Archive for the ‘Region: Latin America’ Category

Learning Spanish for Business – CBS Online Lessons 4-80

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Finally, to aid your understanding of basic Spanish, we are now including lessons 4 through 80 from Coffee Break Spanish (.mp3 links are included at no cost below). These are excellent podcasts that are both entertaining and educational. After listening to these lessons at your leisure in the home, at work, in the gym, or while running, one should have a basic understanding of conversational Spanish.  For those who have learned Spanish in school, this should serve as a good review and should help one strengthen his or her accent. All of these .mp3 files can be downloaded by right-clicking on the file and saving on your desktop. The files are also available for free on These links may only be accessible on LA’s blog…they may not be available in syndicated versions of this article.


Learning Spanish for Business – CBS Online Lesson 3

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

To follow up with the previous entry on learning Spanish for business, we are including the third lesson audio (only accessible on LA blog) from CBS.  We are also including the corresponding PDF below, which goes through how to address superiors in a formal context, how to ask someone’s name, and how to ask where someone is from:


Learning Spanish for Business – CBS Online Lessons 1 & 2

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

The Leverage Academy team has increased its efforts in targeting the Latin American market, as more financial firms enter the region because of robust growth and legal reform. For example, since Brazil’s credit rating was upgraded above investment grade in 2008 by Moody’s, hot money flows have increased dramatically from institutional investors. For it’s surrounding countries, a commodity rally has also contributed to economic growth. The bulge bracket banks have increased their exposure to the region as well.  For example, in the Latin American derivatives market, Barclays and Socgen hold the strongest positions.  JPMorgan, UBS, and HSBC also have strong Latam coverage groups. In an effort to help our readers practice their Spanish, we have included a link here for free Spanish lessons online using CBS – Coffee Break Spanish. The first lesson audio (link only available in blog entry) goes over greetings and salutations. You can listen at work or during a lunch break. The second lesson audio elaborates on basic conversation. The corresponding PDF is below:

This PDF goes over greetings, saying goodbye, introducing yourself, and informal greetings. Enjoy!  Hasta otra!

Richest Man in the World Carlos Slim at $74bn Net Worth

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

According to Forbes Magazine, Carlos Slim outdid Bill Gates for the 2nd year in a row as the richest man in the world.  His net worth is currently about $74 billion, an increase of about $20.5 billion from last year alone.  There are currently 1,210 billionaires in the world, up 200 from last year, as the wealth gap continues to grow.  New billionaires include Peter Thiel (Facebook investor) and Eduardo Saverin (Facebook co-founder).  The collective wealth of the world’s billionaires hit a new record of $4.5 tn.  To put that in perspective the global hedge fund industry is only a $1.5 tn industry.

Mexico’s Carlos Slim has topped the latest Forbes magazine rich list, as his wealth grew by more than a third. The telecoms magnate’s fortune rose by $20.5bn (£12.65bn) to $74bn, again beating Microsoft founder Bill Gates ($56bn) into second place. More than 200 people joined the billionaires list as their numbers rose to a new record of 1,210, Forbes said. Six billionaires connected with Facebook are now on the list including, Mark Zuckerberg and Sean Parker. They are joined by Facebook investors Peter Thiel and Yuri Milner as well as co-founders Eduardo Saverin and Dustin Moskovitz, who is the youngest person on the list at 26. Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad was the biggest loser, down $17bn to $6bn. He fell from eleventh spot to 162 and was unusual amongst the billionaires in seeing his wealth decrease. The collective wealth of the billionaires on the list also hit a new record of $4.5tn. The world’s largest economy, the US, continues to have the most billionaires, with 413. Asia, for the first time in a decade, has more billionaires on the list then Europe, with 332 against 300. China and Russia have 115 and 101 billionaires respectively, with Moscow now home to more billionaires than any other city in the world. The city has 79 billionaires, and Russia has the most billionaires in Europe. Germany is in second place with 52. Meanwhile, Europe acquired 50 new billionaires in 2011, taking it to 300 in total, with a collective worth of $1.3 trillion. The UK has 32 billionaires on this year’s list, three more than last year. Despite the property slump, Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor and family remain the wealthiest Britons, with a net worth of $13bn, up $1bn on a year before. (Forbes)

Forbes list of world’s richest people

Name Wealth Main business
Carlos Slim $74bn America Movil, telecoms
Bill Gates $56bn Microsoft, software
Warren Buffett $50bn Berkshire Hathaway, investment
Bernard Arnault $41bn LVMH, luxury goods
Larry Ellison $39.5bn Oracle, software
Lakshmi Mittal $31.1bn ArcelorMittal, steel
Amancio Ortega $31bn Zara, fashion
Eike Batista $30bn Mining, oil
Mukesh Ambani $27bn Reliance Industries, Petrochemicals to oil
Christy Walton $26.5bn Wal-Mart, retail

Soros Backs Sugar in Latin America

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Brazil Sugar
So it seems as though even Soros has a sweet tooth like Mr. Buffett…although he is more interested in rising sugar prices than an occasional Cherry Coke…
Soros, the legendary founder of the Quantum Fund recently invested in a venture called Adecoagro, which focuses on energy and agricultural investments in Latin America.  This week, the fund considered an IPO to fund sugar projects in Brazil.  According to a Bloomberg interview with, the company’s Director Viera said:
“We never had difficulties in raising capital from shareholders, but if market conditions are attractive, we could go for an IPO, why not?  The sugar and ethanol sector in Brazil is thriving so we decided to focus our new investments here.”

The Adecoagro venture owns and leases about 840,000 acres of farmland in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.   Here, it grows agricultural commodities including coffee and soybeans.  Adecoagro is also the largest rice grower in Argentina.  This is certainly a play on food scarcity and price appreciation in the near future.  It is surprising to the LA Team, however, that ethanol production is still rising in these parts.  Land prices have skyrocketed in the area along with commodity prices.  It seems as though these prices are here to stay for the near to medium term.

According to Bloomberg, companies that include Royal Dutch Shell Plc also are expanding into ethanol in Brazil.  According to a reporter, Adecoagro operates two mills, one in Minas Gerais and the other in Mato Grosso do Sul state.  One unique aspect of the mills is that they also produce energy from cane waste, which is known as bagasse.

Soros currently owns 30% of the venture.  To date, Soros has built a fortune of over $11 billion, according to Forbes magazine.

According to Bloomberg, “Sugar prices have more than doubled in the past year because of a global deficit after above-average rains in Brazil and a drought in India pared yields. German research company F.O. Licht revised its deficit forecast today to 8 million tons in the season that began in October, from 6 million tons forecast on Nov. 17.

Prices should ease after Brazil starts harvesting in March, Vieira said. He said prices are set to remain above 20 cents a pound during 2010.”


For more information, please visit Bloomberg…