John Keohane of Fortis Lux Financial (a member of MassMutual Financial Group) has been honored by MassMutual with the 2018 Top of the Council, a recognition given only to the top 1% performing advisors of this international Fortune 500 company. Last year, to meet growing demand, MassMutual Westchester Agency seamlessly merged with Fortis Lux Financial. This agency merger is very exciting as it enables the company to enhance services to clients with Financial Planning, Asset Management, Estate Planning and Strategic Business Planning.


Brazil and China are expected to hold their first high-level political and economic talks since 2015 later this year, Brazil’s agriculture trade secretary told Reuters on Thursday, in a move likely to boost farm trade between the two countries.

The first meeting of the China-Brazil High-Level Coordination and Cooperation Committee (Cosban), last convened under former President Dilma Rousseff, is “very probable” for the second half of the year, said Orlando Leite Ribeiro, who oversees trade and international relations at the Agriculture Ministry.

The meeting should advance talks to permit more Brazilian meatpackers to export to China and to accelerate Chinese approvals of genetically modified (GMO) products, Ribeiro said in an interview.

By Jake Spring/Reuters

LONDON, Jan 31 (Reuters) – Global trader Glencore is close to finalising a deal to make a $500 million payment to the mining arm of Brazil’s Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (CSN) for iron ore cargoes to be delivered over five years, sources familiar with the matter said.

One source said Glencore would sign the deal no later than the first quarter.

By Julia Payne and Maytaal Angel via Reuters

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Judging by the reaction of financial markets, the Brazilian economy started the year at high speed. The real is among the world’s best-performing currencies so far in 2019 and the main stock market index Ibovespa hit a string of record highs leading into last week, when it broke the 97,000-point mark. Future interest rates have fallen sharply.

Foreign investors are buying in as well. The premium demanded as compensation for the inherent risk of buying Brazilian bonds, the Credit Default Swap rate (CDS), that in September was above 310 basis points has fallen to around 180 basis points, a range close to that of emerging countries with an investment-grade seal.

By Otaviano Canuto

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(CNN) – On New Year’s Day, President Jair Bolsonaro was inaugurated in Brazil, ushering in a new era in Brazilian politics that marks a dramatic departure from the leftist, anti-American governments of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff. Our bilateral relationship improved under the administration of former President Michel Temer, and the new Bolsonaro government has already indicated it seeks an even closer security and economic relationship with the United States.

For the peace and stability of the region, it is crucial that the United States capitalize on this historic opportunity to bring closer together the two most populous nations in the Western Hemisphere.

By Marco Rubio via CNN

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Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. GimenezMiami International Airport Director Lester Sola and officials from Miami-Dade County and the Brazilian Post Office (Correios) gathered in Brasilia to announce the launch of Compra Fora (“Buy Outside”) – a first-of-its-kind, expedited shipping service that allows e-commerce packages of all sizes from anywhere in the world to be shipped to Miami International Airport (MIA), be pre-cleared by Correios, and arrive in Brazil as domestic cargo within days instead of what used to take weeks or months.

Correiros chose MIA as its first Compra Fora partner in large part because the airport ranks first in the U.S. for cargo flights to Brazil and commands 38 percent of the entire MIA-Brazil air trade market. Brazil is MIA’s largest international market for passengers and trade value, generating more than 1.5 million travelers and $12 billion in cargo shipments annually.

“This landmark agreement with Correios once again reinforces Miami-Dade County’s role as the logistics leader in our hemisphere,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “I applaud the efforts of MIA and our trade community, for keeping Miami-Dade County on the forefront of innovation within the global air cargo industry.”

Source: Miami International Airport via CISION PR Newswire

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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s government wants to sell at least $20 billion in assets of state-owned companies this year including parts of Petrobras and Banco do Brasil, the country’s secretary of privatization said on Tuesday.

Salim Mattar said the government wants state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA and lenders Banco do Brasil SA and Caixa Economica Federal to sell most of their subsidiaries within four years.

Mattar, a former businessman, estimated that Brazil could raise up to 800 billion reais ($214 billion) by selling state-owned companies. The privatizations, along with cuts in spending on pensions and social security, are key to Economy Minister Paulo Guedes’s plan to reduce public debt, now equivalent to 77 percent of gross domestic product.

