Archive for the ‘Argentina’ Category

Argentina’s Approach To Inflation: Ditch The Peso, Hoard U.S. Dollars

| December 17th, 2014 | No Comments »
NPR

BY LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO

Kelly Brenner ushers in guests at the Adentro Dinner Club. This is a “​puertas cerradas”​ restaurant — meaning behind closed doors. It’s a culinary movement where people cook for paying guests in their homes. Adentro is the most well-reviewed in Buenos Aires​.

​Brenner, who is originally from Boulder, Colo., acts as the host, and her Argentine fiance, Gabriel Aguallo, does the cooking, focusing on grilled meat.

​On a recent evening, visitors gasped with pleasure at the beautifully set dinner table before they were ushered up for cocktails on a roof terrace festooned with lights. Despite the success of the venture, though, the pair say they have been struggling.

​”​Tourists would call and want to make a reservation for two months in advance, but we couldn’t take that reservation because we couldn’t tell them how much it was gonna cost in two months​,” she says.

The problem is ​inflation​. ​

​It’s been ​ravaging Argentina’s ... Read More

Argentina Bond-Sale Bust Is Missed Chance as Maturities Loom

| December 15th, 2014 | No Comments »
Bloomberg

By Camila Russo 

Argentina missed a chance to boost foreign reserves and push back much of the $12 billion in debt coming due next year as investors balked at the terms for the country’s first bond sale since defaulting in July.

The government issued just $286 million of the $3 billion in 10-year notes that it offered last week for 96.2 cents on the dollar, above the 94.4 cents they fetch in the secondary market. Offers to swap $6.3 billion of securities due next year for ones that mature in 2024 lured investors holding less than 10 percent of the debt outstanding. Both the swap and the sale involved notes governed by local law, exempt from a U.S. court ruling that prevents the country from paying overseas debt.

Argentina’s debt obligations next year total about 40 percent of its foreign reserves, and the country remains locked out of ... Read More

Latin America, Caribbean 2014 Growth Likely Reached Only 1.1%

| December 2nd, 2014 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01 By ROBERT KOZAK Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean likely reached only 1.1% this year, the slowest rate of expansion since 2009, but will jump back up to twice as high next year, the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean said.

The organization, known as Eclac, said Tuesday that Central America, including the Spanish-speaking Caribbean and Haiti, will post the best expansion in gross domestic product in the region next year, rising by 4.1%. The English-speaking Caribbean will lag with an expansion of 2.2%. South America will expand 1.8% next year, it added. Overall the area will expand 2.2% in 2015, it said.

A slump in demand in developed economies and the slowing of growth in emerging economies, especially China, hit Latin America and the Caribbean nations hard this year. China has become an important trading partner, especially for raw materials, for many countries in the region.

The agency said an economic deceleration became ... Read More

Drug Cartels Find Argentina Attractive Transit Way

| November 10th, 2014 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press

By ALMUDENA CALATRAVA and DEBORA REY

The large electrical transformers bound for Mexico were the perfect place to hide cocaine. It was a matter of chemistry to dilute the drug into an oil mixture that could be concealed as coolant, a job handled by a Mexican engineer working discretely in a suburban warehouse near Buenos Aires.

The transformers carrying 2 tons of liquefied cocaine from Bolivia were loaded onto a cargo vessel at a Buenos Aires port and shipped out to sea. But investigators had been watching the operation and when the shipment arrived, an Argentine judge was on hand to insist on a test that, to the astonishment of authorities at one of Mexico’s most secure ports, revealed the drug.

The traffickers, Judge Sandra Arroyo said, had used “an ingenious and logistically novel method for the deception.”

The interception earlier this year called attention to a worrying trend in Argentina, the increasing use ... Read More

Republicans Should Signal Leadership, at Home and Abroad

| November 10th, 2014 | No Comments »
Roll Call

The 2014 midterm elections were a rejection of the policies of President Barack Obama. And the Republican takeover of the Senate is a repudiation of the gridlock in Congress symbolized by the bare-knuckles tactics of outgoing Majority Leader Harry Reid.

The new Republican Senate leadership should move swiftly to seize the high ground and signal it is ready to do the peoples’ business. Quick action on several international issues — the Keystone XL pipeline, trade promotion authority and long-delayed ambassadorial nominations — are bipartisan actions that Republicans should put on the table even before they take over in January.

