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Stephan Kueffner

Quito, Ecuador
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About Stephan
Stephan Kueffner is a freelance journalist based in Quito, Ecuador.
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German English Spanish
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Ecuador Bonds Jump as Voters Back Noboa’s Anti-Mafia Measures

30 Oct 2024  |  www.bnnbloomberg.ca
Ecuador's bonds surged after voters approved President Daniel Noboa's security measures in a referendum, reflecting strong support for his anti-drug cartel policies. Despite the approval of these measures, voters rejected economic reforms, indicating resistance to market-friendly changes. Noboa's popularity remains high due to his security initiatives, although his mandate for economic reforms is weakened. The anticipation of a new deal with the International Monetary Fund is driving Ecuador's debt performance. The referendum results suggest Noboa remains a frontrunner for the upcoming election, though his economic policies face significant challenges.

Ecuador Gets Pledge of US Aid to Fight Cartel Terror Campaign

25 Oct 2024  |  www.bnnbloomberg.ca
Ecuador's President Daniel Noboa announced that the US has pledged aid to help combat a terror campaign by drug traffickers. This follows a meeting with US Ambassador Fitzpatrick. The crisis, marked by increased violence and hostage situations, has led to a state of emergency in Ecuador. The US expressed concern and readiness to assist, while Ecuador's government continues to implement measures to control trafficking routes. The situation has significantly impacted daily life, with schools closed and public offices working remotely.

Ecuador’s Noboa Seeks Extradition, Arbitration in Referendum

10 Oct 2024  |  www.bnnbloomberg.ca
Ecuador's President Daniel Noboa has submitted nine additional questions for a planned referendum, including those on extradition and arbitration, to the Constitutional Court. Noboa aims to boost foreign investment by expanding international arbitration options and seeks voter approval for the extradition of Ecuadorian citizens and asset seizure from criminals. He also proposes revoking mining concessions in national interest areas to combat illegal mining and broadening his legislative powers to include temporary hourly work contracts.

Ecuador’s Noboa Seeks Extradition, Arbitration in Referendum

10 Oct 2024  |  Yahoo Entertainment
Ecuador’s President Daniel Noboa has submitted nine additional questions for a planned referendum, including those on extradition and arbitration, to the Constitutional Court. The referendum aims to boost foreign investment by broadening international arbitration options and seeks voter approval for the extradition of Ecuadorian citizens and asset seizure from criminals. Noboa also proposes revoking mining concessions in national interest areas to combat illegal mining and expanding his legislative powers to include fast-track legislation beyond economic issues. Additionally, he aims to allow temporary contracts with hourly work for Ecuadorians.

Google Nears $23 Billion Deal for Cybersecurity Firm Wiz, WSJ Reports

15 Jul 2024  |  www.bnnbloomberg.ca
Google parent Alphabet Inc. is in advanced negotiations to acquire cybersecurity startup Wiz for approximately $23 billion, according to sources cited by the Wall Street Journal.

Ecuador Bonds Rebound Thanks to $4 Billion Loan Agreement with the IMF

25 Apr 2024  |  Bloomberg Línea
Ecuador's bonds led a rebound among emerging market peers following a technical agreement with the IMF for a four-year loan of approximately $4 billion. The 2030 bonds rose to their highest level since June 2022. This agreement aims to help Ecuador keep up with its $16 billion in outstanding bonds and follows a successful previous $7.5 billion IMF deal. President Daniel Noboa, who took office after Guillermo Lasso dissolved parliament, has been dealing with public spending control, oil production, and internal conflicts with drug traffickers. Despite these challenges, bonds have performed well, and Noboa's market-friendly policies have boosted his popularity and fiscal deficit reduction commitments.

Ecuador's Bonds Rise After Referendum Results: Here's What Investors Say

22 Apr 2024  |  Bloomberg Línea
Ecuador's bonds rose following the approval of security measures in a referendum, reflecting strong support for President Daniel Noboa's anti-narcotics policies. Despite the rejection of economic reforms, the results indicate broad backing for Noboa, with a 70% approval rating. Investors view the referendum as a key indicator of support for Noboa's administration. The anticipation of a new agreement with the IMF is driving bond performance, although political uncertainty remains as elections approach. Noboa's popularity surged after declaring a state of emergency to combat organized crime, but economic challenges persist.

