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Peru: Morning News Headlines – Tuesday July, 17

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Arequipa, Peru agrees to a 48 hour truce

(LIP-ir) — In Arequipa Peru, Arequipa’s Extended Political Front (FACA) has agreed to a 48-hour truce in which it has decided to give the government this time to organize a committee so negotiations can be discussed. FACA has told its members to honor the truce but to be ready to "take action" if negotiations fall through.

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Peru turns around match against the Dominican Republic

Last night, Peru’s volleyball team had an incredible match against the Dominican Republic. After having lost two sets in a row and being 1 point away from elimination in the Pan American Games, Peru’s women turned the match around to take the win. The results after five grueling sets were: 4/25, 25/13, 23/25,29/27 and 15/8.

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Peru Defeats Mexico in Pan American Games 2007 (by LIP, Jul 16, 2007)
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IFC Takes 6.5% Stake in Mibanco

IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has acquired a 6.5% stake in Peruvian microfinance provider Mibanco from the Peruvian Group ACP for over $6m. IFC’s director for Latin America, Atul Mehta, said the operation would “serve to further consolidate its position as one of the main sources of microfinancing in Peru.” (Latin Finance)

BCP Gets Upgrade, Plans $500m Bonds

Following the upgrade on the sovereign, Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded the long-term foreign currency deposit rating of Peru’s largest bank, Banco de Credito del Peru (BCP) to Ba3 from B1. Moody’s also raised its rating for BCP’s Panama branch’s foreign currency subordinated notes maturing in 2021 to Ba1 from Ba2, based on the upgrade of Peru’s foreign currency bond ceiling. The bank is also planning to sell $500m in bonds backed by US dollar cash flows generated by BCP’s electronic remittance business, according to a ratings note by Moody’s. The bonds will likely be sold in two tranches – $350m of Series 2007-A and $150m of Series 2007-B notes. The notes have been assigned a provisional investment-grade rating of AAA by Moody’s, which explained the notes are backed by a guarantee from AAA-rated Ambac Assurance Corp., the main operating unit of Ambac Financial Group (ABK). (Latin Finance)

Peru GDP Continues Expanding

Construction and manufacturing continued to lead economic growth in Peru, with GDP expanding 8.33% in May, year on year, according to the national statistics agency, INEI. This compares with growth of 7.25% in April. Year-on-year growth for the first five months of the year rose to 7.63% from 7.45% for the period January through April. The Central Reserve Bank of Peru is forecasting that GDP will expand by 7.2% in this year, while the finance ministry has predicted growth of 7.0%. (Latin Finance)

Peru Moves Earn Moody’s Upgrade

Peru’s recent moves to improve its external debt position have earned it a foreign-currency credit upgrade from Moody’s Investors Service, from Ba3 to Ba2, just two notches away from investment grade. "External debt ratios have moved towards those observed in other Ba-rated countries, while the share of foreign-currency denominated government debt and the degree of financial dollarization in the Peruvian banking system have reported steady reductions," said Moody’s vice president Mauro Leos. Commenting on the rating, Goldman Sachs noted that it believes “Peru may earn the investment grade credit status (by at least one of the agencies) by late 2008 or 2009.” Peru is set to offer at least $1bn equivalent in new PEN-denominated bonds this week in a deal that establishes a series of milestones for the sovereign. The 2037 is the longest dated local currency deal from Peru and the sovereign’s first to get investment grade. Proceeds are earmarked for paying down some $1.8bn in Paris Club debt. Peru is already rated at just one notch away from investment grade by both S&P and Fitch (BB+/BB+). Domestic-currency government bonds – which were unaffected by this rating action – are rated Baa3. (Latin Finance)

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