23 de setembro de 2016

FGV. IBRE. 23/09/2016. Índices Gerais de Preços. IPC-S. Inflação pelo IPC-S registra queda na terceira semana do mês

O IPC-S de 22 de setembro de 2016 apresentou variação de 0,18%, 0,09 ponto percentual (p.p.) abaixo da taxa registrada na última divulgação.

Nesta apuração, cinco das oito classes de despesa componentes do índice apresentaram decréscimo em suas taxas de variação. A maior contribuição partiu do grupo Alimentação (0,44% para 0,11%). Nesta classe de despesa, cabe mencionar o comportamento do item laticínios, cuja taxa passou de -0,21% para -1,86%.

Também registraram decréscimo em suas taxas de variação os grupos: Educação, Leitura e Recreação (0,72% para 0,39%), Transportes (0,04% para 0,02%), Saúde e Cuidados Pessoais (0,39% para 0,37%) e Despesas Diversas (-0,22% para -0,28%). Nestas classes de despesa, vale destacar o comportamento dos itens: show musical (6,04% para 1,10%), etanol (-0,50% para -0,60%), artigos de higiene e cuidado pessoal (-0,09% para -0,23%) e cigarros (-0,55% para -0,77%), respectivamente.

Em contrapartida, os grupos: Habitação (0,21% para 0,27%), Vestuário (0,05% para 0,33%) e Comunicação (-0,01% para 0,01%) apresentaram acréscimo em suas taxas de variação. Nestas classes de despesa, as maiores contribuições partiram dos itens: tarifa de eletricidade residencial (-0,29% para 0,01%), roupas (0,10% para 0,32%) e tarifa de telefone residencial(-0,09% para 0,09%), respectivamente.

DOCUMENTO: http://portalibre.fgv.br/main.jsp?lumPageId=402880972283E1AA0122841CE9191DD3&contentId=8A7C82C5557F25F20157568F05A47D11

PETROBRÁS. BROOFIELD. PORTAL G1. 23/09/2016. Petrobras vende 90% de gasoduto no Sudeste por por US$ 5,2 bilhões. Brookfield vai deter participação de controladora no consórcio. NTS tem cerca de 2,5 mil quilômetros de gasodutos no Sudeste do Brasil.
Do G1, em São Paulo

Um consórcio liderado pela canadense Brookfield chegou a um acordo com a Petrobras para comprar 90% da unidade de gasodutos Nova Transportadora Sudeste (NTS), em negócio de US$ 5,19 bilhões, anunciou nesta sexta-feira (23) a Petrobras.
A estatal informou nesta sexta-feira (23) que a primeira parcela do montante acordado, correspondente a 84% do valor total (US$ 4,34 bilhões), será paga no fechamento da operação e o restante (US$ 850 milhões), em cinco anos.
"Esta operação tem grande relevância para o Plano de Desinvestimentos da Petrobras, correspondendo a cerca de 35% da meta de US$ 15,1 bilhões para o período 2015-2016", destacou a Petrobras, em comunicado.
A Brookfield vai deter uma participação de controladora no consórcio, que também inclui os fundos CIC Capital Corp, da China, e GIC Private, de Cingapura, que são clientes da Brookfield Asset Management, e o fundo de pensões de British Columbia, no Canadá.
A Reuters havia antecipado o valor da operação, em 8 de setembro, citando fonte com conhecimento direto do assunto.
O acordo para a venda da NTS, que tem cerca de 2,5 mil quilômetros de gasodutos no Sudeste do Brasil, representa o maior desinvestimento até o momento dentro do plano da Petrobras de venda de ativos.
Além da meta de US$ 15,1 bilhões em desinvestimentos para o período 2015-2016, a Petrobras incluiu em seu novo plano de negócios a previsão de US$ mais 19,5 bilhões com venda de ativos entre 2017 e 2018.
O que é a NTS
A NTS foi criada a partir de um Termo de Compromisso assinado com a Agência Nacional do Petróleo, Gás Natural e Biocombustíveis (ANP), no qual a Petrobras se comprometeu a reestruturar a Transportadora Associada de Gás (TAG) e suas subsidiárias integrais, de forma a criar uma carregadora de gás natural no sudeste do Brasil (NTS) e outra no Norte-Nordeste (TAG).
A estatal busca levantar recursos para  abater parte de sua enorme dívida – que somou em termos líquidos US$ 332,39 bilhões em 30 de junho –, a maior de uma petroleira no mundo.
"Essa operação abre oportunidades para que parcerias com outras empresas, com larga experiência e condições de investimento, contribuam para o fortalecimento da indústria de gás natural no Brasil", afirmou a Petrobras em nota.
A estatal afirmou ainda que o acordo fomenta também novos investimentos na ampliação da infraestrutura de transporte de gás, com o objetivo de criar um modelo de desverticalização da cadeia de gás natural.
A estatal brasileira, como dona de 10% da NTS, terá direitos de governança habituais compatíveis com o tamanho de sua participação.
Condicionantes
O investimento da Brookfield Infrastructure será de cerca de 20% do negócio, enquanto a Brookfield Asset Management concordou em participar inicialmente com cerca de 30% de fatia no consórcio.
"A conclusão da transação está sujeita à aprovação da Assembleia Geral da Petrobras e a determinadas condições precedentes usuais, incluindo a aprovação pelos órgãos reguladores competentes", destacou a Petrobras.
A Brookfield é uma das maiores gestoras de ativos do mundo, com mais de US$ 200 bilhões sob administração e vasta experiência em ativos de infraestrutura e energia, cujo portfolio inclui empresas com mais de 14 mil quilômetros de gasodutos nos EUA, Canadá e Austrália.
O que a Petrobras já vendeu
Confira abaixo a lista de ativos da Petrobras que já foram vendidos e negociações já concluídas desde 2015:
Transações concluídas:

  • Ativos na Argentina para a Companhia Geral de Combustíveis (CGC): US$ 101 milhões
  • 49% da subsidiária Gaspetro, vendida para a Mitsui Gás e Energia do Brasil: US$ 540 milhões
  • Ajuste de preço da petroquímica Innova, vendida à Videolar, e ativos na Colômbia: US$ 92 milhões

Transações aprovadas:

  • 67,19% na Petrobras Argentina (PESA), vendida para a Pampa Energía: US$ 897 milhões
  • 100% da Petrobras Chile Distribuición (PCD), vendida para Souther Cross Group: US$ 464 milhões
  • Participação no Bloco exploratório BM-S-8 para a Statoil Brasil Óleo e Gás: US$ 2,5 bilhões.
  • 90% da unidade de gasodutos Nova Transportadora Sudeste (NTS) para consórcio liderado pela Brookfield: US$ 5,19 bilhões

PETROBRÁS. PORTAL UOL. 23/09/2016. Consórcio liderado por Brookfield paga US$ 5,2 bi por 90% da NTS, da Petrobras
Reuters

(Reuters) - Um consórcio liderado pela canadense Brookfield chegou a um acordo com a Petrobras para comprar 90% da unidade de gasodutos Nova Transportadora Sudeste (NTS) da estatal, em negócio de aproximadamente US$ 5,2 bilhões.

A Brookfield vai deter uma participação de controladora no consórcio, que também inclui os fundos CIC Capital Corp, da China, e GIC Private, de Cingapura, que são clientes da Brookfield Asset Management, e o fundo de pensões de British Columbia, no Canadá.

A agência de notícias Reuters havia antecipado o valor da operação, em 8 de setembro, citando fonte com conhecimento direto do assunto.

A Petrobras informou nesta sexta-feira (23) que a primeira parcela do montante acordado, correspondente a 84% do valor total (US$ 4,34 bilhões), será paga no fechamento da operação e o restante (US$ 850 milhões), em cinco anos.

2,5 mil quilômetros
O acordo para a venda da NTS, que tem cerca de 2,5 mil quilômetros de gasodutos no Sudeste do Brasil, representa o maior desinvestimento até o momento dentro do plano da Petrobras de vender US$ 15,1 bilhões em ativos em 2015 e 2016.

