Peru: Morning News Roundup – Friday, June 1


Morning News Roundup
Lima Stock Exchange (BVL) Recap

(LIP-jl) –After registering its largest loss in 15 years yesterday, Lima’s stock exchange (Bolsa de Valores – BVL) closed yesterday’s trading session with its largest one day gain in 17 years. The BVL closed Thursday’s trading session at 20,066 points, an increase of 8.55% from Wednesday’s close. The Selective Index -ISEL (index that groups the 15 leading stocks), closed at 36.301 units, an increase of 8.77%. Some of yesterday’s most active stocks included: Scotiabank (+15%), Austral Group (+15%), Agroindustrial Tuman (+15%) and Volcan I (+15%).

Peru’s consulate in Denver investigated after arrest in scam

Peru’s Consulate General Office in Denver is under federal scrutiny after the deputy consul’s brother was charged with Social Security fraud and misusing visas. Federal authorities are investigating whether anyone in the Peruvian Consulate assisted in the illegal scheme, according to one law enforcement source. Unsealed federal documents show that Oscar Silva-Rivera was arrested in May, accused of illegally using his brother’s Social Security number, name and date of birth to get work. His brother is Ramiro Maurice Silva, deputy consul with the Peruvian Consulate in Denver. "I cannot disclose any information," Ramiro Silva, the consulate’s second-in-charge, told CBS 4 News. "It’s not my issue," he said before hanging up the phone. His boss, Consul General Marita Landaveri, said her deputy was a victim of the scheme, not a participant. "He knew nothing," Landaveri said. "He’s a diplomat from Peru. He knows that’s not done; it’s against the law. He has nothing to hide." Peru’s Denver consulate is staffed by six people who promote trade and tourism with -Peru as well as issue visas and passports. According to a federal affidavit, Oscar Silva-Rivera entered the U.S. legally in April 2005, but his visa prohibited him from obtaining employment. But a month after arriving in Denver, Silva-Rivera began working at Shamrock Foods in Commerce City using his brother’s Social Security number, name and date of birth, the document says. He remained at Shamrock Foods until August 2006. In September, authorities tracked him to a cleaning company where he again used the name and Social Security number of his brother. (Rocky Mountain News/CBS4)

Peru 1st-quarter GDP expands 7.2% on retail sales

Peru’s economy expanded at a 7.2 percent pace in the first quarter, bolstered by higher retail sales and increased construction. Gross domestic product growth was in line with the 7.4 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of eight economists. Retail sales jumped 10 percent from a year earlier, construction rose 9.1 percent and manufacturing gained 8.1 percent, the country’s National Statistics Institute said. Demand for homes and consumer goods is driving growth and offsetting a slowdown in mining, said Carola Sandy, an economist in New York at Credit Suisse Group, who estimates the economy will grow 7 percent this year after expanding 8 percent in 2006. "Peru’s economic growth is still on track,” Sandy said. "Mining is flat, but services and manufacturing are clearly growing.” Mining output, Peru’s largest export earner, declined 1.7 percent. Peru is the world’s fifth-largest gold producer and No. 3 in tin. Fishing fell 0.8 percent on smaller catches of anchovy, used to make fishmeal. (Bloomberg.com)

Voyage to prove pharaohs traded cocaine

An adventurer who believes that ancient man regularly crossed the Atlantic Ocean 14,000 years ago plans to recreate such a voyage in a 41ft raft made of reeds and eucalyptus tree branches. Basing his theory on the thinnest of historical evidence, Dominique Gorlitz believes that the discovery of traces of tobacco and cocaine in the tomb of the pharaoh Rameses II proves that there was trade between the Old and New Worlds. He also claims that 14,000-year-old cave paintings in Spain show that, even then, men had an intricate knowledge of sea currents."Why is it so difficult to accept that ancient man explored the world?" Mr Gorlitz told the New York Times. More than 25 volunteers are building the craft at a marina in New Jersey in preparation for the crossing attempt in July, manned by a 12-strong crew. To prove his theory, he sailed across the Pacific in 1947 from Peru in a balsa wood boat. (read the complete story at telegraph.co.uk)

China-based Shougang Hierro Peru output down 40 pct due to strike

Production at a China controlled-iron ore mine, Shougang Hierro Peru, has dropped by 40 pct because of roadblocks set up by striking workers, a mine manager said. The mine, located near Marcona, some 400 kilometers south-east of Lima, normally has an output of some 20,000 tonnes a day, or more than 7 mln tonnes a year. Strikers ‘show up and set up obstacles preventing the entry and exit of vehicles from the plant,’ the mine’s manager, Raul Vera, told Agence France-Presse. Some 300 contract workers at the site have been on strike since mid-April after 10 of their members did not have their contracts renewed. The protest turned violent on April 12, when hundreds of workers armed with clubs and rocks destroyed the company’s administrative office in Marcona and set the office on fire. Vera said that on May 14 he asked the Labor Ministry for permission to close down the mine, which normally employs 1,500 people, because it could not function properly and was producing at 60 pct capacity. Jorge Villasante, a Labor Ministry official, said that if confirmed, the government will allow the site to close for up to three months. Shougang Hierro Peru reported a 2006 profit of 23.3 mln usd from 6.5 mln the previous year, according to figures from Peru’s official market monitor Conasev. (Forbes)