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EDITOR'S NOTE: This issue of Market Notes was compiled with the assistance of The Weston Group in New York, a merchant bank which specializes in Latin American capital markets in the areas of Investment Banking Services, Capital Markets and Fund Management. Information was also provided by law firms and correspondents in Latin America and from various government sources and news wires.
Latest Forecast--Growth of 0 to 1 Percent in 1999. Argentina's economy is expected to grow between 0 percent and 1 percent next year according to the most recent consensus survey. Volatility among emerging markets will have an added negative impact on the economy. This is in large contrast from GDP growth of the order of nearly 9 percent in 1997. GDP growth for 1998 has been revised downward to 3 percent from 5.5 percent. The dramatic slowdown in the economy is likely to worsen the nation's fiscal profile. Already a dramatic decrease in tax revenues has been registered. In December 1998, the VAT collection was down 9.7 percent from a year before. -- by The Weston Group
Economic Slowdown in Argentina Seen in New Figures. First, the Price Producer Index fell 6.5 percent for all of 1998. The Consumer Price Index, on the other hand, was barely changed at 0.7 percent for 1998. And second, tax revenues were up 3 percent for 1998 from the previous year, but were 6 percent below government targets. In December, the VAT collection was down 9.7 percent from December 1997. The government has confirmed it would float 14.99 percent from its 20 percent stake in oil and gas giant YPF, the Merval's most heavily traded company. It has set the minimum price of the shares at $38, which is nearly 30 percent above its current price. The government is expected to take in at least $2 billion through the sale. -- by The Weston Group
Brazil's Reserves in November and December. Brazil's reserves fell $1.27 billion in November, …