A estatal busca venda de ativos para abater parte de sua enorme dívida --que somou em termos líquidos R$ 332,39 bilhões em 30 de junho--, a maior de uma petroleira no mundo.

"Essa operação abre oportunidades para que parcerias com outras empresas, com larga experiência e condições de investimento, contribuam para o fortalecimento da indústria de gás natural no Brasil", afirmou a Petrobras em nota.

Novos investimentos
A estatal afirmou ainda que o acordo fomenta também novos investimentos na ampliação da infraestrutura de transporte de gás, com o objetivo de criar um modelo de desverticalização da cadeia de gás natural.

A estatal brasileira, como dona de 10% da NTS, terá direitos de governança habituais compatíveis com o tamanho de sua participação.

O investimento da Brookfield Infrastructure será de cerca de 20% do negócio, enquanto a Brookfield Asset Management concordou em participar inicialmente com cerca de 30% de fatia no consórcio.

Próximos passos
A conclusão da transação está sujeita à aprovação da Assembleia Geral da Petrobras e a determinadas condições precedentes usuais, incluindo a aprovação pelos órgãos reguladores competentes.

A Brookfield é uma das maiores gestoras de ativos do mundo, com mais de US$ 200 bilhões sob administração e vasta experiência em ativos de infraestrutura e energia, cujo portfólio inclui empresas com mais de 14 mil quilômetros de gasodutos nos EUA, Canadá e Austrália.

(Por Arathy S Nair em Bangalore e Roberto Samora, em São Paulo)

PETROBRÁS. BRASKEM. 22/09/2016. Petrobras depende de aval de sócios para vender fatia da Braskem
VALDO CRUZ
DE BRASÍLIA
NICOLA PAMPLONA
DO RIO

A venda da fatia da Petrobras na Braskem depende de uma negociação com os futuros donos e sócios remanescentes para que sejam transferidos ao comprador vários direitos que a estatal tem hoje na direção da empresa do setor de petroquímica.

Sem essa negociação, a cúpula da estatal avalia que a venda (parte dos planos da empresa de negociar seus ativos para reduzir dívida) perderia valor de mercado e não faria sentido negociá-la. A Petrobras tem como sócia o grupo Odebrecht, que tem 38,3% do capital total e é o controlador da companhia, com 50,1% do capital votante.

Atualmente, por acordo de acionistas, a Petrobras tem vários direitos na administração da Braskem. Entre eles, veto a investimentos e direito de indicação de diretores.

O problema é que esses direitos são apenas da Petrobras. Sem uma negociação prévia, um futuro sócio não herdaria esses direitos, o que reduziria o valor da venda, já que o novo acionista entraria no lugar da Petrobras com menos poder na condução do negócio no dia a dia.

Segundo a Folha apurou, caso não seja refeito esse acordo de acionistas, a Petrobras pode desistir da venda.

A estatal tem 36,1% do capital total da Braskem e 47% do votante. O BNDES é dono de 0,5%, e o restante é negociado em Bolsa de Valores.


Odebrecht38,30
Petrobras36
Bndespar0,5
Outros25


Segundo estimativa do BTG Pactual, a participação da Petrobras na Braskem vale cerca de US$ 2,5 bilhões —similar ao que a estatal arrecadou com a venda da área de Carcará, no pré-sal, a maior operação até agora de seu plano de desinvestimentos.

Executivos do setor disseram à Folha que a permanência da Odebrecht como sócia majoritária pode, porém, ser outro obstáculo à venda das ações na petroquímica.

Alvo da Lava Jato, a empreiteira negocia acordo de delação premiada com o Ministério Público, e Marcelo Odebrecht, ex-presidente da empresa, está preso desde 2015.

A construtora também teria o interesse em se desfazer de sua parcela, como parte de seu próprio plano de venda de ativos para enfrentar a crise que vive desde o início da Lava Jato. Mas ainda não comunicou esta intenção oficialmente à Petrobras.

A Braskem tem operações no Brasil, México, Estados Unidos e Alemanha, e poderia interessar a grandes grupos petroquímicos globais que desejem ter posição relevante na América Latina.


2015
27,8
2010
33,2
2011
35,5
2012
41
2013
46
2014
47,30
2015


PLANOS

O plano de desinvestimento da Petrobras no período de 2017 a 2021 prevê a venda de ativos que gerem US$ 19,5 bilhões. Neste ano, a empresa espera arrecadar US$ 15 bilhões com estas operações.

Além da petroquímica, a estatal quer vender a BR Distribuidora, a Liquigás, empresas do setor de biocombustíveis, entre outras, para reduzir seu endividamento.

FED. REUTERS. 23/09/2016. Rosengren, do Fed, diz que a economia precisa "de aperto monetário modesto e gradual agora"

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - O presidente do Federal Reserve de Boston, Eric Rosengren, disse nesta sexta-feira acreditar que a taxa de juros nos Estados Unidos deve ser elevada gradualmente agora e alertou que uma queda da taxa de desemprego abaixo do seu nível sustentável poderia afetar a recuperação econômica do país.

"Até 2019, espero que a taxa de desemprego tenha caído abaixo de 4,5 por cento. Embora eu tenha um longo histórico de defesa da política que sustenta as condições do mercado de trabalho robusto, isso está abaixo da taxa que eu acredito ser sustentável a longo prazo", disse Rosengren em comunicado.

Rosengren foi dissidente na reunião desta semana do Federal Reserve, banco central norte-americano, que deixou a taxa de juros inalterada. Ele e dois outros membros votaram pela alta.

Em seu comunicado, Rosengren disse que uma taxa de desemprego tão baixa poderia causar um superaquecimento da economia, colocando uma pressão de alta sobre a inflação e aumentando os desequilíbrios do mercado financeiro, o que poderia levar a uma recessão.

A taxa de desemprego dos Estados Unidos está atualmente em 4,9 por cento.

Rosengren já havia alertado para o rápido aumento dos preços dos imóveis comerciais nos Estados Unidos, o que segundo ele poderia aprofundar a recessão se a economia dos EUA for atingida por um choque negativo.

(Por David Chance)

MTE. PORTAL G1. 23/09/2016. Brasil registra fechamento de 33,9 mil postos formais de trabalho em agosto. No acumulado do ano até agosto, país já perdeu 651.288 postos de trabalho. Indústria contratou mais do que demitiu em agosto e criou 6.294 vagas.
Alexandro Martello
Do G1, em Brasília

A economia brasileira, ainda sentindo os efeitos da crise, continua fechando vagas de trabalho com carteira assinada. Segundo números do Cadastro Geral de Empregados e Desempregados (Caged), no mês de agosto as demissões superaram as contratações em 33.953 empregos.
Os dados, divulgados pelo Ministério do Trabalho nesta sexta-feira (23), revelam que este foi o décimo sétimo mês seguido de fechamento de vagas formais. O último mês com contratações acima das demissões foi março do ano passado, quando foram criados 19,2 mil postos de trabalho.

Criação de vagas
Em milhares, para meses de agosto
133,329239,123242,126299,415190,446100,938127,648101,425-86,543-33,95320102015-200-1000100200300400
Fonte: MTE

