Commentary on the economic , geopolitical and simply fascinating things going on. Served occasionally with a side of snark.
Sunday, February 16, 2014
Emerging market Updates - February 16 , 2014 ----- Two-Week Price Inflation in Argentina hits 30%, US Products Lead the Way; Currency Devaluations Hit P&G Earnings ....... Irony of the Day: Venezuela President Calls for "Protest March Against Fascism" ........ Turkish Parliament approves controversial bill tightening up government grip on judicial body
Price of many goods in Argentina soared in the past two weeks. US brands are at the forefront of the action. Via translation from Lanacion, In two weeks, Warehouse Prices Rose 30%, with mayonnaise, cookies, and coffee leading the way. Officially, prices are up 3%.3. In realty, prices are up 30%.
According to official data, the price of food and beverages was up 3.3%. A tour of various supermarkets in the city of Buenos Aires, found escalating inflation is much higher in stock products, perfumery and milk.
Here are some price increases from the article. Please use relative price increases. They use the $ symbol for pesos.
Hellmann's mayonnaise in late January was on the shelves at $10.40 is now $13.55.
A can of peaches last month cost about $20 and yesterday were above $26.
Coffee 500g [about 1.1 pounds] rose 16% from $33.69 to $38.99.
Express cookies went from $15.39 to $20.39.
Hamburger buns increased from $13.06 to $14.19.
Sancor yogurt went from $15.25 to $ 17.99
La Serenissima Long life milk went from $10.7 to $11.59.
Shampoo went from $15.77 to $19.
Colgate Triple Action toothpaste 180 grams [6.3 ounces], went from $15.70 to $19.96.
Two-liter bottles of water rose from $8.25 to $9.43
Currency Devaluations Hit P&G Earnings
Inquiring minds may be wondering how this affects earnings of US multinational corporations.
Retail investors aren’t the only ones suffering from the woes of the emerging markets: Procter & Gamble PG +2.06% is feeling the pain of foreign currencies, too. Due to devaluations in currencies like the Venezuelan bolivar, Argentine peso and Turkish lira, to name a few, the consumer product giant said that it is lowering its outlook for its full-year 2014 sales and earnings.
P&G, which in January announced second quarter earnings results that were already feeling the ill effects of foreign exchange rates, said Tuesday afternoon that it would incur a charge between $230 million and $280 million, or 8 cents to 10 cents per share, a one-time charge resulting from revaluing its Venezuelan balance sheet in the wake of a change in the way the Venezuelan bolivar is valuated. Venezuela uses a de-facto dual-exchange rate system, but policy changes recently enacted by the Venezuelan government are affecting the way that certain imports — i.e, certain P&G products — are exchanged.
Specifically, the policy changes dictate that the state-run currency rate between the bolivare and the dollar is now 11.4 bolivares per one U.S. dollar; P&G, meanwhile, had calculated the value of its foreign transactions using the other, 6.3-bolivare-per-USD rate, thus the near-$300 million charge P&G now expects to incur on its third quarter balance sheet.
In reevaluating its outlook, P&G also took into consideration the recent devaluation of the Argentine peso, Turkish lira, South African rand, Russian ruble, Ukrainian hryvnia and Brazilian real. Of the group, the Argentine peso has proven the biggest problem, declining 20% to 8 pesos per dollar.
All told, P&G’s full-year sales growth forecast is 2%, down from a prior range of 3% to 4% for fiscal year 2014. The company also lowered its earnings-per-share growth forecast to 3% to 5%, down from prior guidance of 5% to 7% growth.
The president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, has again invited his people to take to the streets Saturday in a march "for peace and against fascism."
Mature blames his opponents for violence in recent demonstrations, in which there were three deaths last Wednesday.
The president stated that violent demonstrations are part of a plan to end its power, similar to what occurred recently in Ukraine.
Maduro is calling for a march of all social policies for peace and against fascism forces. "I call all the people of Caracas to join the protest march against fascism , against violence, against the coup," said the president.
Maduro made the remarks in a meeting with his Cabinet that could be followed on radio and television all Venezuelans. The President took the opportunity to launch an attack on the opposition, accusing it of organizing the violent events that have taken place this week in order to overthrow him.
He said that behind these movements are "the same financiers who live by their imperialist policy to penetrate, control the world."
Maduro said that justice will be done and those responsible will be caught "one by one " and called on the opposition to "take responsibility without blackmail, with courage."
Am I mistaken or did Venezuela president Nicolas Maduro just call for a protest march against himself?
Mike "Mish" Shedlock
Turkish Parliament approves controversial bill tightening up gov't grip on judicial body
Ali Ihsan Köktürk, lawmaker from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), got a bloodied nose in the brawl, while ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) lawmaker Bayram Özçelik's finger was broken, Feb. 15. AA photo
Tension in Parliament boiled over again Feb. 15 as the government succeeded in passing a controversial judicial reform package amid fisticuffs and injuries, even as the opposition vowed to take the package directly to the Constitutional Court without waiting for a presidential evaluation.
Dozens of MPs fought during the tense 20-hour debate on a law to reshape the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), and insults flew back and forth between the parties, while one opposition lawmaker was hospitalized following an attack by a Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy.
Late last week, when the AKP announced its decision to reintroduce the law despite strong internal and external criticism, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) also announced that it would take the bill to the Constitutional Court to demand its annulment. The CHP’s application will also include a demand for the suspension of the execution of the law, the party’s deputy parliamentary group leader, Akif Hamzaçebi, said.
The CHP has said the government aims to seize authority over the HSYK, making the law illegal. “The government will hastily undertake appointments. Following those appointments, in the event of the annulment of the law, a cancellation of those appointments is out of the question. Of course, our goal is to prevent the act of the government at the HSYK,” Hamzaçebi said last week when asked why they would not wait for President Abdullah Gül’s decision on the bill.
After the law is sent to his office, Gül will have two weeks to approve or veto it.
Speaking to reporters on Feb. 16 during a visit to his hometown, the Central Anatolian province of Yozgat, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ dismissed the CHP’s argument, while suggesting that they did not have the right to appeal to the top court before the law enters into force by being published in the Official Gazette.
“Unfortunately, the CHP and other opposition parties are distorting this and creating a climate as if the constitutional amendments that were approved in the referendum are dissolved and a step is being taken back from there,” Bozdağ was quoted as saying by the Anadolu Agency.
Bozdağ was referring to a 2010 referendum which brought significant changes to the judicial system, namely to the HSYK, the Supreme Court of Appeals and the Council of State.
The battle for control of the HSYK lies at the heart of a feud between Prime MinisterRecep Tayyip Erdoğan and influential U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gülen.
Gülen, whose followers say they number in the millions, is believed to have built up influence in the police and judiciary over decades and leads a powerful worldwide Islamic movement from a forested compound in the United States.
Erdoğan blames him for unleashing a corruption investigation he sees as an attempted “judicial coup” designed to undermine him in the run-up to local and presidential elections this year.
Opposition parties said the HSYK bill aimed to stifle a graft investigation launched on Dec. 17 in which dozens of prominent business people, the sons of three cabinet ministers, and state officials were questioned.
During the debate on Feb. 15, one opposition deputy called Erdoğan a dictator, prompting deputies from the leader’s party to shout back, “Are you drunk?”