Noboa Seeks Tax Increase in Ecuador to Finance War on Drug Cartels

04 Apr 2024  |  bnnbloomberg.ca
Ecuador's President Daniel Noboa has proposed a tax increase, raising VAT from 12% to 15%, to fund security measures against drug cartels. The government expects this to generate significant revenue, with the tax hike intended as a permanent solution. Ecuador's dollar bonds saw a positive response, while S&P Global Ratings downgraded the country's debt outlook due to the security crisis. Finance Minister Juan Carlos Vega plans to negotiate with the IMF for loans, as the fiscal deficit has increased. The National Assembly, which has previously supported Noboa, passed two economic fast-track bills and backed his declaration of a 'non-international armed conflict'.

Mining Industry Sees a Way to Navigate Narco Crisis in Ecuador

01 Mar 2024  |  BNN
Ecuador's mining industry, including companies like Lundin Gold Inc. and Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group Co., is maintaining operations amidst the country's narco crisis by increasing security measures. Despite challenges such as illegal mining and environmental concerns, the industry is collaborating with authorities and has not seen companies exit due to the security situation. Regulatory improvements and government reforms, including a national referendum on market-friendly measures, are also underway. The industry is navigating the crisis with a focus on continuing development projects and production.

Stop Murders, Fight Drugs, Raise Taxes: Why Ecuador Loves Daniel Noboa

15 Jan 2024  |  www.bnnbloomberg.ca
Ecuador's President Daniel Noboa, at 36, is implementing significant economic reforms and a security crackdown to combat the nation's crisis of violence and financial instability. His measures include raising taxes, increasing oil drilling, and reducing fuel subsidies, which have garnered him high approval ratings. Noboa's approach mirrors that of El Salvador's Nayib Bukele, focusing on gang suppression and leveraging emergency powers. The US has increased its assistance to Ecuador, concerned about regional stability and migration. Noboa's reforms have improved security and economic outlook, with potential IMF support on the horizon. However, challenges remain, including sustaining security gains and navigating political risks ahead of potential reelection.

Ecuador's President Leverages War Against Narcos to Push for Overdue Reforms

13 Jan 2024  |  Bloomberg Línea
Ecuador's President Daniel Noboa is capitalizing on the country's struggle against violent gangs to push for overdue reforms, including a proposed increase in the value-added tax from 12% to 15%. Noboa's administration is also planning deep cuts to the bureaucracy and the implementation of temporary labor contracts and international arbitration, which are facing opposition from left-wing parties and indigenous organizations. Despite challenges in congress and a negative outlook from S&P Global Ratings due to recent violence, the government is attempting to demonstrate its commitment to reforms to secure financing from multilateral lenders. The proposed tax increase is intended to convince the IMF to lend again, with the reforms expected to generate significant revenue for the state.

Why Ecuador Is Erupting With Narco Gang Violence: QuickTake

12 Jan 2024  |  news.bloomberglaw.com
Ecuador is experiencing a surge in narco gang violence, with events escalating in January as two drug lords escaped from jail, prison uprisings occurred, and a TV station was overrun by masked gunmen. The chaos underscores Ecuador's transformation from a peaceful tourist spot to a dangerous war zone.

Ecuador Leader Seeks Tax Rise to Finance War on Drug Cartels

12 Jan 2024  |  news.bloombergtax.com
Ecuador's President Daniel Noboa is proposing a tax increase to finance security measures against drug cartels. The bill submitted to the National Assembly aims to raise the value-added tax from 12% to 15% to fund military and police equipment. The government's move comes in response to escalating violence, and Ecuador's dollar bonds saw a positive market reaction.

