Sunday, October 9, 2016

FT Latam Viva For October 7, 2016

Oct 7 (2 days ago)
to me
Bitter sweet week
By Benedict Mander 
October 7, 2016
It has been a bitter sweet week for Juan Manuel Santos. The peace accord he spent four years negotiating with the Farc was rejected by a razor-thin margin in a referendum last Sunday. Then his efforts to end the 50 year conflict were recognised on Friday when he won the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize – even though the committee acknowledged there was “real danger the peace process will come to a halt and the civil war will flare up again”.
For now, Colombia remains in an uncomfortable state of limbo, with many furious at what they see as self-interested sabotage by Álvaro Uribe, the intense former president who led the “No” campaign. With the outcome of the referendum as unexpected as Brexit – ringing loud alarms for those that view the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency with foreboding – there appears to have been no Plan B. The uncertainty weighed heavily on Colombian assets, especially as a new era of peace was expected to benefit the economy. Moody’s said the result was credit negative.
The market gloom in Colombia contrasts with continued exuberance on Brazil’s bourse, which hit a two-year high this week, making the Bovespa the world’s best performing major stock index this year. The sense that the worst may be over in Brazil was strengthened after pro-business candidates performed well in local elections this week, delivering stinging defeats for corruption-tainted parties in the country’s biggest cities.
Meanwhile, markets remain excited about Argentina’s prospects under Mauricio Macri, with investors lapping up Argentina’s third sale of international debt after its return to capital markets this year, and first sale of euro-denominated bonds, raising €2.5bn after bids of more than €6.25bn. For now, investors are showing no signs of concern about the unsettling prospect of social unrest, which remains under control for now.
Not so the weather in the Caribbean basin, which has been pounded by Hurricane Matthew, the most powerful tropical storm to hit the region in almost a decade. After at least 300 died in Haiti, Florida, Georgia, South and North Carolina are all still on red alert.
Quote of the week
“We profoundly lament that those who sow discord influenced the Colombian people…But our resolve to work for peace is stronger than ever. Peace will triumph” - Rodrigo Londoño, the Farc leader known as Timochenko, from Havana after Sunday’sreferendum.
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The week in review
Prize of peace still eludes Colombians
The Nobel award for Juan Manuel Santos comes as the country is deeply divided
Colombia’s Santos and Uribe meet to revive peace deal
President and former head of state set out initial proposals to get rejected accord back on track
US citizens urged to evacuate as Hurricane Matthew nears
Thousands on the south-east coast advised to leave ahead of storm which has killed at least 17 people
Hurricane Matthew makes its way through Haiti
Storm unleashes floods and threatens to trigger mudslides in poorest country in western hemisphere
Onus on Colombia’s No camp for ‘better’ accord
As with the UK’s Brexit vote, polls failed to capture the popular mood
Colombia in turmoil after rejection of peace deal
Investors take fright as referendum defeat leaves no clear path forward for negotiations
Brazil voters back pro-business candidates
Local elections deliver savage blow to former ruling PT party
No hope of a quiet life in the age of disruption
Robust competition in tech brings benefits for consumers, writes Hal Varian
Colombia does a Brexit with No vote to peace deal
Rejection of Farc agreement by voters plunges country into further uncertainty
Colombians reject Farc peace deal
Latin American nation plunged into uncertainty by surprise result
Unrest threatens reforms in Argentina
Protests against austerity could complicate Macri’s efforts to kick-start economy