A report of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), published on 22 April last, pointed out that 44.5% of the Peruvian population is poor, while a 16.1% is located in conditions of extreme poverty. Beyond outstanding matters ahead the Peruvian Government in economic matters, the truth is is trying to carry out a policy of incentive to the long-term investment that has already seen its fruits both in the dynamic that is observing the investment (which grows at an annual rate exceeding 20%) and in the latest discoveries gas made by Repsol YPF in mid-January of this year. In Peru there is today, a good context for the long-term overall investment and investment in the oil sector in particular. Last Thursday I said about how happy they must be those who have bought shares of ECOPETROL (BVC:ECOPETROL). The actions of the Colombian oil company has doubled its value in the term of five months. And although it still has a good probability of growth in its value, the truth is that those who still have not entered, have lost a good chance of profitability and why I am speaking of ECOPETROL? Because in Peru’s Petroperu and perhaps it can be transformed into a good investment opportunity when the Peruvian State company opened its capital on the stock exchange. Petroperu is in full international competition to modernize the refinery in Talara in the North of Peru, a project of $1 billion for its 20 bidders from Europe, Asia and the United States have been. The refinery Talara represents 70% of the total revenue of the firm for the search for funding for the modernization of Talara, Petroperu will be enrolled in the stock market of Lima where expect quote in mid-2009.
According to the President of the oil company, Cesar Gutierrez, Petro-Peru could quote in the BVL 10% of its shares and does not preclude the issuance of debt to perform a mix of funding. Petroperu has been demonstrating significant improvement in their results. Petroperu utilities grew in 2007 about six times to about US $100 million, compared to the previous year, despite keep frozen prices of fuels which sells for as long period. Already in the first quarter of 2008, net profit of Petroperu was 65 million soles from 49 million soles in the same period of last year, which implies an increase in the profits of 32.7% (and the increase is even greater if it is measured in dollars because of the exchange rate appreciation of the Peruvian currency). Petroperu, also advances its strategic alliances. Cesar Gutierrez announced on Friday will meet with representatives of the Brazilian Petrobras and Braskem, the largest petrochemical of Latin America, to realize development agreements in this sector. With Petrobras, which maintains a strategic alliance since 2006, will develop a project for petrochemical of methane, whereas with Braskem, Petroperu is interested in the petrochemical development of ethane. Both projects, whose start is expected for 2009, depend on agreements with Pluspetrol, gas from the Camisea operator, ensuring the supply of a volume suitable for its development. Petroperu grows, progresses in alliances, and its output to the bag can generate interesting benefits for investors.