Drug Lords’ Prison Escape Unleashes Violent Mayhem in Ecuador

11 Jan 2024  |  www.bnnbloomberg.ca
Ecuador is experiencing a surge in violence following the escape of two drug lords from prison, leading to a nationwide manhunt initiated by President Daniel Noboa. The violence has disrupted daily life, with residents afraid to leave their homes, tourists facing canceled flights, and public transportation halted. The country's murder rate has nearly doubled in 2023, and the recent events have threatened Ecuador's tourism industry, which is crucial for its economy. The US has pledged aid to help fight the cartel terror campaign, and the Ecuadorian military has been authorized to use lethal force. The government is also considering reforms to address security and economic issues.

Ecuador gets pledge of US aid to fight cartel terror campaign

10 Jan 2024  |  Stars and Stripes
Ecuador's President Daniel Noboa announced receiving a pledge of aid from the U.S. to combat a terror campaign by drug traffickers, following a meeting with U.S. Ambassador Fitzpatrick. The crisis, which escalated after a drug trafficker disappeared from his cell, has led to a state of emergency and military deployment. The government's crackdown on drug trafficking has resulted in increased violence, with Ecuador becoming one of the world's most dangerous nations. The U.S. embassy in Quito has not commented, but U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Brian Nichols expressed extreme concern and readiness to assist.

Ecuador gets pledge of U.S. aid to fight cartel terror campaign

10 Jan 2024  |  www.spokesman.com
Ecuador's President Daniel Noboa announced receiving a pledge of aid from the U.S. to combat a terror campaign by drug traffickers, leading to a rally in the nation's bonds. The crisis, marked by increased violence and a state of emergency, follows a crackdown on drug trafficking and the disappearance of a notorious trafficker. The U.S. expressed concern and readiness to assist, while Ecuador faces heightened tensions and disruptions in daily life.

Ecuador receives promise of aid from the US amid violence crisis

10 Jan 2024  |  infobae
Ecuador's President Daniel Noboa announced that the United States has pledged to provide assistance to help combat the violence caused by narcotraffickers. This comes after a meeting with the US ambassador and follows a series of violent incidents triggered by a crackdown on drug trafficking. The Ecuadorian government has declared a state of emergency and called in the military to control the situation. The US State Department expressed deep concern over the violence and willingness to support Ecuador. The crisis has led to increased homicides and disruptions in daily life, with schools closed and remote work implemented.

President of Ecuador wants the military to help fight crime

04 Jan 2024  |  perfil.com
Ecuador's President Daniel Noboa is seeking voter approval for measures to address the country's rising crime rates following its most violent year in 2023. The proposed referendum includes ten questions on crime, suggesting military involvement against transnational criminal organizations and harsher sentences for terrorism, organized crime, drug trafficking, and contract killing. The national homicide rate surged to 46.5 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2023. A recent constitutional reform allows military cooperation with the police without a presidential emergency decree. The referendum also proposes an audit of judges' assets after a bribery scandal involving a drug trafficking gang. The only non-crime-related question concerns the reopening of casinos, closed since a 2011 referendum. The vote is set for the first week of March if approved by the court.

Ecuador’s Noboa Seeks Deeper Military Involvement to Fight Crime

01 Jan 2024  |  news.yahoo.com
Ecuador's President Daniel Noboa has proposed a referendum to revamp the government's response to the nation's increasing crime rates, which reached a record high in 2023. The referendum includes measures for deeper military involvement against transnational criminal organizations, harsher sentences for terrorism, organized crime, and murder for hire, and an audit of judges' assets. The national murder rate in Ecuador soared to 46.5 per 100,000 residents in 2023. The referendum also includes a question on reopening casinos, closed since a 2011 referendum. If the Constitutional Court approves, the vote will occur in the first week of March.