Although opinion polls show voters favor Republican positions on the economy, foreign policy and security, the party’s brand needs burnishing. As Obama hints at a more confrontational tone that could undermine any hope of making Washington work, Republicans can rise above Obama’s blame game by working with Democrats on tangible initiatives to bolster America’s ... Read More

First, a US hedge fund tried to seize Argentina’s boat, then its rockets—now it’s after a person

| November 7th, 2014 | No Comments »
Quartz

BY TIM FERNHOLZ

The hedge fund behind Argentina’s default stepped up its pressure on the recalcitrant nation yesterday by asking US courts to stop an Argentine lawyer from leaving the US, take away his passport, and force him to give a deposition.

 NML Capital, a subsidiary of Paul Singer’s Elliott Capital Management, has been trying to force Argentina to pay back its defaulted debt, and has won $1.7 billion in court judgements in the process. NML’s main strategy has been to put itself first in line for repayment, legally blocking Argentina’s payments to its other creditors until it settles with the fund. But it has also attempted to get its money back directly, by seizing Argentina’s assets. In 2012, NML briefly seized a naval training vessel visiting Ghana, and in 2013 the fund sued SpaceX to seize money Argentina has paid the company for satellite launches next year. The fund has sometimes been hamstrung by legal doctrines that prevent ... Read More

Las Naciones ‘Sumergidas’ de Latinoamérica

| November 5th, 2014 | No Comments »
Folha de Sao Paulo

Líderes políticos y diplomáticos de América Latina y el Caribe saben más sobre Cuba y Venezuela que incluso los observadores más astutos en Washington. Por lo tanto, deberían saber lo que le conviene más a su región ¿no?

Entonces, ¿por qué el Grupo de América Latina y el Caribe en la ONU le dio su apoyo a Venezuela para ser el próximo representante de la región ante el Consejo de Seguridad? Y, ¿por qué están determinados en invitar a el déspota cubano Raúl Castro a la Cumbre de las Américas en Panamá en la primavera?; haciendo caso omiso de las objeciones por parte de sus socios comerciales más importantes, como Estados Unidos y Canadá.

Para muchas generaciones de latinoamericanos, Cuba fue el hogar de algunas de las mejores editoriales de lengua española en el mundo, cientos de periódicos y estaciones de radio de calidad, derechos laborales progresistas, altos niveles de alfabetización y ... Read More

Latin America’s ‘submerging nations’

| November 5th, 2014 | 2 Comments »
Folha de Sao Paulo

The political leaders and diplomats of Latin America and the Caribbean know more about Cuba and Venezuela than even the keenest observers in Washington. So, they should know better, right?

Then why did the Group of Latin America and the Caribbean at the UN designate Venezuela to take the region’s non-permanent Security Council seat?

And, why are they determined to invite Cuban despot Raúl Castro to the Summit of the Americas in Panama next spring, ignoring the objections of the leaders of the consequential trade partners in the United States and Canada?

For generations of Latin Americans, Cuba was home to some of the world’s best Spanish-language publishing houses, hundreds of quality newspapers and radio stations, progressive labor rights, the region’s highest rates of literacy and nutrition, and a robust middle class.

Then came the Castro revolution. Although some may have been caught up ... Read More

Chile eyes hosting 2030 World Cup, Argentina not interested

| November 5th, 2014 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in Reuters

Reporting by Rosalba O’Brien, editing by Ed Osmond

(Reuters) – Chile is interested in hosting the 2030 football World Cup but Argentina will not be bidding to stage the tournament, local media reported on Tuesday.

Chilean football federation president Sergio Jadue, who was re-elected on Monday, said his country had spoken to football’s ruling world body FIFA about hosting the competition, either alone or with Uruguay.

Jadue has previously expressed interest in Chile holding the 2030 World Cup, building on its experience of hosting next year’s Copa America regional competition and the Under-17 World Cup.

Argentina has also been mooted as a possible host for 2030, but Miguel Angel Silva, the Argentine football association vice-president, appeared to rule that out.

“Argentina is not thinking about the 2030 World Cup. We haven’t even considered it yet. If you asked me concretely, Argentina will not bid to organise that World Cup,” Chilean local daily La Tercera quoted ... Read More

Argentina’s President Suspends Activities Amid Hospital Stay

| November 5th, 2014 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01

By Taos Turner

BUENOS AIRES—Argentina President Cristina Kirchner spent a second night in the hospital and suspended key activities on Tuesday after being diagnosed with what her medical team calls an “infectious fever” and a swollen intestine, an ailment that doctors say can take days or even weeks to overcome.

Mrs. Kirchner’s medical team said in a brief statement late Monday that the sigmoid area of her colon, or large intestine, was inflamed. She is in stable condition and being treated with intravenous antibiotics at the Otamendi Clinic in Buenos Aires.

