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It could be the 1930s all over again for Latin America

During the 1920’s Depression, Latin America was buffeted by a collapse in commodity prices, a slowdown in world trade and a massive capital outflow. The same shocks are hitting the region today, but this time one has to add a decline in remittances (crucial for Central America and the Caribbean) and a productivity freeze, due to having much of the labour force under lockdown. Back then, the economic contraction was brutal. Between 1929 and 1933, output fell by 10 per cent in Argentina and Mexico and by…

Why is Uruguay beating Latin America’s coronavirus curse?

Stricken neighbours take note – Uruguay has not only contained the outbreak, it has done so without a lockdown, harsh quarantines or heavy-handed policing. As the novel coronavirus cyclones through Latin America, it has staggered almost every nation. So how to explain Uruguay? Its infection rate of 2.1 cases per million inhabitants is the second lowest in South America and already falling, with just 22 fatalities by May 27. Ahead of many of its neighbours, Uruguay is already glimpsing a safe return to economic…

Argentine’s farmland in USD terms collapses: experts reveal which locations to now invest in

As in other sectors, the pandemic has been making itself felt in the worst possible way and that is in rural real estate activity. So, what are the areas to invest in? The paralysis evidenced by the lack of sale of properties in the urban areas, rural real estate activity also transits one of its worst moments with operations close to zero in the past two months. These same indicators are the one that opens up opportunities for investors with cash, with the prices in key areas of agricultural production areas…

Why the ‘Andean Three’ Will Bounce Back Quickly From Coronavirus

Latin America is the world’s coronavirus hotspot but some of its best-run economies – Peru, Colombia and Chile – look well placed to recover…… Emerging markets have been flattened by the stampede for the exit. The Institute for International Finance estimates that overseas investors pulled $95billion from emerging markets in the first quarter of 2020 – the EM largest outflow ever. Investors are right to be worried. Emerging markets tend to have bad health systems, cash-strapped governments and informal…

Latam Air Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, Stymied by Lockdowns

Latam Airlines Group SA, Latin America’s largest air carrier, sought bankruptcy court protection in New York after the Covid-19 pandemic grounded flights across the region. The Chapter 11 petition allows Latam to keep operating while the Chilean carrier works out a plan to pay creditors and turn around the business. Latam, whose shareholders include Chile’s Cueto family and Delta Air Lines Inc., continues to operate on a reduced schedule, and it has commitments for a bankruptcy loan of up to $900…

No model answers for this Covid 19 crisis

A forecasting model is an opinion column with more maths. Its purpose is to spark action, not necessarily to be right. Will we ever trust experts again? The models that predicted the spread of the coronavirus have been under fire for months. Now the economic forecasts that were based on those models have highlighted exactly how out of whack the epidemiological predictions were. What will happen if we lose faith in modelling? Saving $60 billion should never feel like an anticlimax, but here we are in 2020, supposedly…

Air New Zealand services need to be restored at the earliest opportunity to South America

After Alice fell down a rabbit hole in Lewis Carroll’s fantasy novel Alice in Wonderland she found herself in a truly mad, topsy-turvy world where she underwent startling physical changes including being shrunk to midget size.     Air New Zealand was one of the most celebrated and profitable airlines in the world before it suffered the same fate as Alice, after the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic collapsed its business and forced it to shrink alarmingly. With international borders…

The impact of Covid-19 on real estate

From residential to retail, offices to logistics, the long-term impact of Covid-19 When we decided on the theme ‘tipping points’ for our 2020 Impacts programme at the end of 2019, various topics were discussed: climate change, demographics, technology and many more. What we didn’t know is that we were about to be faced with a pandemic. Covid-19 changed the way we work and live almost overnight and is likely to have a long-term impact on real estate. As countries come out of their strict lockdowns but…

Savills Food Security Index measures how well a country provides sufficient, safe and healthy food

Precios de la tierra agrícola actualizados 2016
Understanding food security has never been more critical. Climate change and extreme weather were testing food systems to their limits even before Covid-19 closed borders and shook labour availability. To give investors global context, Savills Food Security Index ranks 38 countries based on four pillars of food security: availability, access, utilisation and stability. Availability Ensuring an adequate supply of food. Greater weighting is given to domestic production due to reduced exposure to disruptive international…

Latin American economies in the race to the bottom

Prospects for Latin America are dire this year amid the paralysis in domestic activity; collapse in prices for export commodities; massive job losses; pullback in remittances; rising debt vulnerabilities; and limited scope by governments to adequately respond to the crisis. Consequently, our Consensus Forecast currently sees Latin America’s economy contracting 5.1% this year, which would mark one of the worst contractions in the continent’s history. NUMBER OF THE WEEK – 7% Of the region’s largest…

Bringing up Children to be Bi or Multilingual is a must in todays interconnected world

Children raised bilingual or multilingual in the early days will mix languages. They make errors by using the syntax of one language and the words of another. (“Touch the guitar”, my old Spanish teacher’s daughter would say, instead of “Play the guitar”.) But these problems disappear quickly. By three or four, children reliably separate the languages, knowing which can be spoken with whom. Their fluency in each would be the envy of any adult language-learner. Many parents once believed that a second…

Pricing International Farmland

Farmland has been proven to deliver strong returns over time with its low volatility and its little correlation with other asset classes and the broader global economic cycle. Since 2001, U.S. farmland prices have risen by 6.8% p.a.,1while farmland in Poland has risen by 11.8% p.a. and in Brazil by 12.9% p.a. (in local currency terms). These return characteristics are proving attractive to many investors by providing diversification to their portfolios. Cropping farmland value is a function of farm income and…

Paraguay’s Finance Minister Explains How His Country Can Cope with Covid-19

How will your tax reform improve the system? Benigno López: I believe it was Churchill that said when you think about future generations you are doing the right thing. Well the benefits of this reform will be felt by my successor and the next government of Paraguay because it will take up to five years for it to achieve its full effect. Don’t get me wrong, the state’s tax take will increase next year, but there are many different mechanisms that this law improves and it will be between three to five…

Covid-19: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

In the depths of quarantine tedium, this writer unearthed two movies whose titles have an uncanny pertinence in these surreal times.  Readers well know that in the less than six months since the Covid-19 coronavirus infected its first unwitting human victim in Wuhan it has so far infected close to four million people and killed more than 272,000.  To break the chain of infection the citizens of many nations have been compulsorily quarantined (dubbed “lockdowns”) in time-heavy domestic limbos.…

Update on Argentina’s foreign farmland ownership

The Rural Land Law (Law 26,737) and the Border Security Zone Law set out certain limits foreign ownership of rural lands that can restrict investment in the agribusiness industry  The Rural Lands Law limits the ownership and possession of rural land by foreign individuals or companies, irrespective of the use to which the land might be dedicated. Foreign persons must receive authorisation from the National Registry of Rural Lands to buy rural land. “Rural land” includes any land located outside…
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