Investment in Brazil Steams Into Fifth Place

Foreign investment in Brazil in 2010 was the fifth highest in the world. Within South America, Brazilian investment is the main focus for foreigners.

In the latest World Investment Report issued by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Brazil lies in fifth position in terms of the world’s top host economies. Ahead of Brazil in investment are the US, China, Hong Kong and Belgium.

With US$86 billion last year in foreign investment, Brazil has climbed ten places up the global ranking, this clearly indicating Brazil’s higher profile among investors, which is being reinforced this year. According to UNCTAD, foreign direct investment (FDI) into Brazil from January to April this year reached US$23 billion, three times higher than the same period in 2010.

Biggest Player in South America

South America was a magnet for FDI in 2010 when investment levels were 56% higher than the previous year with Brazil attracting the bulk of foreign interest. According to UNCTAD, there was an “unprecedented surge of investment” in Brazil and Latin America as a whole from developing Asian countries, particularly China and India.

FDI inflows to Brazil were concentrated in two main areas – equity capital and the manufacturing sector. Equity capital investment in Brazil doubled during 2010 and FDI into manufacturing grew by 16%. Substantial amounts of foreign equity capital have entered Brazilian real estate funds, which have grown 355% since 2004.

Investment in Brazilian equity capital has continued to be strong during 2011. Intra-company loans have also attracted high levels of FDI along with Greenfield projects. UNCTAD expects FDI to remain buoyant during the rest of this year.

Investment by Brazilian companies abroad was also strong in 2010 when outflows reached US$11.5 billion. Acquisitions in developed countries by household names such as Vale, Gerdau and Petrobras made up the core of Brazilian investment overseas.

Emerging Markets New Powerhouses

UNCTAD highlights the growing importance of emerging markets for both inflows and outflows of FDI. The report finds that these new markets are increasingly dominating levels of FDI globally. This tendency mirrors the world economy where emerging markets gradually account for higher percentages of economic growth.

The report states that in 2010, “developing and transition economies together attracted more than half of global FDI flows”. The rise in FDI leads UNCTAD to call emerging markets “new FDI powerhouses”, an opinion shared by many analysts given the economic strength and booming consumer markets in countries like Brazil, India and China. Brazil is expected to continue to feature among the world’s top five nations for investment over the next few years.

About Obelisk International: Obelisk International offers select investment opportunities in Brazil in a range of sectors such as residential real estate, construction and social housing. Obelisk gives investors security, profitability and diversity thanks to a combination of close attention to our clients’ investment requirements and high quality in-house research and analysis.

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