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Showing posts from August, 2008

Vapores Falls on Concern Costs Will Rise, Demand Slip

By Nathan Gill and James Attwood      Aug. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Cia. Sudamericana de Vapores SA, Latin America's biggest container ship company, fell to the lowest in a month in Santiago trading on speculation that rising costs and falling demand will reduce earnings.      Vapores declined 2 percent to 705 pesos, the lowest since July 22. ``There is a lot of uncertainty about future demand and the high cost of fuel,'' Agustin Alvarez, head of research at Banco BICE in Santiago, said by phone today. ``This, as well as lower-than-expected results reported by the company last week, foreshadow a complicated period for the company.''      Vapores has lost 6.6 percent in the four days since saying in its quarterly earnings statement that global container ship building orders are at record highs and the ``weakened'' global financial system and rising global energy costs may extend into next year. Crude oil rose as a much as 2.2 percent in New York, sig…

Sigdo Koppers Rises After Disclosing Peru Sale Profit

By Nathan Gill and James Attwood      Aug. 18, 2008 (Bloomberg) -- Sigdo Koppers SA, which controls Chile's largest explosives maker, rose to the highest in two months in Santiago trading after announcing a $23.2 million pretax gain from the sale of assets in Peru.      Sigdo Koppers climbed 2.6 percent to 390.1 pesos, the highest since June 13. The Santiago-based company has rallied 6.9 percent in the two days since saying its Enaex SA unit agreed to sell shares in Dyno Nobel Samex for $58.2 million cash. Profit from the sale probably will be booked this year, Sigdo Koppers said in an Aug. 14 regulatory filing.      ``The company is building new plants in northern Chile that were not operating at full capacity and this sale will allow them to supply markets in Chile, Peru and Argentina with materials from these plants,'' Ramon Lagos, head of research at Penta Estrategia y Inversiones, said in a phone interview from Santiago today.      Sigdo Koppers plans t…

Bachelet to Keep Budget `Tight' in 2009, Economy Minister Says

By Nathan Gill      Aug. 12, 2008 (Bloomberg) -- President Michelle Bachelet will keep the 2009 budget ``as tight as possible'' to help slow the rising cost of living, Economy Minister Hugo Lavados said. While saying higher public spending isn't the leading cause of the fastest inflation in 13 years, Lavados told reporters today in Santiago that budget increases next year will be limited to addressing key social needs.      `Next year's budget will not be as expansive as many would like,'' Lavados said after a conference on Chile-Asia commerce at the Foreign Ministry. ``But we will give priority to certain social programs.''      Chilean economists raised their forecasts for inflation this year to 8.0 percent in a central bank survey published Aug. 7. Policy makers will lift the overnight lending rate by an additional half a percentage point to 7.75 percent at their Aug. 14 meeting, according to the median estimate of 27 economists surve…

Tenaris Falls Most Since 2003 as Commodities Decline

By Nathan Gill      Aug. 11, 2008 (Bloomberg) -- Tenaris SA fell the most since April 2003 in Buenos Aires on speculation a stronger U.S. dollar will hurt commodity prices and curb demand for its products.      The world's biggest supplier of seamless pipes used by oil and gas producers retreated 8.2 percent to 78 pesos. Luxembourg-based Tenaris dropped to the lowest level since March 25.      Commodities slumped as signs of slowing global growth sent crude oil, gold and silver tumbling and an index of 24 raw materials into a bear market, or a decline of 20 percent from its recent high. The decline was fueled by the dollar's sixth consecutive advance. The U.S. Dollar Index added 0.4 percent to the highest since February.      ``Tenaris is falling because of the gain in the U.S. dollar,'' Cristian Reos, head of research at Allaria Ledesma y Cia., said in a telephone interview from Buenos Aires. ``All commodities are experiencing strong falls.''  …

Chile's Bank Considered Bigger Rate Increase in July

By Sebastian Boyd and Nathan Gill      Aug. 7, 2008 (Bloomberg) -- Chile's central bank policy makers considered a 0.75 percentage point rate increase at their July meeting, before voting unanimously to raise interest rates by half a point, the bank said on its Web site.      The bank raised the rate to 7.25 percent on July 10 after annual inflation reached a 13-year high of 9.5 percent. The vote for a half-point raise implied further rate increases, the central bank said today in a release of minutes from its meeting.      ``Given current circumstances, it was possible that a cumulative adjustment in the policy rate of more than 75 basis points would be necessary,'' the central bank said. Chilean economists expect policy makers to lift the overnight lending rate by a further half-point to 7.75 percent at their Aug. 14 meeting, according to the median estimate of 27 economists in a central bank survey published today.      Inflation will slow to 8.0 percen…

Chile Second-Half Growth Will Be Better, Velasco Says

By Nathan Gill and Sebastian Boyd      Aug. 5, 2008 (Bloomberg) -- Chile's economic growth will accelerate in the second half of the year, Finance Minister Andres Velasco said.      ``The economy is taking off and we are going to have a second half that will be better than the first,'' Velasco told reporters today in Melipilla, Chile.      Chile's economy expanded 5 percent in June, the central bank said today, outpacing the estimates of all 16 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Economic activity grew 4 percent in the second quarter, compared with a 3.5 percent average in the first half of the year, Velasco said.      The finance minister repeated promises to fight inflation, which remained at a 13-year peak in July. Core inflation in July was the fastest in more than a decade.
     Inflation is ``enemy No.1,'' Velasco said. Price rises are ``clearly still at levels that are too high, and we're going to fix this. We'll keep working for i…