Apesar de negativo, o resultado do mês passado foi menos ruim do que o registrado em agosto de 2015, quando foram fechados 86.543 postos de trabalho. O pior resultado para meses de agosto foi em 1995, quando 116.856 empregos com carteira assinada foram cortados.
Acumulado do ano
Na parcial dos oito primeiros meses deste ano, as demissões superaram as contratações em 651.288 vagas formais. Foi o pior resultado para este período desde o início da série histórica do Ministério do Trabalho, que, neste caso, começa em 2002.
Até então, o pior resultado, para o período de janeiro a agosto havia sido registrado no ano passado, quando foram fechadas 572.792 vagas com carteira assinada.
Os números de criação de empregos formais dos oito primeiros meses do ano, e de igual período dos últimos anos, foram ajustados para incorporar as informações enviadas pelas empresas fora do prazo nos meses de janeiro a julho. Os dados de agosto ainda são considerados sem ajuste.
O Ministério do Trabalho informou também que, nos últimos doze meses até agosto, foi registrada a demissão de 1.656.144 trabalhadores com carteira assinada.
Indústria volta a contratar
Em agosto, segundo os números do governo, o setor que mais demitiu foi a construção civil, com fechamento de 22.113 postos formais de trabalho, seguida pela agricultura, com demissão de 15.436 trabalhadores com carteira assinada. Já os serviços fecharam 3.014 vagas no mês passado.
Por outro lado, houve a abertura de 6.294 empregos com carteira assinada pela indústria de transformação em agosto deste ano. Desde fevereiro de 2015 que as contratações nesse setor não superavam as demissões.
Outros setores que criaram vagas em agosto foram o comércio (888 vagas formais) e a indústria extrativa mineral, que contratou 366 trabalhadores no período.
Já nos oito primeiros meses deste ano, informou o Ministério do Trabalho, quase todos os setores da economia demitiram trabalhadores, com exceção da administração pública, que abriu 18.631 vagas, e da agricultura (+82.109 empregos com carteira assinada).
O comércio liderou o fechamento de vagas com carteira assinada nos oito primeiros meses deste ano, com 267.267 demissões. Em segundo lugar está a construção civil, com 164.604 vagas fechadas, seguida pelos serviços, com 162.922 vagas formais fechadas na parcial deste ano.
Logo depois, vem a indústria de transformação, com 146.249 empregos formais fechados no período, e a indústria extrativa mineral, com 5.706 vagas fechadas nos oito primeiros meses deste ano.
Números regionais
Segundo o Ministério do Trabalho, houve o registro de demissões em quase todas as regiões do país nos oito primeiros meses de 2016, com exceção do Centro-Oeste, que abriu 11.231 vagas neste período.
A região Sudeste foi a que teve mais trabalhadores demitidos de janeiro a agosto deste ano, quando 352.799 pessoas perderam o emprego.
A região Nordeste, por sua vez, registrou a demissão de 204.945 trabalhadores no período, enquanto a região Sul contabilizou o fechamento de 59.079 vagas formais. Já a região Norte fechou 45.696 empregos com carteira assinada nos oito primeiros meses deste ano.
Por estados, o emprego formal apresentou resultado positivo em 13 deles, com destaque para Pernambuco (9.035), impulsionado pelo desempenho positivo da indústria de produtos alimentícios (7.016). Paraíba registrou a criação de 5.905 postos de trabalho, seguida de Alagoas (4.099) e Santa Catarina (3.014).
A maior queda no nível de emprego formal foi registrada no Rio de Janeiro, com o fechamento de 28.321 vagas, impactado pelo ramo Comércio e Administração de Imóveis (-8.395) e Serviços de Alojamento e Alimentação (-4.452). Também houve também perda de vagas em Minas Gerais (-13.121), devido o fim do ciclo de produção de café, e Espírito Santo (-4.862).

DÓLAR/ANÁLISE

BACEN. PORTAL G1. 23/09/2016. Dólar opera em queda de olho no exterior. Na véspera, moeda encerrou o dia em alta de 0,45%, vendida a R$ 3,2258. Mercado ainda repercute manutenção da taxa de juros nos EUA. 
Do G1, em São Paulo

O dólar opera em queda nesta sexta-feira (23), ainda reagindo à perspectiva de maior gradualismo na política monetária norte-americana, que continuava alimentando apetite por risco. A alta nos preços do petróleo no exterior também contribuía para o recuo da moeda norte-americana.
Às10h29, a moeda norte-americana caía 0,14%, vendida a R$ 3,2213.
Acompanhe a cotação ao longo do dia:

  • Às 9h09, queda de 0,5%, a R$ 3,2095
  • Às 9h59, queda dde 0,36%, a R$ 3,2142

Na véspera, o dólar fechou em alta de 0,45%, vendido a R$ 3,2258.
Cenário local e externo
A queda ocorre ainda como reflexo da indicação do banco central norte-americano de maior gradualismo em sua política monetária. O Fed decidiu na quarta-feira manter as taxas de juros do país entre 0,25% e 0,5%, apontando para uma maior probabilidade de uma alta em dezembro.
Juros mais altos nos Estados Unidos tendem a atrair para o país recursos aplicados em outros mercados, como o Brasil, motivando assim uma tendência de alta do dólar em relação ao real. Por isso, sinalizações de que o aumento não deve acontecer no curto prazo tendem a reforçar movimentos de queda do dólar.
Internamente, o mercado cambial também tem estado mais otimista com a aprovação de medidas de ajuste fiscal no Congresso, depois de declarações firmes de integrantes do governo nesse sentido. O ministro da Fazenda, Henrique Meirelles, vem se repetindo em defesa das reformas, assim como o presidente Michel Temer.
Atuação do BC
O Banco Central realiza nesta manhã leilão de swap cambial reverso, equivalente à compra futura de dólares, com oferta de até 5 mil contratos. Na oferta desta manhã, o BC colocará apenas três vencimentos, diferentemente do que vinha fazendo até a véspera, quando ofertou swaps para outubro.

BACEN. PORTAL UOL. 23/09/2016. Dólar opera quase estável, vendido perto de R$ 3,23; Bovespa cai

O dólar comercial operava quase estável e a Bovespa caía nesta sexta-feira (23). Por volta das 11h15, a moeda norte-americana tinha leve alta de 0,07%, a R$ 3,228 na venda. No mesmo momento, o Ibovespa, principal índice da Bolsa Brasileira, perdia 0,45%, a 58.730,8 pontos. O mercado continuava sendo influenciado pela decisão do banco central norte-americana de manter a taxa de juros nos EUA. No Brasil, o Banco Central atuou no mercado de câmbio, vendendo 5.000 contratos de swap cambial reverso (equivalentes à compra futura de dólares). (Com Reuters)

BACEN. REUTERS. 23/09/2016. Dólar cai frente ao real com BC sinalizando que não elevará intervenção
Por Claudia Violante

SÃO PAULO (Reuters) - O dólar operava em baixa ante o real nesta sexta-feira, ainda reagindo à perspectiva de maior gradualismo na política monetária norte-americana e pelo fato de o presidente do Banco Central, Ilan Goldfajn, ter reforçado a mensagem de que diminuiu o espaço para atuação cambial por meio de swaps.

Às 10:47, o dólar recuava 0,11 por cento, a 3,2221 reais na venda, após bater 3,2025 reais na mínima do dia. O dólar futuro caía cerca de 0,05 por cento.

"Foi positiva a fala do Ilan, sinalizou que o BC não vai agir tão forte no câmbio, o que tira pressão altista sobre a moeda (norte-americana)", disse o analista de câmbio da Gradual Investimentos, Marcos Jamelli.

Na noite passada, Ilan reiterou que o espaço para reduzir o estoque de swaps cambiais tem diminuído com a proximidade da normalização das condições monetárias dos Estados Unidos.

Em entrevista à Reuters na semana passada, Ilan já havia dito que o BC enxerga menor espaço para redução do estoque de swaps cambiais tradicionais, equivalentes à venda futura de dólares.

O mercado entendeu que o BC pode não elevar a oferta de swap cambial reverso, equivalente à compra futura de dólares, ajudando no recuo da moeda norte-americana nesta manhã.

Os investidores também agiam sob a expectativa de que o Federal Reserve, o banco central norte-americano, voltará a elevar a taxa de juros do país de forma gradual.

Um aumento de juros mais tarde nos Estados Unidos cria janela de oportunidade aos países emergentes, como o Brasil, que pagam rendimentos maiores.

"O BC (brasileiro) sinaliza que quer cortar os juros. Mas mesmo com uma redução em breve, o retorno no Brasil ainda é muito alto e, por isso, acredito que o dólar siga em baixa por aqui", disse o diretor de uma corretora nacional.

A Selic está em 14,25 por cento há mais de um ano, uma das taxas de juros mais elevadas do mundo.

O BC vendeu nesta manhã toda a oferta diária de até 5 mil contratos de swap cambial reverso.


