Sunday, August 31, 2008

South America in focus:

A few stories from catching up on my news readings I though i'd share.

1) Peru attracts $22.7 billion dollars of investment in mining projects according to the cover page over at More good news for Peru in the international media you might say, but probably of little interest to the poorer people of Peru who are becoming and more frustrated by the lack of Peru's steller economic growth reaching their end of society.

2) Peru-Chile cooperation, "not just a slogan," says Chilean senator Jamie Orpis. For the past years i've been quite interested in how Peru and Chile have been mending century old rifts to work together. One must understand, South-South Cooperation and the entire notion of emerging markets / developing countries working with one another and establishing a cooperative setting in which to conduct business and help spur development is one thing...

Asking countries like Peru and Chile to work together, both of which have historically not thought very kindly of one another is a bit hard when there are issues looming in the background. Sensitive issues for both countries and their proud peoples such the War of the Pacific, faught over a century ago between Chile and the allied forced of Peru and Bolivia in which Chile adquired two of Peru's most southern provinces which ended up being home to tremendous amounts of copper. Or the more recent international dispute of "who invented Pisco?"

The bottom line from the way I see it is, these two countries realize they have alot of the resources Asia needs, they are both strategically located on the Pacific coast and can be seen as a sort of gateway into South America for China and both countries officially have governments with whom are not considered part of the "Chavez Club" by the US government.

The two in other words, have found good reasons to set aside some past differences and begin to work together.

Click here to access the full story on this topic from Andina Press.

3) Petroperu may sell stock by year-end

Lima, Aug. 31 (ANDINA).- Petroleos del Peru SA probably will sell shares in Lima by yearend as state and private companies offer equity to tap rising wealth in South America's fastest growing economy, the stock exchange's chief executive said.

Petroperu and other state companies such as Electricidad del Peru are planning initial public offerings after a government decree this year that requires public companies to sell at least 20 percent on the market, Federico Oviedo said in an interview. .......

Click here to access the full article from Andina Press.

4) Colombian Oil Minister reports domestic output hits 585,000 b/d, allowing Colombia to extend energy self-sufficiency to 2015 from 2011. Colombia's domestic oil production hit 585,00b/d in June, allowing the country to extend its oil self-sufficiency to 2015 from 2011, mining and energy minister Hernán Martínez Torres said in a webcast annual presentation.

The country produced an average of 531,000b/d in 2007.

Torres highlighted increased E&P activity in the country and said 54 new oil contracts had been signed with state hydrocarbons regulator ANH in 2007 with an additional 21 new contracts signed in the first six months of 2008.

While 70 new wells were drilled in 2007, 63 new wells had been drilled in the first half of 2008. The country already has met its goal to acquire 32,000km of seismic data from 2006-2010......

Click here to access the full article courtesy of BNAmericas.

One Disaster after the next -- Hurricanes, Earthquakes, Monsoons and more...

It's been a hectic week for anyone paying attention to world news. This week, Financial markets began with the typical up one day and down the next scenario that has been playing out for the past few weeks now. Adding to it all, even more problems have emerged concerning slowing economies around the world (the US actually being an exception this time), more credit woes and a bunch of other wonderful developments that are not really helping bring back market confidence.

Add to this mix... (apologies if I miss a natural disaster affecting some region of the world, but Western media is now being dominated by the news on the hurricane front in the gulf coast)

- Two hurricanes passing over poor Cuba on route to the coasts of Louisiana and Texas. Click here to access a full article covering the storm from Reuters.

- Yet another earthquake in Sichuan province of China... yes the same province that suffered the horrible quake earlier this year in May. Click here to read more on yesterdays quake from Xinhua.

Residents gather around campfire to evade earthquake in Yinlu Village, Datian Town, Renhe District of Panzhihua City, southwest China's Sichuan Province, August 31, 2008. Twenty-two people were dead after an earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale hit Panzhihua City on Saturday. As of 9 p.m., 17 people were reported dead and about 100 others injured in Sichuan, and five people dead and 35 others injured in neighboring Yunnan Province. The quake struck the juncture of Renhe District of Panzhihua and Huili County of the Yi Autonomous Prefecture of Liangshan at 4:30 p.m. (Beijing time). (Xinhua/Chen Haining)

- Flooding in India... massive flooding, click here to read the full updated story from AFP

You might have noticed how earlier in the week India was dominating headlines in Western press, then suddenly a tropical storm goes nasty and New Orleans takes over... leaving the quake hit region (2nd time this year now), little sympathy from the West.

I think CNN, MSNBC and Fox News are having a panic attack right about now (that is if they where living beings) because its just too darn hard to cover Obama vs McCain and all these juicy rating grabbing disasters...

Overall-- things look gloomy. More updates to come concerning Commodities, South-South Cooperation and Colombia's Oil Industry