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Showing posts from August, 2009

Santander Chile Rises Most in Three Weeks on Earnings

By Nathan Gill Aug. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Banco Santander Chile, the country’s biggest lender, rose the most in three weeks after reporting profit that exceeded some analysts’ projections.
The Santiago-based bank gained 2.7 percent, the most since Aug. 3, to 27.72 pesos. The unit of Spain’s Banco Santander SA reported net income of 219.2 billion pesos ($398 million) this year through July, Chile’s banking regulator wrote in an e-mailed report yesterday, without giving the monthly figure. Profit rose to 35 billion pesos in July, a 19 percent increase from the previous month while interest margins, a measure of lending profitability, also gained 19 percent, according to Bloomberg calculations.
“The monthly results were slightly higher than our expectations,” German Serrano, an analyst at BanChile Inversiones, said in a telephone interview. Consumer loans “broke their downward trend” and “should begin a return to expansive growth in the next few months.”

Banks in Latin America also rose after …

Goldman Sachs, Celfin to Sell Derivatives in Chile

By Nathan Gill Aug. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Chilean brokerage and investment bank Celfin Capital SA agreed to develop derivative products for Chilean pension funds, the country’s biggest investors, Celfin said.
Goldman Sachs and Celfin will create and market financial instruments, including cross-currency and interest-rate swaps, for the South American country’s private pension funds known as AFPs, Celfin Chairman Juan Andres Camus said today in a telephone interview.
Chile’s government authorized the funds to trade in derivatives in October as it tries to increase trading volumes in Latin America’s third largest market, according to Celfin. Pension funds had assets of $102 billion under management as of the end of July, according to the pension regulator.
“Today, this market is at zero,” Camus said from his offices in Santiago. “We don’t have a figure of how much this will penetrate, but we think the amounts will be significant.”
Celfin is growing in “all areas of…

Chile Banks’ Combined Profit Rises 35 Percent in July

By Nathan Gill Aug. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Chilean banks’ combined profit increased 35 percent in July from the previous month as greater confidence in the South American country’s economy boosted consumer lending.
Net income this year through July was 634 billion pesos ($1.2 billion), the banking regulator wrote in a report e-mailed today, without giving the monthly figure. July profit rose to 112.6 billion pesos, according to Bloomberg calculations. Consumer lending increased 0.5 percent and the combined interest margin, a measure of lending profitability, rose 17.5 percent, the report said.
Increased consumer loans may signal confidence in South America’s fifth-largest economy is improving and that lenders are responding to the central bank’s record low 0.5 percent overnight interest rate by cutting their own rates, Ruben Catalan, an analyst at BCI Corredor de Bolsa, said today in an interview.

“What’s increasing the most is on the mortgage side,” Catalan said from his office in Santiago.…

Chile’s Copec to Buy Tafisa Brasil for $165.2 Million

By Nathan Gill Aug. 26 (Bloomberg) -- A unit of Empresas Copec SA, Chile’s biggest pulp producer, agreed to buy Brazilian wood-panel maker Tafisa Brasil SA for about $165.2 million.
Placas do Parana SA, a unit of Copec’s forestry subsidiary Celulosa Arauco y Constitucion SA, will buy 100 percent of the Brazilian company from Sonae Industria SGPS SA, Arauco said today in a regulatory filing. The unit also will assume $61.8 million of Tafisa’s debt.
“The acquisition of this asset will allow Arauco to consolidate its presence in the Brazilian wood-panel market,” Arauco said in the statement.
Parana, Brazil-based Tafisa produces as much as 640,000 cubic meters a year of wood panels for the construction and furniture industries, according to the statement.
Copec rose 1.4 percent to 6,849 pesos in Santiago trading, the steepest gain in a week.

