A British oil worker has been shot dead by two men in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, a Scottish newspaper reported on Saturday.

Peter Campsie, 48, from Montrose in Scotland, was killed in an attempted carjacking as he was returning home after a business meeting, the Aberdeen-based Press and Journal newspaper reported.

Mr Campsie, who worked as operations manager for Diamond Offshore Drilling International and hails, was shot twice as he attempted to leave his car, according to the newspaper.

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Leblon is most expensive place for real estate in Rio, photo by Alexander Shafir (www.shafir.info)

Leblon is most expensive place for real estate in Rio, photo by Alexander Shafir (www.shafir.info)

The rate at which average Rio property prices have risen over the past five years is four times greater than that at which average wages have gone up, according to a report by O Globo newspaper.

Industry experts say wealthy Brazilians have encouraged skyrocketing prices, which have outpaced financing options for many and exposed a widening gulf between the richest and the rest.

In January 2008, a square meter of real estate in Rio cost R$3,851 (US$1,975) on average; five years on, it costs 124.2 percent more, R$8,636 (US$4,429). In the same period, the average monthly salary in Rio has increased just 24.2 percent to R$1,902.80 (US$971), according to the IBGE.

As a comparison, online surveys show a square meter in New York City costs approximately US$14,000 (US$1,295 per square foot), with average salaries of around US$4,000.

Renting in Rio has also increased, up over 65 percent on average since 2008 – double the rate at which incomes have increased. Some rents have increased by over 230 percent in Rio’s most sought-after areas.

Industry experts say the boom in prices stems from it being undervalued in the early 2000s and that an overdue “correction upwards” was made, leading to a sharp increase in prices to the present day.

Other factors also stoked prices, including the boom of the petroleum industry, greater access to credit, political stability and a reduction in violence. But it was the prospect of hosting major international events, particularly the 2016 Olympics, that gave many the green light to seek wildly high prices for their property.

Read full article on The Rio Times website.

An estimated 200,000 people have taken to the streets of Rio in a mass protest demanding Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff veto a bill which would change how oil royalties are shared throughout the country.

200,000 people in Rio Royalties Protest occupy Centro district, 26 Nov 2012. Photo by Carlos Magno/Governo do RJ.

“Against injustice, for Rio”: 200,000 people occupy Rio’s Centro district in protest at the proposed “illegal” Royalties Bill on 26 November. Photo by Carlos Magno/Governo do RJ.

The bill would take revenue away from the oil-producing states of Rio, São Paulo and Espírito Santo and redistribute it in part to non-producing states.

Rio government officials argue the state would lose R$77.3 billion (US$37.2 billion) by 2020, and R$2 billion (US$1 billion) in 2013 alone, if the bill passes.

President Rousseff has until 30 November to decide whether she will ratify the bill as it stands, approved by both the Senators last year and the Deputies last week, or veto it partially or in full.

If the new bill is passed, oil producing states’ royalties will be cut from the 26.25% to 20% for states. However for municipalities, it would be cut to 15% in 2013, and to 4% by 2020, according to O Globo newspaper.

Of 92 municipalities in Rio state, 87 currently receive the royalties.

The federal government paid royalties of R$12.99 billion in 2011, up 31% on 2010. Rio state received the biggest slice – R$2.46 billion – up from R$2.03 billion. Producing states argue they are entitled to the royalties as they foot the bill – both financially and ecologically – for offshore oil exploration.

One of the biggest bones of contention is that the bill would allow the government to rewrite already-signed contracts – something they say would be “illegal”. Rio Governor Sérgio Cabral told crowds this would set “an extremely dangerous precedent”. He said he is confident the president would veto the bill, but that Rio would appeal if not.

Read the full article on The Rio Times site.