Ecuador’s President Leverages Narco War to Push Overdue Reforms

01 Jan 2024  |  bnnbloomberg.ca
Ecuador's President Daniel Noboa, amidst a battle against violent gangs, has proposed a patriotic appeal for citizens to support the fight by bearing part of the cost. He has submitted a bill to increase the value-added tax and plans to ask voters to approve temporary labor contracts and international arbitration. Reforms include cutting bureaucracy and wasteful spending, aiming to save about 2% of GDP and convince the IMF to lend again. Noboa's proposals face opposition from major political parties and former President Rafael Correa. The country has seen a tense calm return, with large-scale police raids and ongoing prison standoffs. Ecuador's sovereign bonds rallied following the announcement of the reforms.

Ecuador Seeks Austerity to Win IMF Support for Economy Plan

29 Dec 2023  |  news.bloomberglaw.com
Ecuador plans to cut spending by about 2% of GDP as President Daniel Noboa addresses fiscal, debt, and security crises. Finance Minister Juan Carlos Vega announced the new administration's strategy to reduce public contractors and inefficiencies at state-run companies to gain International Monetary Fund support for a new financing program.

Ecuador Seeks Austerity to Win IMF Support for Economy Plan

29 Dec 2023  |  news.bloombergtax.com
Ecuador plans to cut spending by about 2% of GDP as President Daniel Noboa addresses fiscal, debt, and security crises. Finance Minister Juan Carlos Vega announced the new administration's intention to reduce public contractors and inefficiencies at state-run companies to gain IMF support for a new financing program.

Ecuador Committed to Repay Debt: Finance Minister Vega

18 Dec 2023  |  news.bloomberglaw.com
Ecuador's new government, led by Finance Minister Juan Carlos Vega, is committed to repaying both foreign and domestic debt. The government is developing a medium and long-term economic plan to stabilize public finances and stimulate growth. The central bank plans to reduce its gold holdings, with 70% of the proceeds benefiting the finance ministry. Additionally, the government is working closely with multilateral lenders and aims to cut spending by over $1 billion, while a tax reform in congress will reprofile debt to the central bank.

Ecuador commits to paying its debts despite liquidity crisis

04 Dec 2023  |  Bloomberg Línea
Ecuador's new government, led by President Daniel Noboa, is committed to paying its internal and external debts despite a severe liquidity crisis. Finance Minister Juan Carlos Vega announced measures to manage the country's finances, including cutting superfluous expenses and implementing a fiscal amnesty plan. The government aims to stabilize public finances and eventually return to international financial markets. Legislative allies are pushing for debt renegotiation, and the Ministry of Finance is focusing on strategic resource development and fiscal sustainability.

Noboa to Lead a Country with Deteriorated Fiscal Accounts and Liquidity Problems

23 Nov 2023  |  bloomberglinea.com
Daniel Noboa, at 35 years old, assumes the presidency of Ecuador, facing daunting challenges such as a distressed debt, political assassinations, anti-mining riots, and rising crime. With only 17 months to complete the term of outgoing leader Guillermo Lasso, Noboa's young cabinet must navigate a steep learning curve to enact reforms. Investors remain skeptical of the government's ability to halt the nation's downward spiral. Noboa's urgent tasks include combating drug trafficking and extortion gangs that have caused a surge in homicides and addressing the nation's deteriorating fiscal accounts, which are isolated from global credit markets. The administration also faces the loss of oil revenue after a referendum to close a major field of the national oil company Petroecuador and must deal with political risks in the oil and mining sectors, as well as environmental challenges.

Ecuador’s Noboa Plans Tax Cuts to Boost Competitiveness

07 Nov 2023  |  news.bloombergtax.com
President-elect Daniel Noboa plans to introduce several tax cuts to enhance Ecuador's competitiveness and attract investment. He communicated this strategy to Barclays PLC analysts in New York, emphasizing that reducing the tax burden will make Ecuador more competitive compared to neighboring countries. Noboa's economic plan includes slashing the value-added tax rather than increasing taxes.

Ecuador’s Noboa Plans Tax Cuts to Boost Competitiveness

07 Nov 2023  |  news.bloomberglaw.com
President-elect Daniel Noboa plans to introduce several tax cuts to enhance Ecuador's competitiveness and attract investment. He shared this strategy with Barclays PLC analysts in New York, emphasizing that reducing the tax burden will make Ecuador more competitive compared to neighboring countries. Noboa aims to lower the value-added tax as part of his economic plan.

