerät in den Sog der Argentinien-Krise
Nach Argentinien werden nun auch Uruguays Sparer bis zu drei Jahre auf die Freigabe ihrer Bankguthaben warten müssen. Die mehrtägigen Plünderungen flauten ab.
Registrierungsdatum: May 2002
die pure Angst vor'm Kollaps
Aus der FTD vom 9.8.2002
IWF gewährt Brasilien Rekordkredit über 30 Mrd. $
Von Raymond Colitt, Claus Hulverscheidt und Doris Grass
Brasilien erhält vom Internationalen Währungsfonds (IWF) einen Rekordkredit in Höhe von 30 Mrd. $. Mit dem Geld will die Regierung ihre wirtschaftspolitischen Reformen vorantreiben, die Landeswährung gegen Kursstürze verteidigen und eine Zahlungsunfähigkeit verhindern.
Fidelio der Hölle
Registrierungsdatum: Apr 2001
Datum: 16.08. 17:33 Lateinamerika: Anleger flüchten aus Aktienfonds
Kunden von US-amerikanischen Aktienfonds, die in Lateinamerika investieren, zogen in den vergangenen vier Wochen zum 14. August so viel Kapital aus ihren Fonds, wie seit 10 Jahren nicht mehr. Dies berichtet die US-Investmentbank Merrill Lynch.
So wurden im vergangenen Monat durchschnittlich 2.8 Prozent der Assets pro Woche aus dem Fonds gezogen. Insgesamt verwalten die von Merrill Lynch beobachteten 38 Lateinamerika Fonds 860.7 Millionen Dollar, 23 Prozent weniger als noch zum Jahresanfang. Das ist das erste Mal, dass die Fonds seit 1993 unter 900 Millionen Dollar verwalten. Im Jahr 1997 lagen die verwalteten Assets noch bei 4.36 Milliarden Dollar.
Seit Jahresanfang verloren US-Aktienfonds mit Fokus auf den lateinamerikanischen Raum 30 Prozent an Wert. Seit Jahresanfang flossen allerdings 7.4 Prozent der Assets zu, obwohl im letzten Monat 2.8 Prozent der Assets aus den Fonds gezogen wurden.
Merrill fügt hinzu, dass US-Aktienfonds mit Fokus auf internationale Wachstumsmärkte ebenfalls Kapitalabflüsse beglagten, allerdings nicht in dem Ausmaß, wie es in Lateinamerika zu sehen war. Die 109 beobachteten GEM (global emerging market) Fonds verloren in der jüngsten Vierwochen-Periode 0.3 Prozent der Assets, sie verwalten nun 9.94 Milliarden Dollar. Seit Jahresanfang verloren GEM Fonds 0.9 Prozent des Kapitals ihrer Kunden, legten allerdings in ihrer Performance um 2 Prozent zu.
Registrierungsdatum: Jan 2002
Brazil Fails to Get U.S., IMF Help in Keeping Bankers Lending
By Mark Drajem
Washington, Aug. 16 (Bloomberg) -- In November 1998, Stanley Fischer, then second-in-charge at the International Monetary Fund, had lunch at Manhattan's Links Club with executives of the largest U.S. banks and urged them to keep lending to Brazil.
The IMF had just announced a $42 billion aid package to bolster the country's reserves after Russia's debt default, and the fund needed the bankers' support.
``People were impressed and the prospects looked pretty clear and so the banks were asked not to make the situation worse,'' said Ernest Stern, former J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. managing director who attended the lunch. The IMF thought ``the government would be helped if people didn't head for the exits.''
The IMF isn't asking banks to make the same sacrifice now. After unveiling a $30 billion pledge last week to help Brazil avert a debt default, the fund and the U.S. Treasury haven't pressured banks to keep financing Brazilian borrowers.
That has some investors concerned that the IMF money won't be enough to instill confidence in Brazil's ability to meet its obligations and stem a four-month slide in the currency.
