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Showing posts from September, 2008

Chile Budget Surplus to Shrink in 2009 on Slow Growth

By Nathan Gill and Sebastian Boyd      Sept. 29, 2008 (Bloomberg) -- Chile, the world's biggest copper producer, expects to post a budget surplus equivalent to 3.7 percent of its gross domestic product next year, the lowest since 2003, as economic growth slows to 4 percent.      Copper may average $2.90 per pound in 2009, Finance Minister Andres Velasco said today. The metal has slumped 22 percent to $2.92 since July 15, when the budget office forecast an average price of $3.56 for 2008. Copper has averaged $3.59 this year, according to information compiled by Bloomberg.      Velasco has promised to increase social spending next year while boosting total budget expenditures by 5.7 percent, less than the 6.8 percent expansion projected for 2008. The government is slowing spending growth after inflation reached the fastest in 13 years.      The budget ``balances on one side the necessity for stability and order in the economy and at the same time, we fulfill the comm…

Chile Stocks May Gain on Slower Inflation: JPMorgan

By James Attwood and Nathan Gill      Sept. 23, 2008  (Bloomberg) -- Chile, the best-performing Latin American stock market this year, probably will remain a relative safe haven and may benefit from easing inflation, JPMorgan Chase & Co. said.      Chile's Ipsa index has fallen 10 percent this year, about half the decline of Brazil's Bovespa. The stock market's ``defensive'' characteristics are supported by Chile's stable politics and economy, developed capital markets and ``substantial'' reserves, strategists including Brian Chase wrote in a note to clients dated yesterday.      Chilean stocks are now trading at ``more attractive valuations'' and may get a boost from a potential easing of inflation on lower commodity prices and the prospect for pension funds to increase domestic holdings, they wrote. They recommended easy-to-trade ``defensive'' companies such as Enersis SA, Banco Santander SA, Cia. Cervecerias Unidas S…

Chile's Cap Rebounds as Analysts Cite Inexpensive Stock, Profit

By James Attwood and Nathan Gill      Aug. 14, 2008 (Bloomberg) -- Cap SA, Chile's biggest iron-ore and steel producer, rose for the first time in six days in Santiago trading after analysts said the stock was undervalued and that rising metal prices may keep boosting earnings.      Cap climbed 1.9 percent to 18,270 pesos at 12:02 p.m. New York time after dropping 12 percent in the previous five days.      Before today, Cap had lost a quarter of its value from a late-June peak, reducing its price-to-earnings ratio to 21 from 38, amid concern that slowing global demand will damp prices for its products at a time of earnings-per-share dilution because of a planned $550 million share sale. The Bloomberg World Iron/Steel Index rose the most in six days today and Citigroup Inc. said iron prices probably will rise 30 percent next year.      ``Cap's fall in the last few days was strange so this looks like a rebound,'' said Christian Contreras, an analyst at Banc…

Andina Rises as Brazil Growth Signals Increased Sales

By Nathan Gill      Sept. 10, 2008 (Bloomberg) -- Embotelladora Andina SA, which distributes Coca-Cola products in Chile, Brazil and Argentina, gained the most in two months in Santiago trading on prospects of increased sales of its soft drinks, after Brazil said its economy is expanding faster than economists estimated.      Andina rose 3.5 percent to 1,500 pesos. It was the biggest gain for the Santiago-based company since July 8.      Brazil's Finance Minister Guido Mantega said today that Latin America's biggest economy would expand 5 percent to 5.5 percent in 2008 without pushing inflation beyond target rates. The economy grew 6.1 percent in the second quarter, the national statistics agency said today, beating all estimates in a Bloomberg survey of 36 economists.      ``Andina is up because of the release of Brazilian growth, as well as the fact that inflation is slowing and it looks like it will be under control by the end of the year,'' Diana Sant…

Bachelet Authorizes Emergency Funds for Transantiago

By Nathan Gill and Sebastian Boyd      Sept. 5, 2008 (Bloomberg) -- Chilean President Michelle Bachelet authorized the use of emergency funds to shore up Santiago's public transport system after a loan to the system of buses and subway lines was declared unconstitutional.      This is the first time since Chile returned to democracy in 1990 that the government has used emergency funds, government spokesman Francisco Vidal said today. The decree will free up as much as $850 million for the system known as Transantiago, Finance Minister Andres Velasco said.      ``This certifies that Transantiago is a public calamity,'' said Victor Perez, a senator and general secretary of the opposition Independent Democratic Union party. ``It's recognition that Transantiago is a failure.''      The president acted after Chile's Constitutional Tribunal blocked a loan to the transit system. Chile's constitution allows the government to spend the equivalent…

Chile's Government Pledges Support for Transantiago

By Nathan Gill and Sebastian Boyd      Sept. 2, 2008 (Bloomberg) -- Chile's government pledged to fund Santiago's public transportation system after a newspaper reported that a loan made to develop the capital's transit network was unconstitutional.      President Michelle Bachelet will ask the country's Constitutional Tribunal to clarify its decision on the $400 million loan after the verdict was apparently leaked to the press, government spokesman Francisco Vidal said today.      Finance Minister Andres Velasco and Transport Minister Rene Cortazar may risk impeachment should the tribunal rule the loan was unconstitutional, Senator Camilo Escalona, head of Bachelet's Socialist Party, said yesterday. Opposition senators asked the tribunal in June to rule on whether a government guarantee of the Inter-American Development Bank loan to a company that runs Transantiago's finances is allowed under Chile's charter.      ``We are going to persever…