Under the heading of “Latin America’s impressive little guys, Uruguay and Paraguay”, the Financial Times praises the two countries for “punching above their weight” and catching the attention of foreign corporate investors.
In spite of the good relations between the governments of Uruguay and Argentina following the agreement reached on pulp mills, pending and new issues are creeping into the bilateral agenda that could threaten the good chemistry between presidents Jose Mujica and Cristina Kirchner.
Uruguay is resolutely on its way to reclaim the investment grade status it lost in 2002 according to Franco Uccelli an analyst with JP Morgan Chase. Uccelli says that growth continues to outperform expectations; infrastructure projects are set to take centre stage; fiscal consolidation is firmly underway; the public debt burden is poised to decline and no international bond issuance is planned for 2010. Fundamental support for the currency remains intact and a return to Investment Grade has become a key priority for the government.
The Uruguayan government announced that it authorized the repurchase of 500 million US dollars of sovereign debt with the purpose of optimizing its composition and the maturing timetable.
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its long-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on Uruguay to BB from BB- with a stable outlook thanks to the country's track record of sustained economic growth.
The Canadian company B2Gold announced “impressive gold values” from a systematic mechanical trenching program in the south of Uruguay where in association with a local company (Weeping Apple S.A.) it has an option to survey ten claims totalling 34.200 hectares.
A majority of Uruguay’s capital Montevideo residents (71%) feel the city is not safe and fear “mugging in the streets” and “young people consuming ‘pasta base’” (a cheap by-product of cocaine). They are also unsatisfied with the city’s transport system.
It’s budget time in Uruguay and the government has presented to Congress its revenue and expenditure estimates (821 articles) based on a five-year forecast for the economy, which private analyst consider too rosy.
Uruguayan exports in the first eight months of 2010 reached 4.475 billion US dollars which is 22% higher than the same period of last year, according to official data released this week.
Argentina and Uruguay signed Monday in Montevideo the agreement which puts an end to an ongoing years-long litigation over the construction of a pulp mill along a shared river.