Chile is a “red hot destination” for investors, says Forbes

The top U.S. financial publication recently noted Chile as an ideal place for investors looking to capitalize on growth in emerging financial markets, over and above the better-publicized BRIC nations.

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Chile’s rapidly expanding economy and excellent outlook for 2011 make it a strong alternative to the much-publicized BRIC nations – Brazil, Russia, India and China – for overseas investment, says Forbes in a recent report.

Chile’s excellent performance in 2010 was largely due to a surge in copper prices, which in July 2010 rose 6.3 percent and have been steadily climbing since. The peso rose to near 3-year highs in the closing months of 2010 as exports of copper, Chile’s primary commodity overseas, reached all time highs.

The country’s credit rating was raised by international agency Standard and Poor’s to positive from stable in the closing stages of December, affirming the Andean nation as a safe destination for investment.

The report sites Banco de Chile as one company sure to capitalize on Chile’s continued economic growth. The country’s largest bank, Banco de Chile recently reported a 46 percent increase in net income, driven by strong growth in residential mortgage loans and improving credit quality.

Some analysts predict that in the opening months of 2011 the bank will raise its competative interest rates for the eighth consecutive time. Successive rises in the closing months of 2010 have been luring foreign investment into local financial markets, one factor that helped propel the value of the peso up 17 percent in the second half of 2010.

A recent business report carried out by Grant Thornton showed huge confidence within Chile on the part of independently owned small and medium sized businesses, placing Chilean business holders as the most confident in the world about their future success.