“If we reduce the debt, the amount of interest we save annually would allow us to increase expenditures in education and health,” Mattar said.

By Tatiana Bautzer for Reuters

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Speaking during the opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, President Jair Bolsonaro said that his administration’s reform will put Brazil among the 50 best countries to do business in the world. He also defended more integration and economic openness and explained that he wants the country to simplify the lives of those who produce and create jobs.

By BrazilGovNews

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Symbolic for marking the first international trip of newly-elected president Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s participation in this year’s edition of the World Economic Forum in Davos (Switzerland) brought concrete results. In addition to being the first Latin American leader to speak at the event’s opening ceremony, the Brazilian delegation led by Bolsonaro was able to build closer ties with other countries, strengthen trade relations and showcase opportunities Brazil offers investors and entrepreneurs.

In the opening address, the president explained to leaders from around the world that his reform agenda aims to put Brazil among the world’s 50 best countries to do business. He advocated for reforms that will improve public budget, make life easier for consumers and entrepreneurs in Brazil, and help the country grow sustainably.

By BrazilGovNews

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RIO DE JANEIRO: With the launch of CNN Brazil, Latin America’s biggest TV market is set to be roiled by the entry of a powerful new player looking to challenge the dominance of current leader Globo News.

Its arrival, announced this month, comes at a high-voltage time for Brazil as it undergoes an abrupt swerve to the right under President Jair Bolsonaro, a pro-business ultraconservative who took office at the beginning of January.

By Channel News Asia

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DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) – An overhaul of Brazil’s pension system could save up to 1.3 trillion reais ($345 billion) over the next decade, Economy Minister Paulo Guedes told Reuters on Wednesday, aiming as much as two-thirds higher than the previous government’s failed effort.

In an interview during the World Economic Forum at the Swiss ski resort of Davos, Guedes underscored the enormous scale of a pension reform that investors consider the cornerstone of new right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro’s sweeping economic agenda.

By Mark Bendeich via Reuters

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Brazil’s newly-elected president Jair Bolsonaro ascended the world stage for the first time to present his vision for a “new Brazil” at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday.

Absences by British and French heads of state, along with the abrupt cancellation of the U.S. delegation’s visit to the elite business conference just days earlier, thrust Brazil’s new leader into the forum’s spotlight. In his speech, Bolsonaro promised to root out corruption, privatize industry, and repair his country’s standing in the eyes of the international community.

By Robert Hackett via Fortune

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BRASILIA, Jan 22 (Reuters) – Brazil will add the Trans-Amazonian Highway to the list of projects for privatization, its infrastructure minister said on Tuesday, seeking new investment to pave a roadway that has already been blamed for deforestation.

The government also plans to sell to investors a concession to run BR-163, a key northern route for shipping Brazilian grains, adding it along with the Trans-Amazonian to a priority list for privatization at a meeting next month, Infrastructure Minister Tarcisio Freitas told Reuters in an interview.

By Jake Spring via CNBC

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Sales of Brazilian soybeans for the 2017/18 harvest reached 99% of production expected until the last day of January 18. The percentage is above the 94% recorded in the same period of the previous harvest and is also higher than the previous record of 98% observed in 2013 and 2015, highlight data from the DATAGRO Consulting.

“In addition to the supply being brought to an end, the expected fall in prices occurred in general, keeping producers’ sales interest loose,” says DATAGRO grain analyst Flávio Roberto de França Jr.


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In a meeting on Thursday, Jan. 17th with Chinese Ambassador Yang Wanming and Economy Minister Paulo Guedes, they discussed possibilities for trade diversification between the two countries. According to negotiators, Guedes said he intends to close more bilateral partnerships, mainly in the area of technology, with the main destination of Brazilian goods. According to the Ministry of Economy, Guedes reaffirmed Brazil’s willingness to do business with as many countries as possible, without ideological bias. According to the ministry’s source, the orientation is in line with the speeches inaugurated by President Jair Bolsonaro in the National Congress and in the parliament of the Planalto Palace, on Jan. 1st.

