The re-election of Argentinean President Cristina Kirchner underscores some important economic trends worth investors' consideration.
You can choose to make that investment through ARGT, an ETF tracking the Argentine market, which has traded since March. During that time it has lost almost one-third of its value and now stands at under $11/share.
Why might it rise? Argentina's economy is closely tied to commodity prices, especially agricultural prices like corn and soybeans. It's also a small oil exporter.
Since its last economic crisis, at the turn of the century, Argentina has taken back control of its currency, eliminating its peg to the dollar. The peso is currently worth a little over 25 cents. Getting rid of the peg created an export boom, and it has since re-aligned its international relations as part of the Mercosur group, with Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. This trade group of compatible economies has proven effective in creating economic growth.
Argentina's economic success following a default on its debts could prove a model for other countries, including Greece. It comes at the price of high inflation, but real GDP has more than doubled since the crisis. Adjusted for inflation, Argentina should grow at over 2.5% for this year.
Higher commodity prices should enable this growth to continue. With corn averaging $6.70 per bushel, and soybeans rising as well, the stage is set for additions to foreign reserves.
There are always risks when looking at Argentina, given its history of coups and defaults. "Kirchnerism" is nationalistic, bombastic, leftist, and is sometimes called faintly autocratic. What's clear is that, so far, it has worked -- and as long as commodity prices remain high, it should continue to work.