Ecuador’s Noboa Plans Tax Cuts to Boost Competitiveness

07 Nov 2023  |  news.bloomberglaw.com
Ecuador's President-elect Daniel Noboa announced plans to cut taxes to enhance the country's competitiveness and attract investment. He conveyed his intentions to Barclays PLC analysts Alejandro Arreaza and Luis Rivases during a meeting in New York, emphasizing the need to reduce and organize the tax burden to make Ecuador more competitive in the region.

Millennial Leader Takes Over Broke and Crime-Wracked Ecuador

Daniel Noboa, the millennial leader who assumed the Presidency of Ecuador amid great challenges

26 Oct 2023  |  www.perfil.com
Ecuador's new president, 35-year-old Daniel Noboa, faces significant challenges including political instability, economic difficulties, and rising crime. Noboa's administration, one of the youngest in the world, must address a fiscal deficit, control crime, and manage political unrest. Key cabinet appointments include Juan Carlos Vega as Minister of Economy and Finance and Andrea Arrobo as Minister of Energy and Mines. The government aims to stabilize the economy and reduce crime, but faces skepticism from investors and the public. The administration has a limited 17-month term to implement significant reforms.

Violence in Ecuador after curfew declaration following the escape of a narco leader

09 Oct 2023  |  www.perfil.com
Ecuador experienced a surge in violence following President Daniel Noboa's declaration of a nationwide curfew as part of a state of emergency. This was in response to the escape of notorious gang leader Adolfo Macías, known as 'Fito', from a Guayaquil prison. The violence included the kidnapping of seven police officers, an explosion near the home of the president of the National Court of Justice, and armed men taking over a TV channel. The unrest has impacted investor confidence, with sovereign bonds falling. Noboa, who took office in November, aims to curb the crime wave that has plagued Ecuador, making it one of the most dangerous countries in Latin America. The state of emergency includes a curfew and suspension of certain judicial requirements. The government attributes the violence to intensified efforts against narcotics and organized crime.

Drug Cartel Probe Nets Top Ecuador Officials in Raids

05 Oct 2023  |  news.bloomberglaw.com
Ecuadorian authorities conducted overnight raids, detaining 29 high-ranking officials, including judges, police chiefs, and prosecutors, for alleged ties to drug cartels. The operation, described as the largest in the country's history against corruption and drug trafficking, was led by Prosecutor General Diana Salazar. Among those detained were Wilman Teran, head of the court administration, and a former head of the prison service.

Peru will have a Senate again 30 years after Fujimori abolished it

04 Oct 2023  |  Bloomberg Línea
The fragmented Peruvian Congress achieved a supermajority to reinstate the Senate, three decades after its abolition by then-President Alberto Fujimori. Legislators voted 91 to 31 to amend the Constitution, also approving immediate re-election for legislators. The reform, supported by a supermajority, does not require a national referendum but needs President Dina Boluarte's signature to become law. Proponents argue it will reduce political instability, while critics call for a new referendum to legitimize the changes. The reconstituted Senate will have 60 members elected in the 2026 general elections.

Criminal Uprising Threatens Recovery Plan in Ecuador

03 Oct 2023  |  www.perfil.com
A narcoterrorism campaign in Ecuador threatens President Daniel Noboa's efforts to address the country's debt crisis and economic underperformance. Gangsters have escalated violence, including arson, hostage-taking, and attacks on media, prompting a state of emergency and military mobilization. The unrest has dampened investor optimism and disrupted daily life, with schools closed and widespread remote work. Noboa's emergency measures aim to unify the country but create a volatile environment. The government plans to present security and investment measures for a referendum, while international concern grows, with Peru declaring a state of emergency at its border and the U.S. expressing deep concern.

