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For This Arab Banker Brazil Has Become More Attractive to Investors than Europe PDF Print E-mail
2008 - October 2008
Written by Alexandre Rocha   
Friday, 17 October 2008 21:40

Adnan Kassar by Sérgio Tomisaki One of the best places in the world in which to invest nowadays is called Brazil. This opinion was expressed by the Lebanese banker Adnan Kassar, president at the General Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture for Arab Countries, an international organization that the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce is affiliated with.

"The success of the Arab community is visible here," he said. According to him, before the eruption of the international financial crisis, Arab investors had lots of liquidity and were mainly seeking business opportunities in Europe. Now, Brazil has become a more attractive option.

"We must encourage people to come here more often, so as to showcase the possibilities that the country has," said Kassar, who arrived in São Paulo in his Legacy 600 executive jet, manufactured by Brazilian state-owned aircraft manufacturer Embraer.

The businessman stated that the ongoing crisis has no precedents and criticized the authorities of the United States and Europe for not having adopted the necessary measures to minimize its effects earlier. He cited as an example the bankruptcy of the Lehman Brothers bank, which was not rescued by the United States government.

Kassar is the president at Fransabank, the oldest and one of the largest banks in Lebanon, which he purchased in 1980 in partnership with his brother, Adel. Now, he is seeking business opportunities in Brazil himself.

"We are studying several projects," said the banker, who was the first Arab ever to preside the International Chamber of Commerce, headquartered in Paris, and has already occupied the position of minister of Economy and Trade of Lebanon.

How do you assess the situation of global economy in the face of the financial crisis?

First of all, this is an unprecedented crisis. It is unfortunate that the authorities in charge, in Europe and in the United States, did not foresee the effects it could have, and that they did not treat it seriously. The crisis originated in the United States, and I believe that the country should have paid more attention and adopted more adequate measures, such as not letting the Lehman Brothers bank go bankrupt. That led to a loss of confidence worldwide.

And how does the crisis affect the Arab world?

We are part of the world, therefore we will surely be affected. I believe that there is a lot of Arab investment in the European capital market. Thus, there should be some negative effects. However, that does not mean that we are in danger, because the Arab banks are very strong and the governments have the means for defending themselves. But there is going to be a slowdown in Arab economy.

Do you think that there will be a reduction in consumption?

I believe that, in a period of recession and losses, people are definitely going to consume and spend less.

Presently, what areas offer the greatest potential for trade relations between Brazil and the Arab countries?

I would like to say that president Lula has been going to great lengths in order to encourage said relations. His idea of creating a bloc that joins together Latin America, the Mediterranean and Gulf regions (the Summit of South American and Arab Countries) is something we support, because we believe it to be a good initiative.

The trend nowadays moves towards economically important groups. We have Europe on one side, North Africa on another, the Middle East on another. There should be a friendly group, of peoples that understand one another. We believe that we are one the right path, but there is still a lot to be done.

Unfortunately, the distances leave Arabs and Brazilians far from each other, but we, the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, the Brazil-Lebanon Chamber of Commerce, the General Union of Chambers, we must bring these people together, make them know each other, organize delegations and trade fairs.

Before this crisis, there used to be lots of Arab money, so they were seeking possibilities in Europe, and now Brazil is one of the best countries in which to invest. We can see the success of the Arab community here. Therefore, we must get people to know each other, this is the only way.

Do you believe that Arab investment in Brazil is going to increase?

Brazil is always regarded as a friendly country and the Arabs enjoy visiting it. Therefore, we must encourage people to come here more often, so as to showcase the possibilities that Brazil has. By the same token, outstanding Brazilian businessmen can participate in the development of the Arab world, which needs construction companies, technology, etc. The Brazilian private sector is very strong.

What about you, are you interested in Brazil?

Of course, we are looking at several projects right now, particularly in the banking sector, as I am the president at a banking group. We are seeking to expand our possibilities in Brazil, and we welcome Brazilian banks willing to enter Lebanon.

You own an aircraft made by Embraer, don't you?

Yes, I am one of the first customers to have bought the Legacy 600. It has been two years and I am quite satisfied. I am promoting Embraer in the Middle East. I have four friends who purchased the Legacy as well, in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and also one in France. We are really satisfied with the company.

Anba - www.anba.com.br

Comments (7)Add Comment
For This Arab Banker Brazil Has Become More Attractive to Investors than Europe
written by ch.c., October 18, 2008
So true...FOR A BANKER !!!!!!
Where else on EARTH can a bank have lending rates as high and blessed by THE GOVERNMENT : 35 % for cars, 55 % for white goods, 165 % on overdrafts ???????????

Hey idiot AES where is the axe of evil ??????
I know, you will answer these rates are a small detail !!!!!
BUY ONE, BUT PAY 2 or 3 IS THE BRAZILIAN MARKETING SONG.
Debt Traps And Securtity Setups.
written by dnbaiacu, October 19, 2008
First of all, this is an unprecedented crisis. It is unfortunate that the authorities in charge, in Europe and in the United States, did not foresee the effects it could have, and that they did not treat it seriously. The crisis originated in the United States, and I believe that the country should have paid more attention and adopted more adequate measures,


And we can add, "to make sure Central Banks, most of fall the Federal Reserve Bank not trap everyone. Luring them with GREED.
Get a clue! Understand that this was master planned. There is nothing accidental about this. Just a play on basic human instincts.