The IMF and the Treasury say they are leaving it up to banks such as Citigroup Inc. and FleetBoston Financial Corp. to make lending decisions, in contrast to the pressure placed on lenders to South Korea in 1997, as well as Brazil in 1998.
`$16 Billion Exit Visa'
That reluctance stems from Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill's unwillingness to intervene with private banks, especially since the lenders were forced to write off billions of dollars because of Argentina's recent default, analyst said.
It also suggests the IMF calculated that last week's loan, which was higher than investors had expected, would be enough to induce banks to stick with Brazil. Instead, the $30 billion aid is being used by investors as a subsidy to cut their losses, analysts said.
``The IMF has given Brazilians, foreign banks and speculators a $16 billion exit visa to take money out of the country,'' said Adam Lerrick, who helped write a U.S. congressional report two years ago that argued against multibillion-dollar IMF bailouts.
The fund pledged $6 billion this year and allowed the central bank to tap $10 billion more of its reserves to buy its currency. Brazil will have access to $24 billion next year if it meets economic targets.
`Sigh of Relief'
O'Neill : , who has criticized IMF bailouts in the past for allowing bankers and investors to escape the consequences of their risks, said he refuses to prod lenders to stick with Brazil.
``I don't think it's a good idea for governments to ask companies to do something that's not in their own economic interest,'' he told reporters last night.
IMF spokesman William Murray said the fund lacks the authority to compel banks to keep lending.
``The IMF thought everyone would breathe a sigh of relief and rush back into Brazil,'' said Richard Segal, head of research at Exotix Ltd. ``That didn't happen.''
As a result, Brazil's benchmark bond and currency are worth less than they were when the IMF aid was announced last week . The currency has lost a fifth of its value since May; bonds have fallen 30 percent.
U.S. banks, including Citigroup and J.P. Morgan Chase had $27.5 billion of exposure in Brazil as of the end of March.
Citigroup spokeswoman Christina Pretto said the bank didn't have an immediate comment. FleetBoston spokesman James Mahoney didn't return three telephone calls seeking comment.
Brazilian exporters are so squeezed by the lack of financing that the trade minister Wednesday pledged that the central bank and state development bank will provide as much as $2 billion in export loans this year.
That amount is dwarfed by what private lenders are pulling out. The central bank said lenders transferred $1.25 billion out of the country for non-residents and multinational companies in July, twice what they had a month earlier.
Citigroup, which has a branch network in Brazil, cut loans and other commitments in the country by $2.1 billion to $9.3 billion at the end of June from the first quarter, regulatory filings show.
Bank of Nova Scotia, the first international bank to abandon Argentina, is now only renewing about 30 percent of Brazilian trade-finance contracts, according to Eduardo Klurfan, who runs the bank's Brazil operations.
J.P. Morgan's Stern said the situation in Brazil is different from four years ago. ``The confidence is not there and capital is leaking out,'' he said.
`We'll Bail You Out'
For Washington policy makers, the Brazil bailout underscores the difficulty in trying to get lenders and investors to bear the cost of their risks.
Before coming into office, President George W. Bush accused the IMF of acting as a welfare agency for banks.
``I don't want to see the IMF out there as a way to say to world bankers, `If you make a bad loan, we'll bail you out,''' Bush said in a presidential debate in October 2000.
Even before that, the IMF and Treasury had been urging ``private sector involvement'' in aid packages. When the IMF approved a loan payment for Brazil in 1999, it held as an integral part of the program that banks would keep lending.
``The banks got some insurance that if they were keeping their credit lines open, so would everyone else,'' said Michael Mussa, then chief economist of the fund. At the end of 1997 ``duress'' was put on foreign banks to get them to roll over loans in South Korea, Mussa said.
Give Bankers a Break
Now, the costs to banks from Argentina's debacle ``was so colossal that Washington has in a sense given the private sector a break'' in Brazil, said William Cline, former chief economist at a bankers' lobbying group, the Institute of International Finance.