Ecuador Pledges to Repay Its Debts Even Amid Liquidity Crunch

02 Oct 2023  |  news.bloombergtax.com
Ecuador's new government, led by Finance Minister Juan Carlos Vega, is committed to repaying its domestic and foreign debts despite facing a severe liquidity crunch. The Treasury's cash reserves have dwindled to $95 million, and the country's deficit has ballooned to $6 billion due to lower-than-expected oil and tax revenues, high global interest rates, and the previous government's failure to sell off assets. Vega's public appearance aimed to reassure investors about Ecuador's financial stability.

Ecuador Pledges to Repay Its Debts Even Amid Liquidity Crunch

02 Oct 2023  |  news.bloomberglaw.com
Ecuador's new government, led by Finance Minister Juan Carlos Vega, is committed to repaying both domestic and foreign debts despite facing a severe liquidity crunch. The Treasury's cash reserves have dwindled to $95 million, and the country is grappling with a $6 billion deficit due to lower-than-expected oil and tax revenues, high global interest rates, and the previous government's failure to sell off assets. Vega's public appearance aimed to reassure investors about the country's financial stability.

Stop Murders, Fight Drugs, Raise Taxes: Why Ecuador Loves Daniel Noboa

01 Oct 2023  |  Bloomberg Línea
Ecuador's President Daniel Noboa is implementing significant economic and security reforms, including tax increases, oil drilling expansions, and subsidy cuts, amid a severe crime wave and financial instability. His aggressive stance against drug cartels and use of emergency powers have garnered high approval ratings. Noboa's policies are compared to those of El Salvador's Nayib Bukele, with substantial support from the U.S. to stabilize Ecuador. Despite challenges, Noboa's popularity and potential for re-election remain strong, driven by his decisive actions and the country's dire need for reform.

Ecuador's New Government Pledges Austerity to Win IMF Support for Economic Plan

01 Oct 2023  |  leaderpost.com
Ecuador's new government, led by President Daniel Noboa, plans to cut spending by about 2% of GDP to address fiscal, debt, and security crises. Finance Minister Juan Carlos Vega outlined measures including reducing public contractors and inefficiencies at state-run companies to gain IMF support. The government faces immediate financial challenges, including low Treasury cash levels and the need to raise $3 billion for salaries and local governments. Investors remain skeptical, and the government aims to sign a standby agreement with the IMF to facilitate access to loans. Key decisions, such as rolling back fuel subsidies, will test Noboa's administration.

Drug Lords’ Jail Escape Unleashes Violent Mayhem in Ecuador

01 Oct 2023  |  news.bloomberglaw.com
Ecuador is experiencing severe unrest following the escape of two notorious drug lords from prison. The situation has led to widespread violence, including prison riots, police hostages, and disruptions to daily life and tourism. President Daniel Noboa has initiated a nationwide manhunt to capture the escapees, underscoring the government's challenges in managing the crisis.

Ecuador's New Government Pledges Austerity to Win IMF Support for Economic Plan

01 Oct 2023  |  winnipegsun
Ecuador's new government, led by President Daniel Noboa, plans to cut spending by about 2% of GDP to secure support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a new financing program. Finance Minister Juan Carlos Vega outlined measures including reducing public contractors and cutting inefficiencies at state-run companies. The government faces significant fiscal challenges, including a low cash reserve and a high fiscal deficit. Investors remain skeptical about Ecuador's prospects, and a key test will be whether Noboa will roll back fuel subsidies. The government aims to sign a standby agreement with the IMF and is exploring various policy alternatives to present to multilateral lenders.

Ecuador Fiscal Deficit at 5% of GDP in 2023, Minister Vega Says

01 Oct 2023  |  news.bloomberglaw.com
Ecuador's fiscal deficit in 2023 is projected to exceed $5 billion, reaching 5% of GDP, according to Finance Minister Juan Carlos Vega. This deficit poses a significant challenge for the new administration in 2024, compounded by the partial repeal of tax reform, the end of a temporary wealth tax, and a planned reduction in the currency export tax. Vega emphasized the need for national support to address these fiscal issues.
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