Brazil is always regarded as a friendly country and the Arabs enjoy visiting it. Therefore, we must encourage people to come here more often, so as to showcase the possibilities that Brazil has.


Brazil is creating their national security crisis. . I wonder what Arab strategy is?
...
written by João da Silva, October 20, 2008
Brazil is creating their national security crisis. . I wonder what Arab strategy


The Arab strategy is very simple and straight forward. It is just enough to read Ch.C´s comments above yours smilies/cheesy.gif smilies/grin.gif

I am not scared of the Arabs, nor should you be. smilies/wink.gif
Joao
written by dnbaiacu, October 20, 2008
I am not scared of the Arabs, nor should you be.
report abusevote downvote upVotes: 1


Definetely not scared. I am just curious with "developments".. When you know the "final outcome" it is intriguing to watch and see how it all plays out. This is the "greatest show on earth".. Because you can have the script in your hands as human. But instead of just being a spectator to a man made movie or play, you are actually a part of this "reality show" and everything that happens in it. smilies/wink.gif
this is an unprecedented crisis. The crisis originated in the United States,
written by ch.c., October 21, 2008
Yessssss and No !
- the USA remains the locomotive, thus every recovery can only start also from there so much as for the declines !
- While you all believe the USA have the BIGGEST problems, you are ALL WRONG, because :

In simple terms

- The U.S. financial lenders invested mostly in USA
- The European financial lenders loaned in USA, in the EU, in Eastern Countries (Russia and neighbouring countries) and also in Asia

So far Europans Banks losses were mainly due to the U.S. real estate mess.
so far European Banks have taken relatively minor losses from Europeans real mess....but losses WILL MOUNT !
So far European Banks have taken even lower losses from Eastern Countries and Asia.

A majority (not all) of thzese loans outside the EU were made in US$.

If one looks closely of what happened recently was The U.S. Fed PROVIDED hundreds and hundreds of billions U.S. DOLLARS of liquidity to the Europeans CENTRAL BANKS who then transferred the money to their own banking system !
The Europeans Central banks acted ONLY iNTERMEDIARIES. Therefore now owed by the European banking system.

And this was of course ON TOP of what the Europeans Central provided to their own banking system...in EU, and BP


Conclusion :
- HUGE losses will still have to be taken from the Europeans Banks for the bad debts....in Europe, in Eastern Countries, in Asia (ex China and Japan), some in Africa and some in Latin America !!!!!!
- We havent seen anything yet (not much at least) outside the USA ! FAR MORE IS TO COME from the Europeans Banks !!!!!!

Europe is in deep troubles, far more than what you may read.

but dont forget, that every new loan or loan renewal is made with a VERY BIG PROFIT...that will help ALL banks TO RE-LIQUEFY their balance sheets over the years.

Therefore you "see" why in my humble view I am the most bullish you can even think of....in the US$ !!!!!

The strongest currency rankings are now

1) Japanese Yen (Yess stronger than the US$)
2) U.S. Dollar
3) Swiss franc
4) Euro
5) BP
6) Emerging nations currencies.....in the ranking you or I may vote !

Meaning 1 is stronger than 2, 2 is stronger than 3, 3 is stronger than 4, etc etc

So far...VERY GOOD ANALYSIS !!!!!

smilies/cheesy.gif smilies/grin.gif smilies/cheesy.gif smilies/grin.gif
Not over....not over !
written by ch.c., October 21, 2008
When last week, In the Brazilian Real market article with Sotheby I stated what a B'shit it was, by providing the HIGH and last stock prices of several Brazilians Real Companies, of course the IDIOT AS USUAL AES told me as I am wrong as usual !

Right ?

Then why the Brazilian Government wants to BOOST mortgage lending ?
Yesssss
- " Brazil's government also may offer special credit lines to builders and may give additional tax breaks to suppliers of services and material to homebuilders,"
- "Caixa Economica Federal, Brazil's government-controlled bank, may guarantee loans granted by other banks to construction companies, O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper reported Oct. 18, citing Teotonio Rezende, a spokesman for the bank. CEF, as the bank is known, also plans to offer credit lines to certain homebuilders"

Let me tell you this :
This has not happened in the EU or in the USA so far, for GOVERNMENTS HELPING DIRECTLY construction companies or provide special credit lines to builders !!!!!!

- Is this because you Real Estate is doing well as the article stated or as said by the JUNKIE AES..or is doing BADLY as reflected in the companies stocks prices ????????

- WHICH GOVERNHMENTS ARE DIRECTLY HELPING THEIR..... NON-FINANCIAL INDUSTRIES ??????? Brazil and other emerging nations or the EU and the USA ????????
Ch.C!
written by João da Silva, October 22, 2008
When last week, In the Brazilian Real market article with Sotheby I stated what a B'shit it was, by providing the HIGH and last stock prices of several Brazilians Real Companies,


One should talk to the Real Estate agents, like I have done!! There is a big credit squeeze already.

The latest news is that we have already blown about $24 B to keep the exchange rate low, though without much success. That is around 12% of our hard earned reserves. The President has already declared that "if the crisis comes to our shores, the ministries will not get all the money they were promised". I think it is time for him to extinguish some ministries to save money.

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