Peru: Morning News Roundup – Monday January 21

Peru, China Begin Negotiations on Eliminating Trade Barriers

Peru and China began talks aimed at eliminating trade barriers between the two nations, Foreign Trade Minister Mercedes Araoz said. The five rounds of trade negotiations are scheduled for completion before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Lima in November, Araoz told reporters in Lima. “This agreement will add up to 1 percent to Peru’s annual gross domestic product,” Araoz said. “It will open up markets for small- and medium-size companies as well as agricultural exports.” (Bloomberg – click here to read complete article by Alex Emery)

Peru’s President Garcia arrives in Spain in bid to improve trade, diplomatic relations

Peru’s President Alan Garcia landed at Madrid’s international airport Sunday for a three-day visit aimed at improving business and diplomatic links with Europe. The Peruvian leader is due to meet with King Juan Carlos, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and business leaders. Last week Garcia told journalists that Spanish-Argentine oil giant Repsol YPF SA had found 2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in Peru’s Amazon jungle, enough to guarantee the country’s needs for 40 years, he said. (PR Inside – click here to read complete article)

Five killed, 20 injured in botched Peru robbery

Five people were killed, including one police officer, and 20 others injured when thieves attacked two long-distance coaches in a mining area in the southern Peru province of Puno, Peruvian website El Comercio said Sunday. Highway police chief Colonel Eduardo Artera told El Comercio that 12 men armed with muskets and pistols burst on to the vehicles and shot passengers at point blank range at Pasha bus garage, in Puno’s Sina district, some 1,400 km southeast of Peru’s capital Lima and close to the Bolivian border. The gunmen wanted to steal gold, silver and other property of the passengers, most of whom are miners. By coincidence, two police officers aboard the buses returned fire killing one of the robbers. (Xinhua – click here to read complete article)

Peru’s PM Accuses Fujimori Of Kidnap and Assassination Plot

Peru’s Prime Minister Jorge del Castillo on Friday testified before the court, accusing ex-President Alberto Fujimori of kidnapping him in 1992 through a paramilitary dead squad. In his testimony, del Castillo stated that his arrests were carried out "on orders from above" based on the document signed by then General Nicolas Hermoza. "It was a kidnapping. They never told me why I was being arrested over those five days I was held in military installations. The ‘orders from above’ upon which … Hermoza acted on and ordered our arrest on must have been those of the accused (Fujimori)" said del Castillo. (AHN – click here to read compete article by Annabella Bulacan)

Telefonica del Peru’s foreign currency IDR affirmed at ‘BBB-‘ – Fitch

Fitch Ratings said it affirmed its foreign currency issuer default rating (IDR) at ‘BBB-‘ and local currency IDR at ‘BBB+’ with a stable outlook to Telefonica SA unit Telefonica del Peru SAA (TDP). The ratings are supported by its solid business position as the largest Peruvian telecommunications company, diversified revenue stream from its business segments, healthy cash flow generation, relatively low capital-expenditure needs and a strong financial profile, the ratings agency said. (Forbes – click here to read complete article)