Chile Finance Minister Velasco Says Economy Stabilized, Will Improve

By Nathan Gill Aug. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Chilean Finance Minister Andres Velasco said the country’s economy has touched bottom and will show improvement in the third quarter as it emerges from its deepest recession in over a decade.
The contraction of Chile’s gross domestic product, which began last year and has seen consecutive quarters of negative growth, has stabilized, Velasco said today in Santiago.
The central bank last week voted to pause for the first time this year after cutting interest rates for seven straight months, saying that economic activity and industrial output suggest GDP may have already stopped shrinking.
“Monthly indicators from June show a slight recovery compared with a month earlier and today, practically all the forecasts, both foreign and Chilean, public and private, suggest a reactivation in the third quarter,” Velasco said after a speech at Chile’s Catholic University.
Chile’s GDP shrank 4.5 percent in the second quarter, the most in two decades, from the same …

Chile Turkey Farms Quarantined After Swine Flu Found

By Nathan Gill and James Attwood Aug. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Two Chilean poultry farms are under quarantine after swine flu was detected in turkeys, the first case of the virus found in birds, the nation’s health ministry and U.S. health officials said.
Sopraval SA, the Santiago-based producer of poultry, beef and pork products, said agricultural authorities identified the virus, also known as H1N1, in turkeys on two of the company’s farms, it wrote in a statement posted today on the Web site of Chile’s securities regulator. Sopraval is working with authorities to prevent the spread of the flu, it said.
The flu was identified after workers noticed a drop in egg production, said Jay Butler, director of the H1N1 task force for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. The genetic makeup of H1N1 enables the virus to be carried in birds, he said. While the infections aren’t surprising, he said scientists are concerned the virus may combine with the H5N1 bird flu virus, whi…

Chile's Vapores and Samsung Heavy Reach Deal on Ship Contracts

By Nathan Gill Aug. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Chile’s Cia. Sudamericana de Vapores SA, Latin America’s largest container ship company, reached an agreement with Samsung Heavy Industries Co. to change its ship-building contracts.

Vapores, as the company is known, will buy five ships worth a total of $625 million from Seoul-based Samsung Heavy, the world’s second-largest shipyard, instead of the four bigger ships the company planned to purchase for $644 million, Chief Executive Officer Juan Antonio Alvarez said today in a statement posted on the country’s securities regulator’s Web site.
The Valparaiso, Chile-based company is renegotiating contracts with suppliers and bondholders as the global recession saps shipping demand at a time of increased supply of vessels. It reported a $147 million net loss in the second quarter, its fourth straight quarterly decline, according to Bloomberg data.
Vapores also said it reached an agreement with a group of banks, including BNP Paribas, to finance the cost …

Chile’s Peso Falls as Copper Declines; Peruvian Sol Slides

By James Attwood and Nathan Gill Aug. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Chile’s peso fell to a two-month low after copper, the country’s biggest export, declined and the U.S. dollar strengthened against major currencies.

Chile’s currency, up 14 percent so far this year, dropped 1.3 percent to 558.75 per U.S. dollar at 12:01 p.m. New York time, from 551.72 on Aug. 14. Earlier it touched 559.87, the weakest since June 15. Peru’s sol fell 0.6 percent to 2.9633 per dollar, from 2.9470 at the end of last week. Markets in Argentina and Colombia were shut today for a holiday.
“We see a global chain of depreciation in currencies which is basically affecting emerging markets that are important producers of commodities,” Alfredo Coutino, director for Latin America at Moody’s in West Chester, Pennsylvania, said today in a telephone interview.
Copper, which accounts for almost 38 percent of Chile’s gross domestic product, led industrial metal declines as stockpiles expanded and concerns increased that…

Chile's Multiexport Foods Says First-Half Loss Widens on Salmon Virus

By Nathan Gill Aug. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Multiexport Foods SA, Chile’s biggest publicly-traded salmon producer, said its first-half net loss widened on higher costs and lower sales related to a virus that has depleted fish stocks.
The loss widened to $48.7 million from a $11.4 million loss in the year-earlier period, according to data posted last night on the Web site of Chile’s securities regulator. Revenue fell 8.2 percent to $89.7 million from $97.7 million.
Separately, the Puerto Montt, Chile-based company called for a shareholders meeting on Sept. 7 to report on debt refinancing and debt levels that have exceeded approved amounts, according to a second statement posted on the regulator’s Web site.
Salmon farmers in Chile are refinancing debt as a fish-sickening virus cuts their production. An outbreak of the Infectious Salmon Anemia virus has swept through farms off southern Chile’s Chiloe Island, forcing early harvests and emptying fish cages.

