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Up and Coming

May 1, 2012

Investors have long hungered for new assets in the rapidly growing Andean countries. Issuers from Colombia and Peru have started to offer more to the capital markets.

by Lucien Chauvin

When investors looked at the Andean region a decade ago they did not see a rosy picture. Ecuador and Peru were trying to recover after years of political turmoil, Colombia was facing a strengthened communist insurgency and burgeoning drug trade, and Bolivia was careening toward collapse. Chile was the only safe place for investing.

The view is radically different today thanks to a combination of reforms, high prices for the region's vast natural resources and the international economic crisis that has made other markets much less attractive for investing. In recent months, this has shown up in new issuers from Andean nations in the capital markets from a diverse group of industries.

Chile remains a solid bet today, but it has to fight harder each day to compete with Colombia and Peru as their stars rise. Even Bolivia, often overlooked because of its small economy and...

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“The crisis has been a setback for reserve diversification."

Jan Dehn, Ashmore Investment Management