Argentina is the second largest country in South America after Brazil. It is classified as an upper-middle income market by the World Bank. Like Brazil, Argentina is blessed with an abundance of natural resources. Agriculture is one of the main export sectors.
Argentina had been plagued with financial crisis for many years. From the Wikipedia: "By 2002, Argentina had defaulted on its debt, its GDP had shrunk, unemployment reached 25% and the peso had depreciated 70% after being devalued and floated." However after 2003 the economy started to improve after the implementation of effective expansionary policies.
Three Argentina companies trade on the NASDAQ market. The following is a brief summary on these ADR stocks:
1. Cresud (CRESY) is an agricultural company with interests in crop production, beef cattle raising and milk production. In addition the company is involved in the real estate business. Cresud owns 19 farms. As a commodity sector stock, it has a high beta of 1.6. The 5-year average annual earnings growth is 57% and the P/E ratio is 21.43. YTD, Cresud is up 42%. Since agricultural products is one of the top exports of Argentina, Cresud is an attractive stock at lower levels.
2. Alto Palermo (APSA) is a real estate company engaged in the leasing, ownership and operation of shopping centers. It operates 11 shopping malls in Argentina. The current yield is 15.5% and the beta is 1.3. The stock has grown by 27% YTD.
3. Grupo Financiero Galicia S.A. (GGAL) is a financial services holding company engaged in offering banking, financial and investment services. GGAL closed at $4.5 yesterday and it pays no regular dividends.