On July 28, Multiexport Foods said it had…

Chile's Cencosud Quarterly Profit Slides More Than Estimated

By James Attwood and Nathan Gill Aug. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Cencosud SA, Chile’s biggest retailer by sales, posted a steeper-than-estimated drop in second-quarter profit on lower sales and currency losses.
First-half net income fell 66 percent, the Santiago-based company reported in a regulatory filing today without giving separate second-quarter results.
Second-quarter profit fell to 8.96 billion pesos ($16.2 million), according to Banchile Inversiones. That compares with the 28 billion-peso average estimate of four analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. Cencosud’s press department said quarterly profit was $16.8 million in an e-mailed response to a Bloomberg News query, without elaborating.
“The results were quite a bit lower than projections, both in terms of operations as well as the bottom line,” Patricio Hernandez, an analyst at Banchile, said today in a telephone interview. “Outlays for provisions are reflected in higher costs and there was a negative effect from the exchange rate, esp…

Chile's Socovesa Reports First-Half Loss of 6.9 Billion Pesos

By Nathan Gill and James Attwood Aug. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Socovesa SA, Chile’s second-biggest building company by market value, reported a first-half loss as an economic slowdown stifled new home sales.
Socovesa, based in Santiago, lost 6.86 billion pesos ($12.4 million), compared with a profit of 2 billion pesos in the same six months last year, according to data posted today on the Web site of Chile’s securities regulator. It didn’t provide separate second-quarter results.
Sales slumped 42 percent to 4.17 billion pesos, according to the statement. Construction in Chile may contract about 2.5 percent this year while new housing sales drop as much as 25 percent, Lorenzo Constans, chairman of the Chamber of Construction, said in a June 17 interview.
Revenue declined because of the “continued high volatility and still uncertain macroeconomic outlook” globally, the company wrote in the statement.

Socovesa fell 1.2 percent to 154 pesos at 4:13 p.m. New York time in Santiago trading. The stock …

Chile's Falabella Profit Falls 48% on Sales Drop, Currencies

By James Attwood and Nathan Gill Aug. 14 (Bloomberg) -- SACI Falabella SA, Chile’s biggest retailer by market value, reported a 48 percent slump in second-quarter profit because of a drop in sales and foreign-exchange rate losses.
Net income fell to 33.4 billion pesos ($60.5 million) from 63.7 billion pesos a year earlier, the Santiago-based retailer said today in an e-mailed statement. That missed the 53.3 billion-peso average estimate of four analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.
Revenue fell 7.8 percent, hurt by sales declines at Falabella’s home-improvement stores after a slowdown in construction and real estate. Exchange losses totaled 14.5 billion pesos after currency moves reduced income from stores in Colombia, Peru and Argentina under Chilean accounting rules.
“The fall in profits was much stronger than expected,” Amelia Gonzalez, an analyst at Euroamerica Corredores de Bolsa SA, said today in a telephone interview. “The impact in monetary correction and the exchange rate differ…

Chile's Cap Seeks Changes to Bondholder Protection Covenants

By Nathan Gill and James Attwood Aug. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Cap SA, the Chilean steelmaker that posted a first-half net loss yesterday, is seeking changes to bondholder protection rules governing capital requirements.
Bondholders will be presented with a proposal on Aug. 28 to modify minimum capital levels, Banco Santander SA, which represents bondholders, said in a statement posted today on the Web site of Chile’s stock exchange.
The proposed changes are a precaution to give Cap “more flexibility” in case earnings continue to decline, said Sergio Fuentes, director of corporate and financial institutions’ ratings at Standard & Poor’s International LLC in Argentina. Ernesto Escobar, a Cap spokesman, wasn’t available for comment.
“It’s a preventative attitude,” Fuentes said in a telephone interview from Buenos Aires. Cap wants “more space to ensure it doesn’t breach its covenants.”
Cap, Chile’s biggest steelmaker, reported yesterday a $34 million loss for the first six months of the year, …