BOLIVIA GDP Grows 3.2% from January to September COLOMBIA... 2

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1 December LA SEMANA 18, 2009 QUE PASÓ No. 121 LAST WEEK HIGHLIGHTS BOLIVIA... 2 GDP Grows 3.2% from January to September COLOMBIA... 2 The Bank of the Republic decided to keep the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 3.5% for the end of Congress Passes Tax Reform Bill... 2 Colombia and Panama Deepen Trade Ties... 2 COSTA RICA... 2 Economic Activity Recovers... 2 ECUADOR... 3 IDB Approves Credit for USD100 Million... 3 PERU... 3 Moody s Raises Peru to Investment Grade... 3 URUGUAY... 3 GDP Grows 1.% Annually in First Nine Months of VENEZUELA... 4 Unemployment Rate Locates at.5% in November... 4 Ministry of Finance Approves Merger between Banfoandes and Reopenened Banks... 4 National Assembly Passes Partial Reform to General Banks Law... 4 AGREEMENT BETWEEN LATIN AMERICA AND EU ON BANANA TARIFFS5 EXCHANGE RATE AT DECEMBER 18, EMBI SPREAD AT DECEMBER 1, SOURCES... 6

2 ESTA SEMANA EN... Bolivia GDP Grows 3.2% from January to September 2009 From January to September 2009, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) showed a variation of 3.2% with respect to the same period in The sectors that showed the highest growth rates were: Metallic and non-metallic minerals (10.%), Construction (8.8%), Transportation and storage (%), and Services to the general government (6.3%). Crude oil and natural gas was the only sector that showed a contraction (-12.2%) due to the lower demand for hydrocarbons in Brazil. Colombia The Bank of the Republic decided to keep the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 3.5% for the end of 2009 Congress Passes Tax Reform Bill Congress passed a Tax Reform Bill which purpose is to extend the payment of the tax on wealth until 2014; reduce tax exemptions for asset purchases from 40% to 30%; and limit the benefits in free trade zones to a 15% income tax rate. Colombia and Panama Deepen Trade Ties The Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism, Luis Guillermo Plata, announced that Colombia and Panama will deepen their trade ties. Currently, the trade between the countries is subject to a Partial Scope Agreement (PSA), which includes 300 goods. An exploration stage will begin in January 2010 to analyze the type of agreement required (a FTA or an agreement with a more limited scope). Costa Rica Economic Activity Recovers In October, the Monthly Economic Activity Index (IMAE) grew by 1.36% with respect to the same month in the prior year. This performance has an impact mainly on the manufacturing industry, which increased by 2.3%. The raise in the output of the companies operating under the free trade zone regime stands out. The economic activity had shown no year-over-year increases since September

3 ESTA SEMANA EN... Ecuador IDB Approves Credit for USD100 Million The IDB approved a credit for USD100 million to finance a program for constructing and renewing houses for low-income families. The program aims at providing, in the next four years, subsidies to 30,000 households to construct or renew their houses. Peru Moody s Raises Peru to Investment Grade On December 16, the rating agency Moody s Investors Service raised the credit rating for Peru s long-term foreign debt to Baa3 from Ba1, to investment grade, with a stable outlook. Moody s praised the country's ability to withstand the global downturn better than some of its peers and explained that the authorities ability to steer the economy in the face of adverse external shocks and to avoid a hard landing that could have proven disruptively confirmed the Peruvian government s ability to implement counter-cyclical policies at a critical juncture. In October 200, April 2008, and July 2008, the rating agencies Dominion Bond Rating Service, Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor's, respectively, also raised Peru s credit rating to investment grade. Uruguay GDP Grows 1.% Annually in First Nine Months of 2009 GDP grew by 1.% in the first nine months of 2009 with respect to the same period in Except for the Electricity, gas and water sector, all of the GDP sectors showed a lower increase compared to the first nine months of the prior year. Some of the sectors that drove growth were Construction, Other activities, and Transportation, storage and communications. On the contrary, the Manufacturing industry; Trade, repair services, restaurants and hotels; and Primary activities reported a negative performance. The variation rate of local demand dropped as a result of the lower increase in private and public consumption and the decrease in gross fixed capital formation. External demand also showed a slowdown. 3

4 ESTA SEMANA EN... GDP by activity and expense component Annual growth (%) Impact Jan-Jun 2008 Jan-Jun 2009 Jan-Jun 2009 Primary Industries 6,1% -0,3% 0,0% Agriculture, animal husbandry, hunting, and forestry 6,2% 0,6% 0,0% Manufacturing industries 20,6% -4,0% -0,% Electricity, gas, and water -40,9%,0% 0,1% Construction 10,1% 5,% 0,3% Trade, repairs, restaurants, and hotels 12,8% -1,2% -0,2% Transportation, storage, and communications 26,3%,9% 0,8% Other 4,0% 3,6% 1,2% GDP 9,4% 1,% 1,% Private final consumption expenditure 9,2% 0,8% 0,6% Government final consumption expenditure,1% 5,4% 0,6% Gross capital formation 2,6% -19,5% -4,0% Gross fixed capital formation 20,5% -1,6% -0,3% Export of goods and services 12,9% 1,1% 0,4% Import of goods and services 23,% -11,8% -4,1% Includes real estate, services rendered to companies, government services in general, social services, recreational services, personal services, and financial intermediation, measured indirectly, not distributed. Venezuela Unemployment Rate Locates at.5% in November In November, the unemployment rate reached.5% in comparison with the rate reported for the same month in 2008 (6.1%). The activity rate also showed an increase and went from 64% in November 2008 to 65% in November Ministry of Finance Approves Merger between Banfoandes and Reopenened Banks The Ministry of Popular Power for Economy and Finance approved the merger between the Andean Promotion Bank (Banfoandes) and the Confederado, Bolívar, and Central banks, which were seized in late November. The Government assumed losses of approximately USD43.1 million. This merger resulted in the creation of the Bicentennial Bank which, according to the Ministry, will secure the financial position of the public financial system. National Assembly Passes Partial Reform to General Banks Law The National Assembly approved the partial reform to the General Banks Law, which increases the government-backed depositors insurance from VEF10,000 (USD4,651) to VEF30,000 (USD13,954). As a result, the Bank Deposit