By Brazil Monitor

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Brazilian markets are off to a strong start in 2019. And while worries about much needed structural reforms remain, a market-friendly government and supportive fundamental backdrop could make this year a doozy, according to bullish analysts.

The year is still young, but so far the real USDBRL, +0.0107%  has gained 3.8% against the U.S. dollar, while the popular Bovespa stock index BVSP, +0.78%  has rallied more than 9%. In dollar terms, the Bovespa is up 12.4% so far this month, versus a 6.6% rise for the S&P 500 SPX, +1.32% according to FactSet.

Just last year, Brazil’s contentious presidential election and worries about much needed structural reforms to shore up the country’s fiscal health curbed investor enthusiasm. Economists say the reforms are still needed, but sentiment seems increasingly supportive even before outspoken newly elected President Jair Bolsonaro takes the stage at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, next week.

By Anneken Tappe via Market Wacth

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Jan 18 (Reuters) – Brazil’s benchmark stock index reached an all-time high on Friday on positive investor sentiment about the new government’s pension reform plans and U.S.-China trade talks, while Latin American currencies steadied against the U.S. dollar. The Bovespa, one of 2018’s top performing indexes across the globe, hit a record high, crossing the 96,000 mark as investors hoped the new government’s pension reforms plans may be revealed earlier than expected.

By Agamoni Ghosh via CNBC

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The US $ 58.7 surplus recorded by Brazil last year is a result of increased imports from China, as well as increased international demand for Brazilian commodities. The data are from the Foreign Trade Indicator (Icomex) of January released today (17) by the Brazilian Institute of Economy of the Getulio Vargas Foundation (Ibre-FGV).


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Brazil’s second-largest private bank Bradesco will ramp up its efforts around artificial intelligence (AI) to boost sales, improve customer experience and reduce operating costs in 2019.

The bank, which has a portfolio of over 71 million customers, has been working on a platform dubbed Bradesco Artificial Intelligence (BIA) over the last four years. BIA’s capabilities translate into an improved customer experience across the bank’s digital channels – especially the app, which today accounts for 60% of customer interactions with the bank.

By Angelica Mari via Forbes

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The Brazilian tycoon behind the world’s biggest sugar-cane operation is taking a page from billionaire Jack Ma’s playbook for his next project.

Cosan SA, the powerhouse controlled by 68-year-old Rubens Ometto, is launching a version of Alipay to process payments and money transfers through smartphones. It’s a bet that could save the conglomerate millions in fees and give it a foothold in Brazil’s booming fintech scene.

By Gerson Freitas Jr. and Felipe Marques via Bloomberg

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The financial market remains optimistic with its forecasts for economic growth in 2019. According to the latest edition of the Focus Bulletin, released by the Central Bank on Monday (January 14), analysts are predicting Brazil’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will grow 2.57% this year, up from the previous 2.53%.

By BrazilGovNews

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The marketing of hydrated ethanol continues to be heated in the domestic market. Biofuel sales totaled 858.11 million liters in the second half of December, an increase of 26.57% over the volume traded in the same period of 2017 (678.00 million liters), according to data from the Cana- of Sugar (UNICA).

Considering December sales, sales also increased, registering 1.79 billion liters, an increase of 25.26% over December 2017 (1.43 billion liters). “This volume, a record for a month in December, is due to the maintenance of biofuels’ competitiveness against gasoline in the domestic market. This is the beginning of the most advantageous year for ethanol in this decade “, points out UNICA.


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Brazil’s outgoing central bank President Ilan Goldfajn told Swiss newspaper Le Temps that conditions remain in place for strong economic growth, while he warned against inflated expectations under the country’s new populist government.

“The expectations are now very high in Brazil,” Goldfajn said in an interview with the French-language newspaper ahead of an address at the International Center for Monetary and Banking Studies scheduled for Tuesday in Geneva.

By Andy Hoffman via Bloomberg

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Brazil stocks have been rallying since Bolsonaro’s presidential victory in October last year. The most popular Brazilian ETF, iShares MSCI Brazil ETF EWZ rose 13.3% in the fourth quarter of 2018. Brazil’s Bovespa index gained about 10.8% in the same time frame. Jair Bolsonaro was sworn in as Brazil’s president on Jan 1.

