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Latibex offers euro gateway to Latin stocks

Latin America

Jesús González

For investors in Latin American blue-chip stocks, trading in euros through the Madrid-based Latibex exchange looks increasingly attractive. Since operations started two years ago, Latibex has grown into the third-largest Latin American market.

Despite a poorly performing index, market capitalization has risen from e6 billion in December 1999 to over e80 billion ($70 billion) today, and it is expected to reach e100 billion this year. The number of quoted companies has grown from five to 15 - including Mexican telecoms América Móvil and Telmex and six banks from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Puerto Rico. A further eight have been accepted for listing. The Madrid stock exchange expects 30 companies to join eventually.

For European investors Latibex offers clear advantages over trading on local exchanges in terms of costs and ease of transaction. Investors can buy and sell shares through a single market, with a single operating system for trading and settlement - the same as the Spanish stock market - and a single currency, the euro.

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