Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Today's Major Market Move: Venezuelan Stock Market Up 67% for the Year

When Hugo Chavez announced he had cancer on July 1, the Venezuelan stock market was already up a robust 22% for the year. In the following 4 months, the stock market has rocketed another 40% and is now up a scorching 67% for 2011, by far the best performer globally.

Click here to go to the live table.

Here's the line chart:

Click here to go to the live chart.

Just the notion that the leftist leader may have to step down because of health reasons has lit a fire under Venezuelan equities. Foreign interest has surged. From the Latin American Herald Tribune:
"I have never received more calls about the Venezuelan stock exchange in the last 10 years as I have in the last four months ... since Chavez's cancer news," said Russ Dallen, head of Caracas Capital Markets.

"These companies have value, established clientele, foreign operations. They may be in a bad neighborhood but they still have worth," said Dallen, who noted many still pay dividends.

This "morbidity boom" makes me imagine the Venezuelan investor awaiting biopsy results in the same way that U.S. investors anticipate Initial Unemployment Claims data. If the cancer actually goes into remission.... well I just hope everyone is hedged with puts.

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