Peru: opportunities abound, inside and out.

Position::A LATIN TRADE SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT
 
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Over the past 10 years, Peruvian company Ransa has been busy setting up shop in a handful of countries throughout Latin America. And it doesn't plan on slowing down anytime soon.

In fact, Ransa--one of the region's largest logistics companies with presence in Peru, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Ecuador and Bolivia--has already zoomed in on its next target.

"We are looking for an investment opportunity in Colombia, which is an extremely appealing market for us given its size and dynamic economy," notes Emilio Fantozzi Temple, CEO of Ransa, the main logistics operator of the powerful Romero Group that provides services to mining, energy, industrial and retail sectors. "In 2014 we will look to expand into other countries like Chile and those in the southern triangle of Central America, which includes Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama."

"Our objective," adds Fantozzi, "is for Ransa to have a presence along the 'South Pacific Corridor' from Guatemala all the way to Chile."

This aggressive growth strategy is one that is being replicated in many companies throughout Peru, particularly those that already have solidified their presence locally and therefore are looking cross border to expand.

"While we do see more and more [Peruvian] groups looking to become regional players, such regional vision is mostly prevalent in some large groups with vast financial resources and limited local growth potential of a significant scale," notes Omar Goyenechea, Managing Partner of Equitas Partners, a Lima-based M&A and private equity advisory boutique. "At the larger end of the spectrum, Peru's thriving economy and ever expanding investment opportunities, coupled with companies' financial strength and hunger for growth, are significantly bolstering local M&A and private equity activity, creating a virtual growth circle that will eventually lead the more successful companies into tapping the other markets in the region."

This is certainly the case of Banco de Credito del Peru (BCP), the country's largest bank.

Last year, BCP--which already had a presence in Bolivia--bought a controlling stake in Chilean brokerage IM Trust and in Colombia's Correval in order to create a regional investment bank.

"We want to serve clients that do business not only in Peru, but that are looking beyond our borders to Colombia and Chile...

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