BOVESPA/ANÁLISE

BOVESPA. PORTAL G1. 23/09/2016. Bovespa sobe nesta sexta, seguindo a tendência dos últimos pregões. Cenário mais negativo no exterior, contudo, limitava os ganhos. No ano, há valorização de 36,09%.
Do G1, em São Paulo

O principal índice da Bovespa tinha leve alta no início dos negócios desta sexta-feira (23), mantendo o viés positivo visto nas quatro sessões anteriores, com as ações do setor de papel e celulose entre as maiores altas. O cenário mais negativo no exterior, contudo, limitava os ganhos.
Às 10h22, o Ibovespa tinha queda de 0,10%, a 58.933 pontos.
O principal índice da Bovespa fechou em alta nesta quinta-feira, acompanhando o viés positivo no exterior, após a decisão do Federal Reserve na véspera de manter os juros nos Estados Unidos e indicar cautela no processo de normalização da política monetária.
O Ibovespa subiu 1,03%, a 58.994 pontos. Na semana e no mês, a bolsa acumula alta de 3,35% e 1,89%, respectivamente. No ano, há valorização de 36,09%.

________________

LGCJ.:

22 de setembro de 2016

US ECONOMICS

FED. September 21, 2016. Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in July indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen and growth of economic activity has picked up from the modest pace seen in the first half of this year. Although the unemployment rate is little changed in recent months, job gains have been solid, on average. Household spending has been growing strongly but business fixed investment has remained soft. Inflation has continued to run below the Committee's 2 percent longer-run objective, partly reflecting earlier declines in energy prices and in prices of non-energy imports. Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; most survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed, on balance, in recent months.

Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. The Committee expects that, with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace and labor market conditions will strengthen somewhat further. Inflation is expected to remain low in the near term, in part because of earlier declines in energy prices, but to rise to 2 percent over the medium term as the transitory effects of past declines in energy and import prices dissipate and the labor market strengthens further. Near-term risks to the economic outlook appear roughly balanced. The Committee continues to closely monitor inflation indicators and global economic and financial developments.

Against this backdrop, the Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1/4 to 1/2 percent. The Committee judges that the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has strengthened but decided, for the time being, to wait for further evidence of continued progress toward its objectives. The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting further improvement in labor market conditions and a return to 2 percent inflation.

In determining the timing and size of future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate, the Committee will assess realized and expected economic conditions relative to its objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation. This assessment will take into account a wide range of information, including measures of labor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial and international developments. In light of the current shortfall of inflation from 2 percent, the Committee will carefully monitor actual and expected progress toward its inflation goal. The Committee expects that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant only gradual increases in the federal funds rate; the federal funds rate is likely to remain, for some time, below levels that are expected to prevail in the longer run. However, the actual path of the federal funds rate will depend on the economic outlook as informed by incoming data.

The Committee is maintaining its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in agency mortgage-backed securities and of rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction, and it anticipates doing so until normalization of the level of the federal funds rate is well under way. This policy, by keeping the Committee's holdings of longer-term securities at sizable levels, should help maintain accommodative financial conditions.

Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Janet L. Yellen, Chair; William C. Dudley, Vice Chairman; Lael Brainard; James Bullard; Stanley Fischer; Jerome H. Powell; and Daniel K. Tarullo. Voting against the action were: Esther L. George, Loretta J. Mester, and Eric Rosengren, each of whom preferred at this meeting to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 1/2 to 3/4 percent.

FED. September 21, 2016. Federal Reserve Board and Federal Open Market Committee release economic projections from the September 20-21 FOMC meeting

The attached table and charts released on Wednesday summarize the economic projections and the target federal funds rate projections made by Federal Open Market Committee participants for the September 20-21 meeting.

The table will be incorporated into a summary of economic projections released with the minutes of the September 20-21 meeting. Summaries of economic projections are released quarterly.

Projections: http://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/files/fomcprojtabl20160921.pdf


US TREASURY. 09/22/2016. Testimony of Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew Before the House Financial Services Committee

WASHINGTON - Chairman Hensarling, Ranking Member Waters, and members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify today regarding the 2016 annual report of the Financial Stability Oversight Council.
 
Congress created the Council under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) to bring together the entire financial regulatory community for the first time to identify and respond to emerging threats to U.S. financial stability.  The Council convenes regularly to monitor market developments and to take action when needed to protect the American people from potential risks to the financial system.  Our approach has been data‑driven and deliberative, and we consistently provide the public with considerable information regarding the Council’s actions and views. 
 
The Council recently released its sixth annual report.  The annual report represents the Council’s consensus on key risk areas and recommendations to address those concerns.  Each voting member of the Council signed a statement supporting the report’s recommendations.  This year’s report highlighted many of the topics the Council has discussed over the last year, including cybersecurity, risks associated with asset management products and activities, reforms to wholesale funding markets, and global economic and financial developments.  Those discussions laid the groundwork for many of the recommendations in the annual report, and these issues will continue to be areas of focus in the coming year.
 
The Council’s annual report is an important vehicle to highlight publicly potential threats to financial stability, and it serves as a key mechanism for public accountability and transparency regarding the Council’s work.  Each report is the product of extensive collaboration and analysis conducted by the Council and its member agencies that documents the Council’s views of current risks and emerging threats to financial stability, along with recommendations for specific actions to mitigate those risks.  The findings and recommendations set down a marker for action, providing transparency regarding the Council’s upcoming priorities and a roadmap for the year ahead.  Importantly, the statement in the annual report that is signed by each of the Council’s voting members affirms that all of the issues and recommendations in the report should be fully addressed.
 
Areas of Focus of the Council’s 2016 Annual Report
 
The Council’s 2016 annual report focuses on 12 themes that warrant continued attention and, in many cases, further action from the Council members and member agencies. 
 
·         Cybersecurity: Government agencies and the private sector should continue to work to improve and enhance information sharing, baseline protections such as security controls and network monitoring, and response and recovery planning.
 
·         Risks Associated with Asset Management Products and Activities: The asset management industry’s increasing significance to financial markets and to the broader economy underscores the Council’s ongoing consideration of potential risks to U.S. financial stability from products and activities in this sector, including further analysis of the activities of hedge funds.
 
·         Capital, Liquidity, and Resolution: Regulators should continue working to ensure that there is enough capital and liquidity at financial institutions to reduce systemic risk, including finalizing rules setting standards for the minimum levels of total loss-absorbing capacity and long-term debt maintained by certain large banking organizations operating in the United States.
 
·         Central Counterparties (CCPs): Council member agencies should continue to evaluate whether existing rules and standards for CCPs and their clearing members are sufficiently robust to mitigate potential threats to financial stability, and also should continue working with international standard-setting bodies to implement more granular guidance with respect to international risk management standards in order to enhance the safety and soundness of CCPs.
 
·         Reforms of Wholesale Funding Markets: Counterparty risk exposure has been significantly reduced in the tri-party repurchase agreement (repo) market, though the potential for fire sales of collateral by creditors of a defaulted broker-dealer remains an important risk.  Better data are needed to assist the understanding policymakers have of how the aggregate repo market operates.  Furthermore, regulators should continue to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of structural reforms of money market mutual funds.
 
·         Reforms Relating to Reference Rates: Regulators and market participants should continue their efforts to develop alternative benchmark interest rates and implementation plans to achieve a smooth transition to these new rates.
 
·         Data Quality, Collection, and Sharing: While Council members have made progress in filling gaps in the scope, quality, and accessibility of data available to regulators, regulators and market participants should continue to work together to improve the scope, quality, and accessibility of financial data.
 
·         Housing Finance Reform: While regulators and supervisors have taken great strides to work within the constraints of conservatorship to promote greater investment of private capital and improve operational efficiencies with lower costs, federal and state regulators are approaching the limits of their ability to enact wholesale reforms that are likely to foster a vibrant, resilient housing finance system.  Housing finance reform legislation is needed to create a more sustainable system that enhances financial stability.
 
·         Risk Management in an Environment of Low Interest Rates and Rising Asset Price Volatility: Depressed energy and metals commodities prices, large swings in equity valuations, and upward movement in high-yield debt spreads underscore the need for supervisors, regulators, and managers to remain vigilant in ensuring that firms and funds maintain robust risk management standards.
 