EWZ has continued its strong run this year by returning 12.5% in the year-to-date time frame (as of Jan 9). This indicates market participants faith in the newly elected president’s ambitious agenda.

By Zacks Equity Research via Nasdaq

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SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Far-right Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro’s new government wants to save 1 trillion reais ($269.48 billion) over 10 years via pension reforms economists say are vital to undo the growing fiscal deficit, a Brazilian newspaper reported on Monday.

Bolsonaro, a former army captain who has surrounded himself with generals and liberal economists as top advisers, made pension reform a staple of his campaign. But he has given few details before his inauguration or as president.

By Reuters Staff via Reuters

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A civil and common law-trained litigator and member of the firm’s International Arbitration practice, Haridi is recognized for regularly handling commercial and investor-state arbitrations under the rules of all the major arbitral institutions. She was also noted for being a vital member of several arbitral organizations, including the ICC International Court of Arbitration, the Arbitration Committee of the International Bar Association, and the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) Arab Users’ Council.

Source: Hogan Lovells

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SAO PAULO (Reuters) – At BM Multimarcas, a used-car dealer on the outskirts of Sao Paulo, owner Santel de Abreu Bernardo can show you jalopies that most big banks would not touch.

There is a faded blue 2003 Renault hatchback with 195,000 kilometers on the dial. And a Volkswagen Gol Turbo so old that it could vote.

But when he needs to seal a deal, Bernardo has a go-to option for financing: the Brazilian unit of Spain’s Banco Santander.

By Carolina Mandl via Reuters

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The Brazilian government on Thursday said it would allow a proposed tie-up between planemakers Embraer and Boeing to go forward, capping weeks of uncertainty in which President Jair Bolsonaro expressed hesitation.

The approval maintains the terms of the deal as previously proposed, with Embraer selling 80 percent of its commercial plane division, its most profitable, for $4.2 billion to Boeing, which will have total control of the new venture.

By CNBC Markets

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On Monday, the presidents of public banks will begin their mission of reducing distortions in the Brazilian credit market and balancing the interest rates charged by financial institutions. The statement came from the Minister of Economy, Paulo Guedes, who participated in their inauguration ceremony in the Planalto Palace.

According to Guedes, interventions made by past governments in public banks have contributed to making credit cheaper for large companies and more expensive for the rest of the population, an imbalance which should be corrected by the new management.

By BrazilGovNews

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President Jair Bolsonaro sanctioned a law on Monday (January 7) that allows the creation of endowment funds, as a way to encourage private donations to projects of public interest. With the decision, the areas of education, science, technology, research and innovation, culture, health, environment, social assistance and sport will be strengthened.

In practice, all money donated by individuals and private companies, along with the income received from their investment, will be passed on to institutions and projects of public interest, increasing the sustainability of important public policies.

By BrazilGovNews

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The Brazilian government plans to privatize or liquidate some 100 state-run companies, reflecting the new administration’s drive to reduce the size of the state, Infrastructure Minister Tarcisio Freitas said on Tuesday.

Freitas also said in a radio interview that the right-wing government of President Jair Bolsonaro, inaugurated on Jan. 1, is considering awarding licenses for private-sector firms to build and operate 5,600 kilometers of new toll roads and bid again on 4,000 kilometers of existing toll roads.

By Reuters Staff

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It’s just a week into 2019 and Brazil is the best stock market in the world. Parabens, Jair Bolsonaro. Until the army tanks roll in, as his opponents believed just four months ago, Brazil is on track to be the best performing market this quarter, if not in the first half of 2019.

Based on the biggest, passive trades in the markets, the iShares MSCI Brazil is beating the SPDR S&P 500, Russia, India, China (duh), Mexico, FTSE Europe, Japan and the broader MSCI Emerging Markets Index.

Fitch Solutions forecast Brazil’s GDP growth to hit 2.4% this year, up from 1.3% last year.

Brazil’s economic recovery will pick up steam over the next couple of quarters, Fitch Solutions researchers wrote in a report published on Tuesday. They cited positive business sentiment bolstered by Bolsonaro’s new administration.

By Keneth Rapoza via Forbes

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