5 ESTA SEMANA EN... Guarantee and Protection Fund (FOGADE) will repay more than 92% of the deposits in Canarias and 9% of the deposits in BanPro (liquidated banks). Agreement between Latin America and EU on Banana Tariffs Banana-producing countries in Latin America and the European Union (EU) reached an agreement whereby the tariffs imposed by the EU on banana imports decrease. The agreement establishes a gradual tariff cut from EUR16 per ton to EUR114 in eight years, and will enter into force after the corresponding ratification by the parties. In 1996, the United States, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico filed a complaint before the World Trade Organization against the European regulations on banana imports, after the European Union granted preferential treatment in 1993 to the former European colonies in the ACP area (Africa, Caribbean, Pacific), which is against the interests of Latin American exporters. Exchange Rate at December 18, 2009 Exchange Rate, Devaluation (%) Selling Rate Weekly Monthly This Year Last 12 Months Bolivia (BVS),0 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 Colombia (COP) , -0,02 2,52-10,16 -,2 Costa Rica (CRC) 565,8-1,58-1,05 0,89 1,00 Peru (PEN) 2 2,88 0,30 0,69-8,19-6,81 Uruguay (UYU) 19,61-0,4-3,90-19,49-19,55 Venezuela (VEF) 2,2 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 (1) Representative Market Rate (RMR). (2) Interbank Rate. Source: Central Banks.

6 ESTA SEMANA EN... EMBI Spread at December 1, 2009 EMBI+ SPREAD (bps) A Week A Month 6 Months A Year 1/12/2009 Ago 0/01/ /12/ /05/ /01/2009 Colombia Ecuador Peru Venezuela Emerging Markets Latin America Argentina Brazil Mexico Panama Source: JP Morgan. EMBIG SPREAD (bps) A Week A Month 6 Months A Year 1/12/2009 Ago 0/01/ /12/ /0/ /01/2009 Colombia Ecuador Peru Uruguay Venezuela Emerging Markets Latin America Argentina Brazil Chile Mexico Panama Source: JP Morgan. Sources Bolivia: Daily News of Bolpress, El Diario, La Razón, El Mundo, El Deber y Prensa Latina; Central Bank of Bolivia, National Bureau of Statistics (INE), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Andean Community, Web pages of Central Bank of Bolivia, Reuters, Ministry of Economy and Public Finances, Agencia Boliviana de Información, Latin Finance Colombia: Daily News of El Colombiano, El Tiempo, La República y Portafolio. Bank of the Republic. Presidency of Republic of Colombia, DANE, Reuters, News Caracol Radio, página del DANE, El Comercio y Negocios, AFP. Costa Rica: Daily News of La Nación, La Prensa Libre, Diario Extra, La República, El

7 ESTA SEMANA EN... Financiero; Central Bank of Costa Rica; National Bureau of Statistics (INEC); Financial and Economic Advisors S.A (CEFSA).; Cámara de Bancos e Instituciones Financieras de Costa Rica, Web pages of S&P and JP Morgan, web page of Telenoticias. Ecuador: Daily News of El Comercio, El Expreso, Hoy and El Universo; Web pages of Central Bank of Ecuador, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Andean Community and JP Morgan, página web de Petroecuador. Perú: Daily News of El Comercio, La República, Expreso and La Razón, El Peruano, Andean Community, Central Reserve Bank of Peru; National Bureau of Statistics (INEI), FMI, Deutsche Bank and Citibank, págian Web del Banco Central de Reserva del Perú, Agencia Peruana de Noticias, Notas de prensa de la Comunidad Andina. Uruguay: Presidencia del Uruguay, diarios La República, El País, El Observador, Últimas Noticias, El Espectador. Web page of Montevideo Portal, Invertia y Radio Sarandi, Central Bank of Uruguay. Venezuela: Daily News El Universal and El Nacional; Central Bank of Venezuela, Ministry of Finance, Venezolana de Televisión, National Bureau of Statistics (INE), Integrated National Service of Custom and Tax Administration (SENIAT), Andean Community and JP Morgan, Unión Radio, Daily Brief Latin Finance. Written by: Macroeconomic Surveillance Dennis Meléndez Carlos Giraldo Lina María Castro María Alejandra Olarte Adriana Carolina Díaz

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