What went wrong in Argentina?
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What went wrong in Argentina?

In August the markets rocked and, in turn, Argentina was dumped. Chloe Hayward goes to Buenos Aires to find out why.

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"THIS IS THE worst day in four years," is the greeting given to Euromoney at the start of a meeting in Buenos Aires on August 4. As the markets in Argentina tumbled it is apparent that, despite the success stories that have come out of the country in the last four years, it is still highly vulnerable.

The August turbulence was the first true test that Argentina has faced since the 2001 crisis and, in many ways, the market didn’t fare well – investors dropped Argentine investments before those anywhere else in the region, even Venezuela. What is Argentina doing to deserve this investor reaction?

This question becomes yet more intriguing when you start talking to bankers in Buenos Aires. "Argentina has been a big opportunity since the 2001 crisis," says Luis Caputo, chairman of Deutsche Bank in Argentina. "Several banks have come back and expanded operations in the past 24 months, the opposite to what happened in 2001 when they all shrank their operations here."

Fabio Saraniti, head of fixed income and products for Santander Rio in Argentina, agrees: "Argentina has been a success story, with good economic growth in the last five years since the crisis," he says.

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