Some bankers have said they could be convinced to stay in Brazil to avoid a ``rush to the exits.''
Bank of America Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Lewis said last week that his bank, with $1.8 billion at risk in Brazil, has cut off new lending there. With a push from the IMF, it would reconsider.
``If I got an offer I could not refuse, I would do that,'' Lewis said.
Sieht nicht gut aus, trotz der Hilfe (welche wohl einzig kam um die Big-Boyz aus dem Dreck zu ziehen...). Nächste Woche wieder neue Umfrageresultate zur Wahl.
Fidelio der Hölle
Registrierungsdatum: Apr 2001
14.10.2002 - 20:12 Uhr
Brasilianische Notenbank erhöht Leitzinsen auf 21 Prozent
Sao Paulo (vwd) - Die brasilianische Notenbank hat am Montag zur Stützung der stark angeschlagenen Landeswährung Real ihren Leitzins um drei Prozentpunkte auf 21 Prozent erhöht. Die Zinsanhebung folgte auf eine 90-minütige Krisensitzung. Die Notenbank begründete den Zinsschritt vor allem mit der durch die rapide Abwertung stark gestiegenen Inflation und den sich verschlechternden Inflationserwartungen. Die Zinserhöhung war jedoch geringer als erwartet. Einige Marktteilnehmer hatten im Vorfeld der Krisensetzung mit einem Schritt auf bis zu 25 Prozent gerechnet.
Die Notenbank gab darüber hinaus keine weiteren Hinweise auf ihre künftige zinspolitische Ausrichtung. In zwei Wochen finden in Brasilien die Stichwahlen um das Präsidentenamt statt. Die Ungewissheit über den zukünftigen wirtschaftpolitischen Kurs des in den Umfragen mit weitem Abstand führenden Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva hat seit Monaten zu einer anhaltenden Kapitalflucht aus Brasilien geführt. Damit verbunden waren der starke Absturz des Real und eine deutliche Ausweitung der Zinsspreads.
Inflation macht die bislang funktionierende Binnenwirtschaft vollends kaputt.
Registrierungsdatum: Jan 2002
08:59 Uhr | Mittwoch, 20. November 2002
IWF begrüsst Reformpläne von Brasiliens Lula
BRASILIA - Der Internationale Währungsfonds (IWF) hat am Dienstag die Reformpläne des zukünftigen sozialistischen Präsidenten Brasiliens, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, begrüsst.
"Es war das erste Gespräch über die Wirtschaftspläne der neuen Regierung und über das Programm des Fonds und es gab viele Gemeinsamkeiten", sagte Lorenzo Perez von der Expertengruppe des IWF, die derzeit mit Brasilien über einen Kredit in einer Rekordhöhe von 30,4 Milliarden Dollar verhandelt.
"Sie haben uns ihr Regierungsprogramm erläutert und wir haben einen guten Eindruck mitgenommen", sagte Perez. "Wir sind sehr erfreut über diesen ersten Kontakt mit der neuen Regierung." Lula übernimmt die Regierung am 1. Januar 2003.
Perez dämpfte zugleich Erwartungen an den Finanzmärkten, bei den Gesprächen gehe es auch um eine Änderung des derzeitigen Haushaltsdefizitziels Brasiliens von 3,75 Prozent des Bruttoinlandsprodukts 2003. Konkretere wirtschaftspolitische Fragen würden in einer zweiten Gesprächsrunde im Februar behandelt.
Brasilien erhielt den neuen Kredit im September, als Investoren aus Furcht vor einem Wahlsieg Lulas das Vertrauen in die brasilianische Währung verloren und sich zurückzuziehen drohten. Lula und seine Wirtschaftsberater haben jedoch eine Reform des Renten- und Steuersystems zugesagt und versprochen, die Verpflichtungen gegenüber dem IWF zu respektieren. (sda)