Gastrointestinal specialists who have not treated her say it appears Mrs. Kirchner may have colonic diverticula, wherein pouches are formed on the outer wall of the intestine. The problem affects nearly half of elderly adults in Argentina, according to Dr. Jorge Dávolos, the honorary head of gastrointestinal medicine at the Italian Hospital in Buenos Aires.

“You give the patient liquid and antibiotics. In ... Read More

Argentina Warns U.S. Relations Could Worsen Over Appointee’s Affiliations

| November 4th, 2014 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01

By Taos Turner

BUENOS AIRES—Argentina warned that relations with the U.S. could worsen because of ties that a White House appointee has to hedge funds that have been battling this country in U.S. courts.

In a letter written to U.S. President Barack Obama and made public late Friday, President Cristina Kirchner said that Nancy Soderberg had tried to undermine Argentina’s national interests as co-chairman of American Task Force Argentina, a lobbying group. ATFA, whose members include the hedge fund Elliott Management Corp.’s NML Capital Ltd., has called on Argentina to pay its debts to investors who own bonds Argentina defaulted on in 2001.

In 2012, Mr. Obama reappointed Ms. Soderberg, an alternate ambassador to the U.N. during the Clinton administration, to head the Public Interest Declassification Board as chairwoman. The board, created by Congress to promote public access to documents related to U.S. national security, advises the White House on declassification issues.

The letter, which was confirmed by ... Read More

Argentina suspends P&G over tax claims

| November 3rd, 2014 | No Comments »
BBC

Argentina has banned the consumer products giant Procter & Gamble (P&G) from doing business in the country, accusing the firm of tax fraud.

A statement on the presidential website, published on Sunday, said P&G had inflated the price of imports by $138m (£87m) in an effort to get money out of the South American country.

It also accused the firm of attempting to avoid taxes.

P&G said it was working to understand and resolve the allegations.

“We don’t pursue aggressive tax/fiscal planning practices as they simply don’t produce sustainable results,” said P&G spokesman Paul Fox.

The alleged fraud involves shipments of razors and other hygiene products.

The statement, published on behalf of Argentina’s Federal Administration of Public Revenue (Afip), added that details of the alleged fraud have been sent to its counterpart in the US – the Securities and Exchange Commission.

P&G has been operating in Argentina since 1991 and currently runs three manufacturing plants ... Read More

Argentina Prepares for Shale Boom With Oil Bill Overhaul

| October 31st, 2014 | No Comments »
Bloomberg

By Charlie Devereux

Argentine lawmakers approved a revision of the hydrocarbons law to include regulations for shale and offshore oil and gas exploration as the nation seeks to boost investment in its Vaca Muerta formation.

The bill, approved by 130 votes for and 116 against with 1 abstention, must now be signed by President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and published in the Official Gazette. Shares in state-run producer YPF SA (YPF) jumped 2.7 percent to 424 pesos at 12:18 p.m. in Buenos Aires.

The vote follows four months of negotiations between Fernandez’s government, YPF and governors from 10 provinces about how to distribute revenue from the country’s shale oil reserves, the fourth-biggest in the world. The bill, aimed at regaining Argentina’s self-sufficiency in energy, could triple the country’s oil and gas production in the next 20 years, according to a report by Accenture Plc.

“This new law consolidates the government’s ... Read More

Argentina Gets Reserves Boost From China Currency Swap

| October 31st, 2014 | No Comments »
Bloomberg

By Camila Russo

Argentina’s Central Bank reserves are set to rise after receiving the first installment of yuan as part of a three-year, $11 billion currency swap agreement with the People’s Bank of China.

The central bank received the equivalent of $814 million in yuan today and sent the same amount in Argentine pesos, according to an e-mailed statement. Any funds disbursed must be returned within 12 months, according to the agreement that was signed between the two nations in July.

Argentina, locked out of international credit markets since 2001, has restricted imports since defaulting on July 30 in a bid to preserve central bank reserves which have fallen 10.5 percent this year to $27.4 billion. President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s government struck a deal with grain exporters to allow more wheat and corn shipments in return for a pledge of $5.7 billion of grain sales by year-end that will also go ... Read More

Argentina’s Disturbing New Low

| October 31st, 2014 | No Comments »
National Review

By Jonathan R. Macey

When one drives around Buenos Aires or observes a pro-government rally in Argentina, one sees posters showing the head of Judge Thomas Griesa of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York superimposed on the body of a vulture. One poster reads, “Griesa wants your house, your job and your food!”

