Chile’s central bank kept its benchmark interest rate steady at 0.5% on Tuesday, in line with expectations, as the country continues with efforts to revive the economy while also battling a second spike in the coronavirus pandemic.
Colbún Transmission S.A. announced that it had sold its shares to Alfa Desarrollo SpA, in which 80% would be controlled by APG Energy and Infra Investments S.L (part of APG, a Dutch pension fund) and 20% by the Spanish company Celeo Redes. The transaction comprises the transfer of 899 kilometers of transmission lines and 27 substations operated by the company in the National Electric System (SEN).
Chile exported 352,949 tons of cherries, which is 54.4% more than in the previous season, according to data released by the Federation of Fruit Producers of Chile (Fedefruta) and the consulting firm iQonsulting.
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Latin America and The Caribbean fell 6.7% in 2020, according to the World Bank's projection. However, the organization projects a growth of 4.4% in 2021. For Chile, the organization forecasts the country's GDP to expand 5.5% in 2021, which is an improvement compared to the previous projection (4.2%). For 2022, the World Bank estimates a growth of 3.1% and in 2023 2.5%.
The Monthly Business Confidence Indicator closed March with a value of 55.88 points, which is 0.15 points higher than February's reading. With this result being the third consecutive increase, it marks it as the highest value since February 2018 when it reached 57.38 points. However, this survey was conducted in early March which was before the increase of COVID-19 infections.
In February, face-to-face retail sales in the Metropolitan Region decreased in the real annual margin of 0.7%, slowing down from the 4.9% increase in January, according to the Chamber National Trade (CNC). As for the result in equivalent premises, the indicator showed a 6.4% decline after falling 2.6% in January. Total face-to-face sales accumulated between January and February a real annual growth of 2.1% and accumulated a real decrease of 4.5%.
Grape supplies in North America are shifting following the significant rain Chile received earlier this year, impacting its growing season. According to Larry Davidson of North American Produce Buyers, North America will get the majority of what’s shipped. A large percentage of the Chile's white grapes has condition issues which is a challenge. However, Chile has shipped many red grapes as they hold up better in the rain. Pricing between red and green grapes are very different, with the former costing less.
Itaú Corpbanca announced a new alliance with Rappi that will bring greater financial inclusion to Chile. This agreement aims to revolutionize the local financial market with simple, innovative and unique digital products, allowing an increasing number of individuals to access new financial solutions in an agile and digital way. Itaú and Rappi seek to democratize financial services, promote greater inclusion and faster digitization that brings broad benefits to users.
President Sebastian Piñera proposed delaying elections that will choose a commission to rewrite the country's dictatorship-era constitution, due to a surge in COVID-19 cases. Piñera said that he will present a proposal, for Congress approval, to postpone the April election until May.
More than 16 million people in Chile are under total quarantine due to increasing cases of COVID-19. The measure, which affects 97% of the country's population, was reinforced with the suspension of permits to make purchases, also including the closure of supermarkets and the suspension of the operation of markets throughout the country. The Chilean hospital network is on the verge of collapse, with an occupancy of 95% and the availability of 147 intensive care (ICU) beds.