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LABS+1: Disney's stocks drop, Oxxo arrives in Brazil, and everything you need to know before leaving the office

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While the trade war between the United States and China reached new heights this week, with an impact that has shifted the global economy – directly affecting currency exchanges in Latin American countries and significantly raising the value of the dollar – this week also brought with it several new changes in the market.

Brazil was one of the countries with the most agitated week in all of Latin America. In the political stage, the Social Reform, one of the most awaited bills to be introduced by Jair Bolsonaro’s government, made the headlines in the country once again with its passing in Congress and is now in the hands of the Senate for the next stage in the process.

Another topic that is also stealing the spotlight is the announced release of the FGTS, a social fund of 8% derived from Brazilian workers’ salaries and which is only available in specific cases – such as the current one in which the government authorizes its release. The availability of the funds promises to stimulate the economy by increasing the purchasing power of millions of Brazilians. For that reason, the other big headline of the week was the government’s announcement that a new “black Friday” will be set, so as to stimulate consumption during that period. But according to the latest experts analysis, the real impact can be greater than expected from the government.

And we cannot avoid talking about the important shifts in the market during the last few days. While AliExpress reinforced yet again the importance of the Brazilian market for e-commerce, announcing that during the June campaign they sold more than 600 thousand smartphones in a single week; we also had the launch of the bank C6, the arrival of the largest convenience store in Latin America, and the launch of the third episode of the Latin America’s Trailblazers series with an exclusive interview with Ubisoft, a giant in the world of gaming.

Take a look at the complete summaries of all this week’s news and, since you are certainly already thinking about the weekend, we also have the much awaited  weekend tip, so that you can make the most out of your free days:

4- Not always a happy ending for Disney, its stocks plummet

That Disney is one of the brands that are heavily investing to dethrone Netflix from the streaming service market, is not news anymore. The company has already invested in the acquisition of Fox and in taking 100% control of the platform Hulu with the aim of becoming more competitive in the universe of streaming services, announcing this last Tuesday (08/06) a package that will bundle together Disney+, ESPN Plus, and Hulu. But not all is roses for the entertainment giant.

However, Disney ended the same day with some rather bleak news, since it missed Wall Street’s expectations after sharing its results on the first complete quarter in which it incorporated Fox. Disney’s shares dropped by 3%, with losses of 39% in earnings – and CEO Bob Iger said to the Washington Post that the main issue affecting the company’s earnings are some of the underperforming shows in Fox. 

3- The biggest convenience store in Latin America has arrived in Brazil

FEMSA, a Mexican company that manages the operations of the popular convenience store Oxxo in Mexico and other countries in Latin America, such as Chile, Colombia, and Peru, will bring its operations also to Brazil thanks to a joint venture with Raízen.

According to the Vice President of Raízen, Leonardo Pontes, in an interview with Gazeta do Povo, there is a great potential in developing the convenience store market in Brazil during the next five to ten years. “This is a market that contributes 20 thousand units in the entire country. We want to take a bite out of that market,” explained the VP of the company.

2- The New Brazilian fintech C6 Bank launches with 200,000 customers

C6 Bank Headquarters
C6 Bank headquarters in São Paulo.

C6 Bank, a new Brazilian fintech, was officially born this week with 200,000 customers and free-of-charge financial services. The digital bank isn’t forthcoming with its goals, but, according to the fintech spokesperson Verena Fornetti, the company is likely to finish the year with more than 400,000 customers and a greater range of services, from banking to investments and insurance products.

In addition to the typical banking services available by mobile app, C6 Bank offers a reward program for debit and credit card users called “Átomos,” as well as a bank transfer service to any other financial institution via SMS.

1-  Ubisoft, a French Latin America Trailblazer

One of the sectors in the entertainment industry that is constantly growing worldwide is the gaming industry. In such a competitive market, it seemed like Ubisoft had won the game, having well-established products with legions of loyal fans, such as Assassin’s Creed, Rainbow Six, and Just Dance. Although, to win over Latin American, they went beyond expectations.

More than simply investing in ready-made products for Latin American gamers, the company invested in a complex strategy of localization with a deep knowledge of their target public in the region. The results couldn’t have been more surprising: Ubisoft brought the reality of Latin America into its games, allowing users to identify themselves in different ways with each adventure.

Breaking with the barriers between reality and fantasy, Ubisoft proved that an efficient localization strategy could push the company to new heights, turning into one of Latin America’s Trailblazers.

Check out the full story in this week’s episode!

LABS+1: The controversial story of Wilson Simonal, now on film

One of the few black stains in the history of Brazilian Popular Music (MPB) is the story of Wilson Simonal, which had its highs and lows. With a charisma without equal – and also with a strong personality and a splash of arrogance that was always present – the singer captivated fans and made enemies during the climax of his career. And now his story is voiced in the film “Simonal” that premiered in Brazilian cinemas this week.

“The idea was never to judge. Neither hero nor traitor, only human,” tells the director of the film, Leonardo Domingues, about the story narrated between episodes of racism and fake news during the military dictatorship in Brazil.

It is a dive into an often ignored history of Brazilian culture, which is what the film Simonal represents and why LABS+1 recommends it this week.