·        Changes in Financial Market Structure and Implications for Financial Stability: The growing importance in certain markets of proprietary trading firms and automated trading systems may introduce new vulnerabilities, including operational risks associated with the very high speed and volume of trading activity.  Increased coordination among regulators is needed to evaluate and address these risks.
 
·         Financial Innovation and Migration of Activities: Financial regulators will need to continue to work hard to monitor new and rapidly growing financial products and business practices, even if those products and practices are relatively nascent and may not constitute a current risk to financial stability.
 
·         Global Economic and Financial Developments: Market participants and regulators should be vigilant in identifying and responding to potential foreign shocks that could disrupt financial stability in the United States.
 
The annual report goes into detail on each of these important issues.  These 12 areas of focus also demonstrate the need for the Council and its member agencies to persistently monitor these risks and to foster discussion and analysis around them. 
 
As the forum designed to bring the financial regulatory community together to collaboratively identify and respond to potential threats to financial stability, the Council has done what Congress established it to do, including asking the tough questions that help us make our financial system safer.  Our mandate is to shine a light on emerging threats before they can evolve into another financial crisis. 
 
As part of this responsibility, the Council has worked closely with a broad array of stakeholders, and has adapted its policies and procedures in response to good ideas stakeholders have raised.  We have improved our transparency policy, strengthened our internal governance, provided the public with additional information on the nonbank financial company designations process, and solicited public comment on potential risks to financial stability from asset management products and activities.
 
The Council remains a critical forum for identifying potential threats as the financial industry and regulatory environment continue to evolve.  An example of this work is our ongoing evaluation of potential risks to financial stability from asset management products and activities.  As these products and activities represent an increasingly important part of the financial sector, it is incumbent on the Council to evaluate any potential financial stability implications they present.  To that end, in April of this year, we published a number of findings regarding potential liquidity and redemption risks and leverage risks, based on careful analysis that included engagement with key stakeholders.  Our work in this area is ongoing, and we plan to provide timely public updates as our analysis continues.  Separately, in the months ahead, the Council will monitor market responses to the implementation of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s money market mutual fund reforms that go into effect next month.  Risks to financial stability arising from the money market mutual fund industry were an important area of focus for the Council in the aftermath of the financial crisis.     
 
Finally, the Council will continue to monitor for potential threats posed by nonbank financial companies.  The Council’s nonbank financial company designations authority has been a critical tool to address a key weakness exposed by the financial crisis: that the failure of large, complex, and interconnected financial companies could threaten financial stability.  The Council’s process for considering nonbank financial companies for potential designation includes extensive engagement with companies and their primary regulators, and the reasons for designations are explained to the companies and to the public.  The Council also annually reevaluates each of its previous nonbank financial company designations every year, and we take these reviews seriously.  This June, the Council voted to rescind its designation of GE Capital because the company had implemented strategic changes that significantly reduced the potential for the company’s material financial distress to threaten U.S. financial stability.  The Council’s action shows that the designation process works as intended— if a company changes in a way that addresses the risks it could pose to financial stability, there is a clear process for the Council to rescind a designation.
 
As we recently marked the eight-year anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, it has become clear that the reforms adopted in the Dodd-Frank Act, including the creation of the Council, have made the financial system safer, more resilient, and supportive of long-term economic growth.  We should not forget how damaging weak oversight of the financial system can be to our country and our economy.  The Council has proven itself as an important forum for the financial regulatory community to come together, identify risks, and work collaboratively to respond to emerging threats to financial stability.  It would be a mistake to roll back the clock on these protections or to constrain the ability of the Council or its member agencies to address new risks as they arise, including the Council’s nonbank financial company designations authority.   I look forward to questions Members of the Committee may have on the Council’s annual report.
________________

LGCJ.:
US ECONOMICS

US-Africa Business Forum

DoC. 09/21/2016. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker Delivers Opening Remarks at U.S.-Africa Business Forum

Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker opened the second U.S.-Africa Business Forum alongside her co-host for the event, the Honorable Michael Bloomberg. Founder of Bloomberg L.P. & Bloomberg Philanthropies and 108th Mayor of New York City.

Building on the success of the 2014 Forum, this year’s event once again brought together African heads of state and private sector CEOs from the United States and Africa to celebrate the partnerships and innovations that have led to deepened business relationships and to discuss the exciting potential for further collaboration.

Remarks

Thank you, Mike, for your leadership and your friendship. It’s been wonderful for the Department of Commerce to partner again with Bloomberg Philanthropies to organize this amazing forum. I want to extend a special welcome to all of our distinguished guests visiting from across the United States and Africa. Mayor Bloomberg and I share a core belief that the private sector – including many of you here today – is a powerful force for progress around the world.

Your businesses, your partnerships, and your investments have helped to solve problems across the African continent and generate prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic. In the process, you have strengthened the economic partnership between the United States and nations across Africa.

Deepening these commercial ties remains a top priority for the Obama Administration. Since the last Forum, our Power Africa initiative has helped fuel power generation projects that are essential for economic growth across sub-Saharan Africa. Trade Africa has increased trade both within the continent and between Africa and the world. And we have extended the African Growth and Opportunity Act for another ten years, which will help more African products reach American customers duty-free.

But government efforts alone are not sufficient. If we are going to grow the U.S.-Africa relationship, the business community is an essential partner.

We all know that, over the two years since the first U.S.-Africa Business Forum, economic growth has slowed across the globe. Volatile markets and the drop in commodity prices have negatively affected many African countries in the short-run, highlighting the need for greater economic diversification. But Africa’s long-term prospects remain strong, and investing in the continent’s future continues to be good business.

In fact, these global headwinds make it even more important that all of us – in government and in business – redouble our shared commitment to solving problems, building new partnerships, promoting further regional integration, and finding new ways to plug all Africans into the global economy. Today is an opportunity to showcase how existing partnerships are already transforming our economic relationship, to celebrate the new deals and investments announced this week, and to shine a spotlight on opportunities for us to continue to work together.

DoC. 09/21/2016. Op-Ed: Africa Could Be the Great Economic Success of This Century
Huffington Post
By Penny Pritzker and Michael R. Bloomberg

Over the last eight years, America has written a new chapter in our relationship with Africa. Under President Obama’s leadership, we have worked to transition our support for the continent from aid to trade and empowerment. We have started to build a full, equal, advanced economic partnership — a partnership that holds as much promise for African countries as it does for America. This week’s U.S.-Africa Business Forum is a key component of that new partnership.

Africa is primed to be one of the great economic success stories of this century. Incomes are rising. Investments in infrastructure and technology are accelerating growth across a range of industries. Africa today is home to 700 companies with revenues greater than $500 million. Consumer spending is on track to climb to $1 trillion over the next four years. The workforce is projected to be the largest on the planet by 2040. The continent could make up a quarter of the global economy by the year 2050.

African markets are also poised to benefit from several long-term trends, including the fastest-growing middle class in the world, an expanding urban population, and increasing access to mobile technology and the internet. By the end of this century, some estimates predict that 40 percent of the world’s youth will be African, which would be an unprecedented concentration of young consumers.

Today, on both sides of the Atlantic, there is a clear desire to deepen our ties of trade and investment. Doing so will spur growth and support new jobs across both the U.S. and the countries of Africa. But with only 2% of total U.S. exports going to Africa, we still have a long way to go before we fully realize the promise and potential of our economic relationship.

The U.S.-Africa Business Forum was created two years ago to accelerate our progress in realizing that potential. The forum brings together heads of states and business leaders for a conversation focused on strengthening our commercial ties. So far, the results of this dialogue have exceeded our expectations.

Today, the billions in investments that were announced during the 2014 forum are on track to be completed — investments in everything from manufacturing and worker training to clean energy and IT modernization. There have also been private-sector deals in aviation, banking, construction and transportation. In addition, the Department of Commerce has doubled its presence in Africa to better serve American firms looking to access markets and create business partnerships, and last September conducted the largest trade mission to Africa in the history of our country.

At this year’s forum, the scope of that progress has widened to include billions more in new partnerships and investments in areas critical to Africa’s future, like technology and the digital economy. Investments in thermal and wind power in Senegal, urban solar farms in South Africa, TV white space and low-cost bandwidth to rural areas of Kenya, and the building of a metro-fiber network in Liberia are just some of the exciting announcements being made this week.

