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January 31, 2014

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EXCLUSIVE Costa Rica and El Salvador head to polls
Analysts consulted by LBC believe both countries will likely go to run-off elections

On Sunday, voters in Costa Rica and El Salvador will vote for their new presidents. Races in both countries involve three candidates, and are extremely tight, with no candidates garnering a majority of the vote recent polls. LBC consulted with Professor Mike Allison, Professor of Political Science at the University of Scranton, on how the elections should proceed, and what can be expected.  

Goldman and Patria to benefit from Brazil telecoms building boom
Mobile phone operators are seeking firms to build towers

Brazil's telecoms building boom is set to benefit Goldman Sachs and Patria Investimentos, as cellular phone operators seek companies to construct towers worth up to $820 million. Goldman, Patria and at least six other private-equity firms are backing five local tower builders as phone operators shift from constructing their own towers to contracting the work out, Bloomberg reports.

Argentina and Venezuela reaching the limit
Both nations struggling to defend their currencies

Argentina and Venezuela have both dished out earnings of unrepeatable commodities booms, oil in Venezuela and soya in Argentina. But now both share soaring inflation, and both have used a mix of central bank interventions and administrative controls to keep overvalued exchange rates from falling. They also share dwindling arsenals with which to defend their currencies. The Economist reports.

China's ICBC plans to start banking operations in Peru
Bank to offer services to Peruvian firms seeking to enter Asian markets

China's ICBC bank plans to start operating in Peru by February. The bank aims to offer services to Chinese companies operating in the Andean country, and to Peruvian exporters seeking to enter the Chinese and other Asian markets. ICBC will be the first Chinese bank to operate in Peru's financial sector, and will be competing against Banco de Crédito del Perú, MarketWatch reports.

Colombia extends bid deadline for $23-billion road building plan
First nine projects, worth $5.5 billion, to be awarded in the first half this year

Colombia has extended the bid submission deadline for the first stage of a $23-billion road building program, as bidding companies seek financial backing. The deadline was extended four weeks to March. The program's first nine projects are estimated to be worth some $5.5 billion, and will be awarded during the first half of the year, Businessweek reports.

MOREOVER

Six stories to watch in Latin America Forbes

Carlos Slim teams with Coursera to boost education and jobs in region Yahoo

Latin America better prepared to weather turmoil: IMF Reuters

Blockbuster lives on in Mexico as upscale chain Bloomberg

HP brings programs for Colombia entrepreneurs and students Fox News Latino

Brazil's Bradesco sees loan book growing up to 14 percent this year Reuters

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