A turbulent week for Argentina. The days after the primaries’ results, indicating a victory of Alberto Fernández and Cristina Kirchner over Mauricio Macri, were followed by more unsettling events: The resignation of Nicolás Dujovne, Argentina’s Finance Minister, placing yet another hurdle for Macri’s government. Replacing Dujovne, Hernán Lacunza–who until then was the Secretary of Economy of Buenos Aires–took the office.
As for Latin America’s biggest economy, Brazil, the last few days also brought up a handful of events in the political and economic scenario. The “Economic Freedom” policy, which proposes changes to labor laws in the country, was approved by the Brazilian Senate, and is now ready for presidential sanction. And following the current administration’s liberal agenda, a wave of privatizations was announced in the country–Correios, the Brazilian Postal Service–and other 15 state-owned companies will be privatized by Jair Bolsonaro’s government. Check the full list.
But not only of political and economic was this week made: Mergers and acquisitions of enterprises in Brazil increased 26% in the first semester, reaching the best result in five years and surprising analysts. And a big retailer in the country has also caught the market’s attention: B2W, one of the main retailers in the country and subsidiary of the well known Lojas Americanas announced that it will raise BRL 2.5 billion ($ 618 million) in capital to tackle competition against its main competitors Magazine Luiza and Mercado Livre.
The digital transformation is generating huge shifts: from the payments landscape in developed markets and emergent ones, to the surge of new startups unicorns breaking IPOs records around the world. Here are your weekly essentials before leaving the office:
4. Nubank announces a credit card as its first product in Mexico
Nubank‘s infamous purple card has already won over Brazil – and now it wants to rule Latin America. The $ 10 billion Brazilian fintech – the first decacorn in the country – has announced its first product for the Mexican market: a Mastercard international credit card with no yearly fee.
Operating on the same basis as it started out in Brazil, the user will have to request the purple credit card, through Nubank’s app, and then enter a waiting list. The company will make decisions case by case, and the requests will gradually be accepted over time. This strategy allows Nubank to control the growth of its consumer base in Mexico.
As well as in Brazil, Nubank wishes to disrupt Mexico’s financial landscape, offering speed, security, convenience, and cut of bureaucracy with its solutions. The credit card will be available in the Mexican market by the end of the year.
3. Intervention of the new Minister of Finance will define the economic future of Argentina
With a high record of Internet and digital adoption among its Latin American neighbors, Argentina has a great potential for disruption, being a hotbed for several sectors such as e-commerce, payments, travel or logistics, for instance. But once again, the promising country is shaken by political and economic events. This time it was because of the recent events that followed the primaries’ results in the country, which disclosed the upcoming difficulties in the reelection of liberal president Mauricio Macri.
With the resignation of the Argentine Minister of Finance Nicolás Dujovne in the last few days, Hernán Lacunza is the new representative of the country’s finances. Expected to calm the markets in the middle of the country’s recession and the electoral campaign, Lacunza ‘s first mission will be to convince the IMF to release the next installments of their loan of $ 57 billion.
Gilmar Mendes Lorenço, economist and professor of Economics at the FAE Business School; and Françoise Iatski de Lima, professor of Economics and International Relations at the Positivo University, gave their thoughts on what the future holds for Argentina.
2. Why Amazon is continuously expanding in Brazil
Jeff Bezzo’s unstoppable giant isn’t slowing down anytime soon: Amazon announced yesterday the launch of its biggest office to date – where? In India.
The retail and tech giant has its eyes set on emerging markets – and especially in Brazil, where Amazon is betting heavily. The new Distribution Center in Cajamar, the metropolitan area of São Paulo, announced at the beginning of the year, marked Amazon’s biggest initiative in Latin America. The company began its operations selling directly to the consumer in the country and incorporating 11 new categories of products.
But what is pushing Amazon’s attention – and investments – to Brazil? We spoke with Daniel Mazini, Head of Retail at Amazon in the country, to figure it out. Check his answers in this exclusive interview!
It is a country that attracted us because it had the foundations to do e-commerceDaniel Mazini, Head of Retail in Amazon Brazil
READ MORE: What drives Amazon’s cloud services empire
1. Latin America’s Trailblazers: Carrefour, the retail giant is betting on partnerships
The company that generated the most revenue in 2018 in Brazil, with more than 650 points of sale across the country, French retail giant Carrefour is a real survivor of the technology advances in the last decades.
Traditional and old-fashioned at first glance? Think again. The French chain arrived in Brazil in 1975 and is currently experiencing a full expansion. Betting on technology and flexible services like no other competitor, implementing both its own solutions and those offered with the help of strategic partnerships, Carrefour is our last entry in Latin America’s Trailblazers – a series about players that are winning over the region and writing their names all over it.
The idea of eBusiness is to transform Carrefour into a reference in omni-channels and a leader in grocery e-commerceCarrefour statement to LABS
Read the full story and understand why Carrefour is one of our Trailblazers!
LABS+1: Brazilian best-seller writer launches a trilogy of books about “the most important historical facts of the country”
Infamous Brazilian writer Laurentino Gomes, author of best-sellers 1808, 1822 e 1889, launches today, August 23, the kick-off of his trilogy of books about slavery in Brazil, titled Escravidão Vol. 1.
The release of this first book comes after a journey of immersion into the history of slavery in Brazil, with six years of study and research; and visits to 12 countries across Africa, Europe, and North America.
The next two books of the trilogy are expected to be released in 2020 and 2021. For the author, the subject – slavery – is the most important historical fact of the country. “It is impossible to understand present day and 19th century Brazil just by looking at the relation with Portugal regarding social, bureaucracy, administrative and legal matters,” he explains to the Brazilian newspaper Estadão.
“Slavery is the most important theme in the history of Brazil,” Gomes points out. “Everything we once were, what we are, and what we will be, links to our African roots, but also to the way we relate to those roots.”
Prejudice, social inequality, lack of representativeness of the black community in political roles – such rooted problems of the Brazilian culture are among the main questions that Gomes is willing to answer in his promising book.
ESCRAVIDÃO VOLUME 1
Author: Laurentino Gomes
Publisher: Globo Livros (504 pages., BRL 49.90)