Other programs are helping to spur these and other new investments. The Commerce Department’s Power Africa initiative has helped fuel power-generation projects that are essential for economic growth across sub-Saharan Africa. Trade Africa has increased trade both within the continent and between Africa and the world. And the extension of the African Growth and Opportunity Act for another 10 years will help more African products reach American customers duty-free.

At this year’s U.S.-Africa Business Forum, we look forward to laying the groundwork for the next chapter — one that sees our commercial connections deepen and our trade partnerships mature. With every deal signed and every investment made, we build bridges between our businesses, we open new lines of communication between our governments, and we create new opportunities for our citizens.

DoC. 09/21/2016. How Opportunity Impacts Economic Success in Africa
Bloomberg

Meet Asterie Mukangango. A couple of years ago, she was one of the many women farming small plots of coffee trees in Rwanda. Even though she was part of the global coffee market, she wasn’t aware of the complex web of relationships and elements that make up the value chain for a commodity as universal as coffee.

Today, Asterie is an experienced farmer who deeply understands the process, challenges and barriers of exporting coffee. She’s the president of the Nyampinga women’s coffee cooperative in Southern Rwanda and a trainee of Bloomberg Philanthropies partner, the Relationship Coffee Institute — Sustainable Harvest Rwanda. Not only does Asterie understand the ins and outs of the coffee value chain but she also empowers other women in her community to become independent businesswomen who can provide for their families. Women like her are helping lead Africa towards a stronger economy.

What set Asterie apart? Opportunity. Without the opportunities afforded by programs such as Sustainable Harvest Rwanda, women smallholder farmers like Asterie would be unlikely to cultivate the entrepreneurial and business skills needed to grow their operations in the marketplace.

Opportunity can take many forms, from new partnerships and access to markets to vocational training programs and support for wealth-building. These elements are all important to ensuring that women are at the center of broader economic success in Africa.

That’s why at Bloomberg Philanthropies, we’re constantly working to unlock opportunities that help facilitate growth and progress in Africa, from our Women’s Economic Development program to our Maternal and Reproductive Health initiative.

And that’s why we’re deepening our investment with the Relationship Coffee Institute with a renewed $10 million gift. The Relationship Coffee Institute connects women farmers to resources and global markets so they can meet the international demand for specialty coffee. This new round of funding will allow the institute to reach an additional 20,000 women.

DoC. 09/21/2016. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and East African Leaders Agree to Business Commitments in New York

On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker hosted the East African Heads of State roundtable in New York City. Held alongside the United Nations General Assembly meeting and the U.S.-Africa Business Forum, the roundtable brought together East African leaders to discuss business development, investment opportunities, and economic growth in their respective countries. Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of Uganda, Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, and William Ruto, Deputy President of Kenya participated, along with multiple U.S. and African CEOs from companies doing business in the region.

The roundtable built on the achievements from the CEO regional integration roundtable Secretary Pritzker co-chaired with President Kagame in January 2016 during her trip to Africa with members of the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA). Secretary Pritzker facilitated yesterday’s discussion aimed at accelerating regional integration through practical and actionable private sector driven proposals in the areas of travel and tourism, agribusiness technology, and infrastructure. The East African leaders agreed to support these proposals, which are critical steps to expanding the bilateral trade and investment relationships between their respective countries and with the United States.

The impact of the travel and tourism sector on the economic and social development of a country can be enormous. Given this, Secretary Pritzker facilitated an agreement among the East African leaders and the U.S. Departments of Commerce and State to launch an annual rotating U.S.-East Africa Travel and Tourism Dialogue to promote East Africa as a top global travel and tourism destination and support the growth of new partnership opportunities for U.S. and East African companies in this sector.

While East African countries are exploring many exciting travel and tourism initiatives, agriculture remains the backbone of many African economies, and the sector has not reached its full potential During today’s roundtable, the East African leaders agreed to launch the pilot in Kenya and scale it across the other East African countries.  At the same time, they recognized that a more holistic approach to agribusiness development is necessary. As a result, Secretary Pritzker tasked the U.S. Department of Commerce to work with partner agencies to develop a comprehensive and data driven approach to address production, productivity and value added challenges.

Similarly, interconnected infrastructure is essential to realizing East Africa’s economic potential, and would significantly improve regional integration and the growth of intra-regional and global trade. East African leaders and Secretary Pritzker agreed to work together to address challenges in building large-scale infrastructure, with the goal of convening an Infrastructure Summit with U.S. investors and companies across the infrastructure value chain focused on specific projects in the critical areas of electricity, transport and water infrastructure.

DoC. 09/21/2016. Fact Sheet: U.S.-East African Heads of State and CEO Roundtable

On September 20th, U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker chaired a roundtable with East African Heads of State and CEOs focused on advancing regional economic integration and opportunities in the travel and tourism, agribusiness technology, and infrastructure sectors. The meeting resulted in agreement on significant new steps to expand collaboration in these three important areas.

Secretary Pritzker and their Excellencies Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto, and Tanzanian Foreign Minister Augustine Mahiga agreed to launch a Travel and Tourism Dialogue, scale a digital platform on agriculture across East Africa, and work toward convening an Infrastructure Summit.

U.S.-East Africa Travel and Tourism Dialogue

The impact of the travel and tourism sector on the economic and social development of a country can be enormous.  Given the significance of the sector to our overall economies, the East African leaders and the U.S. Departments of Commerce and State agreed to launch an annual rotating U.S.-East Africa Travel and Tourism Dialogue to promote East Africa as a top global travel and tourism destination and support the growth of new partnership opportunities for U.S. and East African companies in this sector. The Travel and Tourism Dialogue would: (1) promote and expand business opportunities; (2) deepen regional integration and cooperation in travel and tourism across East Africa; and (3) strengthen people-to-people ties. Each year the dialogue will be co-hosted by one of the East African countries.

Agribusiness Technology

Agriculture remains the backbone of many African economies, but the sector has not reached its full potential. For example, post-harvest losses of fruits and vegetables can exceed 35 percent in many supply chains because they perish before they reach the market. Solving the transportation challenge through technology, including temperature-controlled supply chain, or “cold chain,” can help reduce these losses and capitalize on existing infrastructure by providing more immediate access to markets. The Commerce Department, IBM and the Global Cold Chain Alliance are exploring the development of a scalable digital marketplace pilot that will be accessible via smart and feature phones, that instantly connects farmers and buyers to transporters with cold chain capabilities. During today’s roundtable, the East African leaders agreed to launch the pilot in Kenya and scale it across the other East African countries.  At the same time, they recognized that a more holistic approach to agribusiness development is necessary. As a result, Secretary Pritzker tasked the U.S. Department of Commerce to work with partner agencies to develop a comprehensive and data driven approach to address production, productivity and value added challenges.

Infrastructure Summit

Interconnected infrastructure is essential to realizing East Africa’s economic potential, and would significantly improve regional integration and the growth of intra-regional and global trade. Today, the East African leaders and the Department of Commerce agreed to work together to address challenges in building large-scale infrastructure, with the goal of convening an Infrastructure Summit with U.S. investors and companies across the infrastructure value chain focused on specific projects in the critical areas of electricity, transport and water infrastructure. As a first step before proceeding with the Summit, East African leaders and Secretary Pritzker agreed it would be valuable to convene a meeting with ministers and technical experts to build the capacity of East African government officials to develop bankable, feasible projects.

