Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Toledo and Prado: Dow Jones reports that President Toledo spoke before the American-Peruvian Chamber of Commerce and declared that the "Peru's economy could grow between 5.0% to 6.0% this year" and added that "we are seeing growth levels not realized since the government of President Prado." Toledo added, "This year we are going to pass the barrier of $10 billion in exports." NOTE: Previous growth estimates by the Ministry of Economy and Finance have been 4.0%. ALSO CITED: Polling director Aflredo Torres (Apoyo Opinion y Mercado SA) who gave "a press conference with foreign media Monday [and said] that it was unlikely that Toledo's popularity could rise above 20%."

Nuevo Continente Woes: USA Today has a travel column focused entirely on Peru with this headline: 'Frozen reservations on Aero Continente.' The ban on Americans flying Aero Continente also applies to Nuevo Continente, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury spokesperson Molly Millerwise, "so Americans still can't legally fly the new carrier either." However, Millerwise suggests that the Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) "can provide some guidance in these situations" at (202) 622-2500. NOTE: "You don't necessarily have to commit a crime to fly to Cusco: There is an official way to skirt trouble. You can petition OFAC for a license authorizing you to use Aero Continente tickets."

Reserves Up: Dow Jones reports that "Peru's net international reserves totaled $11.164 billion on Aug. 17, down from $11.296 billion on Aug. 10," according to the Central Reserve Bank. ALSO: "To Aug. 17, net international reserves this year have increased $970 million."

Borneo Out: Dow Jones reports that "Deputy Finance Minister Kurt Burneo Farfán, a key member of the government's economic team, has resigned ... and has been replaced by Luis Julián Martín Carranza Ugarte. " Burneo is also a member of the board of the Central Reserve Bank and "a separate notice in El Peruano said that he has been named as chairman of the board of the government's Banco de la Nacion." Minister of Economics and Finance Pedro Pablo Kuczynski downplayed suggestions that Burneo had disagreed with the direction of the ministry but El Comercio said that "Burneo and the ministry's director general of public finance, Felix Jimenez, had clashed with a high-level Kuczynski adviser." Jimenez also resigned.

Chains Replace Independents: NamNews reports that "the expansion of pharmacy chains over the last few months has seen them achieve 70% of pharmaceutical sales in Peru, estimated at US$350 million. Inkafarma and Fasa have both expanded rapidly, while Arcangel has associated with Albis; Boticas y Salud associated with Deco and manage 100 pharmacies and Ivax merged with BTL and have 40 branches. Pharmacy chains allow a vertical integration with distributors or laboratories, thus better conditions to negotiate prices. Inkafarma, is to end 2004 with sales of US$80 milion, following expansion and the introduction of credit cards to low income consumers."

Tragedy Near Cuzco, etc.: U TV reports on David Scollard's funeral "the young Limerick man killed in a road accident in Peru two weeks ago. Separately, Washington State's Columbian has a piece on crash survivors Yony Russell who "is hospitalized with more than a dozen broken bones, some of them shattered. [Her son] Brandon, 13, suffered serious internal injuries. Surgeons removed his spleen and repaired a punctured lung and perforated stomach. Said Brandon, "I was actually looking out the window and wondering when we were going to crash." NOTE: "Out of the 60 passengers on the double-decker bus, nine were friends and relatives of the Russell family, several from Canada." Russell's husband said there was no question that he would keep traveling to Peru. "It's family. We have to go back." Another article in the Columbian details how the Russell's insurance provider, Kaiser Permanente, came to their aid. SEE ALSO: 'Tragedy Near Cuzco' in August 13's Peruvia.

Pluspetrol Bonds: Reuters reports that Argentina's Pluspetrol, which is developing Peru's huge Camisea field, will issue up to $35 million in bonds on Wednesday," according to Credibolsa, the company broker. NOTE: "Pluspetrol will issue up to $35 million in 5-year bonds and could increase the offer if there is sufficient demand."

Arequipa Property: Amera Resources Corporation announces in a press release to announce that "it has signed a Letter of Intent to option the Esperanza Property in northern Arequipa, Peru from Arcturus Ventures Inc. This 3,000 hectare property is located approximately 45 km southwest of Newmont/Southwestern Resources' Liam gold-silver property. The Esperanza Property covers a three kilometre long epithermal system that contains values grading up to 11.42 g/t gold."

LHorna Wins: Australia's ABC News and the Voice of America note that Luis Horna of Peru, ousted German Alexander Popp 6-1, 6-3 in the first round of singles in the TD Waterhouse Cup on Long Island. Australia's Mail names Luis Horna as one of the tournaments "biggest dangers."

Peruvian Identity: Al Jazeera offers an opinion column on Arab and Israeli demographics and reviews the politics of Jewish identity. " 'It is not easy to decide who is Jewish', said the Rabbi Shlomo Amar upon his return from visiting the north-eastern Indian states of Manipur and Mizoram, adding it was possible the tribal members would be given "the benefit of the doubt" entitling them to the 'right of return'. You bet! In 2002, another delegation of rabbis travelled to Lima, Peru to convert 19 poverty stricken Peruvian Indians to Judaism on condition they immediately immigrated to Israel."

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