LatinNews Consulting

Regional Business Review

Intercorp bets on Peruvian growth: A recent profile by the Spanish newspaper El País highlighted the steady growth of the Peruvian conglomerate Intercorp, led by the extremely low-profile businessman Carlos Rodríguez-Pastor Persivale, known by his initials, CRP. According to the US magazine Forbes, CRP has assets worth US$2.3bn, making him the wealthiest businessman in the country; yet Peruvian media report that he is known only to have conceded one press interview. At first glance, the Intercorp group looks like an almost random spread of unconnected businesses. It includes Interbank, Peru’s fourth-largest bank; an insurance company (Interseguro); a nationwide supermarket and…
Doing business in Latin America is getting easier, according to the World Bank. The Washington-based World Bank (WB) released its latest (2017) ease of doing business report on 25 October. The report examines and analyses regulations that apply to a businesses across its life-cycle, from start-up and operations, to trading across borders, paying taxes, and resolving insolvency, among others. The new report, entitled ‘Doing Business 2017: Equal Opportunity for All’, says that 137 of the 190 economies it examined around the world have adopted key reforms in the past year (in the 12 months to June 2016) that make it easier…
With the fastest growing economy in the region, and the new business-friendly government hoping to kick-start a US$70bn infrastructure portfolio next year, Peru is positioning itself as among the most attractive investment opportunities in Latin America. The main index on Lima’s stock exchange has gone up by 9% since Pedro Pablo Kuczynski was elected by the slimmest of margins in a run off against the right-wing Keiko Fujimori on 5 June. As Kuczynski promised in his campaign, the veteran economist and international financier and his team of talented technocrats have hit the ground running, including winning approval in the Fujimorista-controlled…
Faced with damaging corruption scandals before even reaching the 100-day mark, President Pablo Kuczynski has sought to distinguish himself from his predecessors by reacting quickly and proactively. On 17 October Kuczynski announced a new package of anti-corruption measures in response to the first corruption scandal to affect his new centre-right government. Having run on a strongly anti-corruption platform in this year’s election, only for one of his own presidential advisors to be implicated in wrongdoing, Kuczynski had to been seen to act fast. His approval ratings dropped eight percentage points (to 55% from 63%) after news of the case broke.…
El Salvador appeared to be on the brink of a public-sector payments default for much of October, as the ruling left-wing Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FLMN) government ran out of money and the right-wing Alianza Republicana Nacionalista (ARENA), which has the largest number of seats in congress, refused to authorise further borrowing. The two parties have been trying to agree a fiscal responsibility pact; much of the fiscal problem is due to large unfunded pension liabilities. Operating in a dollarised economy, El Salvador’s government cannot simply print money to cover its fiscal deficit. The deficit stood at…
In welcome news for the government led by President Mauricio Macri, in a new survey 80% of business leaders were confident that the economy would be on a good path in 2017 – their most optimistic assessment in 15 years. But the survey also revealed a detailed list of the mistakes that the private sector believes the government has been making. The survey was carried out by polling company D’Alessio IROL and presented at the annual meeting of the Instituto para el Desarrollo Empresarial de la Argentina (IDEA), a business association. Its headline numbers were encouraging. Eighty percent of the…
Argentina and Chile share a very long frontier, and bilateral relations at times in the past have been volatile. Now, however, both governments appear committed to improving transport and economic links. The Santiago and Buenos Aires governments have signalled that they are ready to move ahead with one of Latin America’s biggest bi-national transport projects, a trans-Andes mountain road tunnel linking Chile’s Coquimbo region to Argentina’s San Juan province. The Agua Negra tunnel, which will be some 14km long, has been costed at around US$1.5bn, and is expected to take eight to ten years to complete. The Inter-American Development Bank…

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