Roundtable Participants

  • His Excellency Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of Ethiopia 
  • His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda
  • His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of Uganda
  • His Excellency William Ruto, Deputy President of Kenya
  • His Excellency Augustine Mahiga, Foreign Minister of Tanzania
  • Penny Pritzker, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Martin H. Richenhagen, Chairman, President and CEO, AGCO
  • Andrew Patterson, President of Africa Division, Bechtel Group, Inc.
  • Vimal Shah, CEO, Bidco Africa Ltd.
  • James Mwangi, CEO and Managing Director, Equity Bank
  • Tewolde GebreMariam Tesfay, CEO, Ethiopian Airlines
  • Sara Menker, Founder and CEO, Gro Intelligence
  • Takreem El-Tohamy, General Manager, Middle East & Africa, IBM
  • Carole Kariuki, CEO, Kenya Private Sector Alliance
  • Mohammed Dewji, CEO, Mohammed Enterprises Tanzania Limited (MeTL)
  • Stephen Douglas Cashin, CEO, Pan African Capital Group LLC
  • Willy Foote, Founder & CEO, Root Capital
  • John Mirenge, CEO, RwandAir
  • Tom Klein, President & CEO, Sabre Corporation
  • Patrick Bitature, Chairman, Simba Group of Companies
  • Kenneth S. Siegel, EVP, CAO and General Counsel, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
  • Sean Klimczak, Senior Managing Director, The Blackstone Group
  • Stephen Hayes, President and Chief Executive Officer, the Corporate Council on Africa
  • Corey Rosenbusch, President & CEO, the Global Cold Chain Alliance




DoC. The White House. 09/21/2016. FACT SHEET: U.S.-Africa Cooperation on Trade and Investment Under the Obama Administration