This story dates back to 2001, when Argentina defaulted for the seventh time on its sovereign debt, to the tune of almost $80 billion in bonds. The country attempted — unilaterally, with no negotiations whatsoever — to offer bondholders new bonds worth roughly 33 cents on the dollar, a deal that was among the sharpest haircuts in the history of international finance. A small group of bondholders, mostly hedge funds, rejected this deal and decided to have their day in court. In order to collect what was owed to them as bondholders according to the ... Read More

Too Early to Fall for Argentina

| October 27th, 2014 | No Comments »
Barrons

By Dimitra Defotis

A handful of hedge funds and private-equity investors have started to tango with Argentina’s capital markets. No one can be quite sure where the dance will end.

The attraction: The prospect of an October 2015 election that could bring big changes and a boost to the markets. Left-leaning President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who together with her late husband, Nestor Kirchner, has ruled the country since 2003, will step down because of term limits. She will leave an economic mess. In Argentina, inflation is at about 40%–though the state figure is 30%–and the U.S. dollar fetches 15 pesos on the black market, almost twice the official rate. The country is in default on a chunk of its sovereign debt, a situation that began in 2001, was nearly resolved in a 2005 restructuring, and came to a head again in July when holdout U.S. ... Read More

An “invisible” Iran in the Western hemisphere: America’s strategic blind spot

| October 22nd, 2014 | No Comments »
The Hill

By Rep. Jeff Duncan(R-S.C.)

Recently, we have seen a hydra of terrorist organizations wreak havoc around the world. ISIS continues to destabilize the Middle East and has ambitions to expand globally. Al Qaeda recently expanded its operations to India and had plans to attack a U.S. aircraft carrier on 9/11. Boko Haram kidnapped 50 more women in Nigeria and continues pursuing an Islamic caliphate in Africa. Only a year ago, Al Shabaab attacked Westgate Mall in Kenya, and Hezbollah attempted several assassinations around the world. Such an uptick in terrorism was reflected in an April report published by the State Department, which found terrorist attacks had increased 40 percent worldwide since 2013.

As the Obama administration stumbles its way toward a strategy to confront ISIS, some have suggested that the US could try to enlist help from Iran to combat this threat. Specifically, Secretary of State John Kerry said on September 19 ... Read More

Russia Today, Argentina Tomorrow

| October 21st, 2014 | No Comments »
The New York Times

By FABIÁN BOSOER and FEDERICO FINCHELSTEIN

Earlier this month, the president of Russia, Vladimir V. Putin, and the president of Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, took part in a video conference to celebrate a new television partnership. Under the terms of the deal, the Russian-owned channel RT (formerly known as Russia Today) will soon begin broadcasting Spanish-language news in Argentina. Mrs. Kirchner hailed the development as a means for Argentines “to understand the real Russia,” as well as to help Russians learn about “the real Argentina, unlike the way the international media and the so-called national media portray us.”

Buenos Aires currently enjoys warm relations with Moscow for a variety of reasons. Argentina is looking to Russia for help in upgrading its energy sector, including a possible partnership with the Russian giant Gazprom to develop oil and shale gas ... Read More

Argentina Sale Seen by Goldman as Buoying Informal Peso

| October 20th, 2014 | No Comments »
Bloomberg

By Katia Porzecanski

Argentina’s first dollar-linked bond sale in at least a decade may help shore up the peso in the nation’s informal currency markets, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

The Economy Ministry said in a statement Oct. 17 that the government will take offers for as much as $1 billion of two-year securities Oct. 23-28. The bonds will be denominated in dollars and pay holders in pesos at the official exchange rate, with annual interest of 1.75 percent. Argentina hasn’t sold debt in international markets since defaulting on a record $95 billion in 2001.

The securities, which will be sold locally, offer protection against a peso devaluation and are being offered as the government tightens controls on informal currency markets. Mauro Roca, a Goldman Sachs economist, said today in a research note to clients that the sale will help strengthen the peso in the so-called ... Read More

Argentina Planning $1 Billion Dollar-Linked Bond Sale

| October 20th, 2014 | No Comments »
Bloomberg

By Katia Porzecanski

Argentina plans to sell as much as $1 billion of dollar-linked bonds this month, the first sale of its kind by the sovereign in at least a decade.

The country, which hasn’t sold debt in international markets since defaulting on a record $95 billion in 2001, will take offers on the two-year local securities beginning Oct. 23, the Economy Ministry said in a statement Oct. 17. The bonds will be denominated in dollars and pay holders in pesos at the official exchange rate, with an annual interest rate of 1.75 percent. The sale will close Oct. 28.

The securities offer protection against a peso devaluation and are being sold as the government tightens controls on informal currency markets. Argentines who can’t or don’t want to get government permission to access U.S. currency pay as much as 73 percent more for dollars in the black market.

“Despite the capital gains in pesos ... Read More

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