Analysis: Political Risk Haunts Latam Investors as Peru Election Nears

Peru’s closely watched presidential election race between two polarized candidates is the latest in a string of political risk events haunting investors in Latin America, a region struggling to keep up with its global peers despite a commodities boom, Reuters reported. Latin America was engulfed in social unrest before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Now a string of elections that continues into 2022, protests in Colombia and upheaval over Chile's constitution have investors bracing for a new wave of uncertainty over policy making. On top of that, the coronavirus is still ravaging the region, with Argentina, Colombia, Brazil and Chile recording far more confirmed cases per million people than India. "The market, and investors in general, are very nervous about Latin America," said Ricardo Adrogue, head of the global sovereign debt and currencies group at Barings. "Latin America is at a very difficult juncture. It is having elections at a time when (COVID-19) has been so painful, so deadly and so widespread in so many countries in the region, which makes for a potential change in economic and policy direction." Latin America's economy shrank 7% last year, the sharpest contraction of all emerging regions, according to the International Monetary Fund. Rising global inflation pressures and yields hit the region disproportionately with hard-currency and local bonds lagging in 2021 and many of its currencies underperforming. Read more.