Africa’s immense economic potential, increasing integration into global markets, expanding infrastructure, and demographic boom provide a remarkable opportunity to enhance U.S. trade and investment ties across the continent.  African countries are tackling economic challenges by diversifying their economies, streamlining regional and global economic cooperation, and innovating to overcome barriers to trade and investment.  The United States is committed to being a partner in these efforts, including through initiatives such as the Doing Business in Africa Campaign, Power Africa, and Trade Africa.  Taking into account these and other efforts, at the 2014 U.S.-Africa Business Forum (USABF) co-hosted by the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) and Bloomberg Philanthropies, $33 billion in commitments, including $14 billion in private sector deals and commitments, were made to support economic growth across Africa.  Over the last two years, Commerce has tracked nearly $15 billion in additional private sector deals reached between U.S. and African partners, and from 2008 to 2015 U.S. direct investment in Africa rose from $37 billion to $64 billion on a historic-cost basis - an increase of more than 70 percent.  That’s more than double the total global official development assistance that went to Africa in 2015.  ‎Today’s U.S.-Africa Business Forum builds upon the partnerships created in 2014 with new commitments to mobilize an additional $9.1 billion in trade and investment to support the development of Africa’s consumer goods, construction, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, telecommunications, and transportation sectors. 
The U.S. Government has Expanded its Presence and Economic Engagement in Africa
Since 2008, Commerce has doubled its presence on the continent, opening new offices in Angola, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Mozambique, expanding its presence in Ghana, and re-establishing a presence at the African Development Bank.  The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has opened an office in Nigeria and restarted work in Kenya, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) opened offices in Kenya, South Africa and Cote d’Ivoire.  The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has deployed more than 40 field-based transaction advisors in sub-Saharan Africa to track projects for potential Power Africa support and to provide technical support to improve the enabling environment for private sector investment in the energy sector. 
In addition to expanding their physical presence, economic and development agencies have significantly expanded their portfolios on the continent: 
  • OPIC has tripled its portfolio in Africa since 2009, and investments in Africa now represent nearly a third of OPIC’s total portfolio.  OPIC has committed more than $7 billion in financing and insurance to projects in Africa, and these commitments have mobilized more than $14 billion in additional investments into highly impactful sectors in Africa like clean energy, telecom, healthcare, education, and microfinance.
  • USTDA has more than doubled the size of its Africa portfolio in the last eight years, supporting 135 projects across 14 countries.  This early-stage investment, which has the potential to mobilize more than $17 billion in private and public financing, has already helped to realize $2.5 billion in U.S. exports. 
  • From 2009-2016, Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM Bank) authorizations doubled in Sub-Saharan Africa as compared to the previous eight-year period, and rose across all of Africa by 45 percent.  In the past five years EXIM Bank has approved more than $6.3 billion in financing for U.S. exports to sub-Saharan Africa, including a record $2.1 billion in fiscal year 2014.
  • Twenty of the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC’s) signed compacts are with African countries, totaling $7.9 billion and representing approximately 68 percent of MCC’s total compact portfolio.  In addition, 11 of MCC’s threshold programs are with African countries, totaling more than $203 million. 
  • Since 2008, the U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) commitment to Africa has grown with entry into 8 new countries.  USADF has opened African-led program offices in each country, with African country teams that manage nearly $25 million active projects
  • The Department of the Treasury has committed to double resources for the domestic resource mobilization work of the Office of Technical Assistance (OTA) by 2020, which will expand support for building effective revenue and expenditure systems. OTA has increasingly focused on Africa, with projects in sub-Saharan Africa making up approximately one third of its portfolio.
The Administration has Expanded Access to U.S. Government Tools that Support Our Trade and Investment with Africa
The U.S. Government, across a dozen Departments and Agencies, offers a suite of financial and technical tools and programs to support U.S. businesses looking to trade with and invest in Africa, including financing for overseas investments; export credit and political risk insurance; partial loan and risk guarantees; support for project preparation, feasibility studies and training; and export counseling and market analysis.  Diplomatic engagement by the State Department also supports American firms and promotes host government reforms that improve investment environments. 
In 2012, the Administration launched the Doing Business in Africa (DBIA) Campaign to help make the U.S. Government’s resources more easily available to the U.S. private sector and African public and private sector partners.  At the 2014 Forum, the President announced the formation of an Advisory Council on DBIA to provide information, analysis, and recommendations on opportunities for the U.S. Government to promote broad-based economic growth in the United States and in Africa by encouraging U.S. companies to trade with and invest in Africa.  Today, the President welcomed the new members of the Advisory Council on DBIA, which was expanded from 15 to 24 members to ensure a more robust representation across U.S. industries.
Since the DBIA Campaign was launched in 2012, Commerce has assisted more than 1,500 U.S. clients seeking to export to African countries.  Since 2009, Commerce’s International Buyer Program has helped bring 522 delegations and 8,123 buyers from Africa to U.S. trade shows, and Commerce has taken 283 U.S. companies on trade missions to Africa.  Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency has sponsored the African Global Pathways initiative, which provides minority-owned firms access to expert consulting services that promote U.S.-Africa business linkages.  USTDA has hosted African government and business leaders on more than 40 reverse trade missions to the United States since 2008 – helping to generate over $135 million in U.S. exports to Africa.  OPIC has also led investor delegations to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cote d'Ivoire, and Senegal to identify ripe opportunities and encourage investment, and MCC conducted its first ever investment mission to Tanzania and Malawi. Earlier this week, the Department of Commerce and leaders from East Africa announced new steps they plan to take to support tourism, cold chain development, and infrastructure in that region.  At the USABF, Commerce and the Nigerian Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment are announcing the establishment of the U.S.-Nigeria Commercial and Investment Dialogue to sustain engagement between our governments and private sectors in order to promote deeper trade and investment ties between the United States and Nigeria.
The U.S. government is also working to make it easier for U.S. companies to invest and work in Africa.  The Department of Transportation (DOT) continues to work with African governments to improve transportation infrastructure, modernize laws and regulations governing transportation, reduce technical barriers to trade through harmonization of standards, and improve regional connectivity.  Under the Safe Skies for Africa program, DOT has completed more than 100 training courses and workshops to facilitate African aviation professional’s exposure and adherence to international aviation standards.  And today, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making up to $100 million in credit guarantees available to establish or upgrade facilities or infrastructure in Africa and elsewhere, enhancing countries’ ability to import U.S. agricultural commodities.
In addition to in-person resources, departments and agencies are expanding access to online resources.  Commerce launched a One-Stop-Shop website to offer American businesses and entrepreneurs real-time access to critical African market information, financing tools available to them, projects to consider, and key contacts.  The Department of Energy (DOE) developed the online “Clean Energy Solutions Center,” which connects policymakers in Africa with experts and best practice resources to help governments design and adopt policies that support the deployment of clean energy technologies, including by harmonizing these policies with countries’ Intended Nationally Determined Contributions.  DOE also brought together world class industry experts and emerging natural gas producers and consumers in sub-Saharan Africa to create a "Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Handbook," which will help foster a shared understanding between government officials and private companies of the factors that lead to successful LNG projects.  Commerce’s Commercial Law Development Program and the African Development Bank’s (AfDB’s) African Legal Support Facility releasedtwo handbooks under the auspices of Power Africa that are helping to strengthen the capacity of African governments to negotiate fair and transparent power deals.  Today, MCC launched a new collaboration with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to catalyze investment in the developing world by sharing economic analysis and identifying potential partnerships and investment opportunities. 
Through Power Africa, launched in 2013, the U.S. Government and a coalition of more than 130 public and private sector partners are working to double access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa.  At the 2014 USABF, the President pledged new funding to expand Power Africa’s reach to all of sub-Saharan Africa, and announced a new aggregate goal of adding 30,000 megawatts (MW) of new, cleaner electricity and increasing electricity access by at least 60 million new connections.  Power Africa is providing support for projects expected to generate more than 29,000 MW, and this support has already helped transactions expected to generate more than 4,600 MW of generation reach financial close.  Through the combined efforts of Power Africa’s strategic partners, including the World Bank Group, the AfDB, the European Union, and the Governments of Sweden, the United Kingdom, Norway, and Canada, Power Africa is on track to meet its goals by 2030.  In August 2016, Power Africa announced a new partnership with the Government of Japan, through which Japan committed to bring 1,200 MW of electricity to sub-Saharan Africa by the end of 2018.  To date, Power Africa’s initial $7 billion commitment has mobilized more than $52 billion in additional external commitments, including more than $40 billion in private sector commitments to invest in power generation and distribution across sub-Saharan Africa.  
By demonstrating that renewable power transactions are financially viable, improving the performance of utilities, changing the regulatory mind-set on renewables, and harmonizing policies to drive investment and stability, Power Africa is also playing a critical role in advancing affordable, reliable, and modern energy services and substantially increasing the share of renewable energy in sub-Saharan Africa – which currently represents three quarters of the projects Power Africa is supporting.  Through the U.S.-Africa Clean Energy Finance (ACEF) Initiative, OPIC and USTDA have provided critical early-stage project preparation support for 34 renewable energy projects in ten African countries.  Already, 15 ACEF projects have secured project financing, which is leading to increased power generation capacity and expanded access to electricity.  For example, since receiving ACEF funding from OPIC in 2013, Off-Grid Electric has expanded solar energy provision in Tanzania from 2,000 households to more than 100,000.   A grant from the USTDA to Rwandan company Amahoro Energy Ltd. to develop two run-of river hydropower plants helped open up Rwanda’s hydropower sector to eight other projects, in addition to providing electricity to the Shyira Hospital and 22,500 households in rural Rwanda.   Power Africa has also facilitated the signing of 14 Independent Power Purchase Agreements to develop 1,125 MW of new solar power in Nigeria, and through a partnership with Lekela Power, OPIC will support the development, construction and operation of a 158.7 MW wind farm in Senegal, which will boost Senegal's generation capacity by nearly a quarter and provide a critical foundation for its power generation and sustainable energy growth plan.  Through the Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge, in partnership with GE Africa, USADF has awarded 50 grants totaling an investment of $5 million to African energy entrepreneurs who have leveraged their awards to bring electricity, from solar micro-grids to biogas, to rural communities living beyond the grid.  Today, the USADF announced 21 new Off-Grid Energy Challenge grant winners and launched a new partnership with GE Africa focused on African women-owned and managed energy enterprises.
The Trade Africa initiative, launched in 2013, has helped countries boost trade within Africa and between Africa and the United States, while reducing barriers to trade across borders on the continent.  Trade Africa has expanded to five additional countries, in addition to its original focus on the Partner States of the East African Community (EAC).  Since 2014, USAID regional Trade and Investment Hubs in Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa have facilitated more than $283 million in African exports to the United States and $140 million in U.S. investment in Africa.  The East Africa Hub has supported 29,000 new African jobs, and exports facilitated by the Hub has contributed to the 36 percent increase in EAC exports to the United States between 2013 and 2015.  Trade Africa has helped reduce cross-border transit times from key East African ports to land-locked interior destinations by as much as 80 percent – exceeding the initiative's 15 percent target – through its contribution to and leadership in the TradeMark East Africa initiative and the Hub's efforts to establish partner government joint border committees, support the development of "single windows" for traders to file paperwork, and facilitate the adoption of electronic data exchange systems.  Trade Africa has also facilitated successful policy dialogues on trade and investment issues, including an agreement to cooperate on World Trade Organization trade facilitation measures and enhancing food safety. 
Today, USAID issued two reports on behalf of the Administration that highlight progress to date under the Trade Africa and Power Africa initiatives.  The Power Africa Annual Report complements the January 2016 Power Africa Roadmap, which describes the initiative’s path to achieving its ambitious access goals by 2030.  The Trade Africa Annual Report highlights the most significant impacts this initiative has had on trade between African countries and between Africa and the United States.  In addition, USTR issued a report entitled “Beyond AGOA: Looking at the Future of U.S.-Africa Trade and Investment”, which considers paths to deepen the U.S.-Africa trade and investment relationship, keeping pace with dramatic change in Africa.
The United States is Supporting the Next Generation of African Leaders and Makers
The United States also recognizes the role that young people play in supporting economic growth, including through entrepreneurship.  Africa’s large and growing youth population is central to achieving and maintaining Africa’s robust economic growth.  That is why the United States has held two Global Entrepreneurship Summits(GES) in Africa – in Morocco in 2014 and in Kenya in 2015 – showcasing the innovation and economic opportunities of both North and Sub-Saharan Africa.  Through the GES, the U.S. Government has mobilized more than $1 billion in capital for entrepreneurs across Africa and around the world.  At the 2015 GES, USAID, the United Kingdom, and the Shell Foundation, under the auspices of Power Africa, launched the Scaling Off-Grid Energy: Grand Challenge for Development, a $36 million investment to empower entrepreneurs and investors to connect 20 million households in sub-Saharan Africa to modern, clean, and affordable electricity.  As part of the Grand Challenge, USAID partnered with DOE and the Global Lighting and Energy Access Partnership to launch a refrigeration prize that will leverage $300,000 to catalyze technological advancements in off-grid refrigeration.
Since 2010, the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) has engaged nearly 300,000 young Africans through the YALI Network, an online and in-person community of entrepreneurs, activists, and public servants working together to solve shared challenges for their continent and the world.  Since 2014, two thousand young people have participated in the Mandela Washington Fellows program, and thousands more have joined seminars and workshops at the four YALI Regional Leadership Centers in Accra, Dakar, Nairobi, and Pretoria.  The USADF has committed $7.5 million over three years to fund YALI entrepreneurs who are launching and expanding their businesses and social ventures across Sub-Saharan Africa.  In 2016 Mandela Washington Fellows were able to join the first sector-specific YALI training program at the YALI Energy Institute, a collaboration between USAID, the U.S. Department of State, the DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the University of California at Davis.
The United States is Combatting Corruption at Home and Abroad
We have also committed to continue and expand efforts combat to corruption at home and abroad, as we recognize corruption’s pernicious effects on inclusive economic growth, prosperity and sustainable development, as well as the obstacle that it continues to represent as we seek to grow trade and investment.  In 2014, President Obama announced the Partnership on Illicit Finance (PIF)at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, an initiative co-led by the United States and Senegal that brings together African partners and the United States to jointly tackle the challenges of corruption and other financial crimes.  This May, the United States launched its PIF National Action Plan, along with Senegal. The remaining six PIF partners are working to develop their plans, and we look forward to those plans being released soon.  We are also working together to combat corruption and to increase transparency and accountability in the region through the Open Government Partnership (OGP).  Participation from African countries in OGP is growing, and OGP can play an important role in addressing common governance challenges across the continent, including by engaging civil society and building trust in government.  In addition, in May 2016, President Obama announced several important steps we are taking in the United States to strengthen financial transparency, combat money laundering, corruption and tax evasion, and called upon Congress to take additional action to address these critical issues. 

















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LGCJ.: