Chile is the second least affected country in Latin America by COVID-19, according to the Economic Comission for Latin America and The Carribean (ECLAC). According to the organization, poverty at the national level went from 10.7% in 2017 to 10.9% in 2020. Meanwhile, according to the agency's estimates, extreme poverty would have increased by 1.4% to 1.6%.
The fiscal cost of the pension reform would be around $4.5 billion by 2030, according to projections of the Ministry of Finance. The reform plans to expand the coverage of the Solidarity Pillar from 60% to 80% of Chile's pensioners, which would benefit more than 2 million people.
Chile made the second issuance of sovereign green bonds in an operation for an approximate amount of $1,180 million, which considered the portfolio of projects recently certified by the Climate Bond Initiative (CBI). The 2021 project portfolio, for a total of approximately $369 million, includes initiatives related to clean transportation; renewable energy projects in vulnerable sectors; projects dependent on the Ministry of Public Works and Green Buildings whose Technical Unit is the Architecture Department.
Chile’s Patagonia National Park is set to undergo significant improvements, with funding from the Aysén regional government. The investment of 4 billion pesos ($5.6 million) will allow for the construction of a visitor centre near the Cueva de las Manos, improvement of trails within the park and of roads that connect the area with gateway communities, and other projects, all of which will benefit not only conservation but also nearby towns.
The Santiago Stock Exchange and S&P Dow Jones Indices collaborated to launch the new S&P IPSA ESG Tilted Index to set the standard for sustainable investing for the Chilean equity market. The S&P IPSA ESG Tilted Index incorporates strict ESG criteria, but doing so in a way that retains a broad set of companies, which tends to result in less volatile, more benchmark-like returns.
Chile’s pension risk regulator has added six new mutual funds to the list of approved products the country’s AFP pension fund managers can invest in. The latest monthly report from the Comisión Clasificadora de Riesgo (CCR) included the additions of funds from JP Morgan, Matthews Asia and Allianz Global Investors as well as a number of alternative products. The CCR also removed five mutual funds previously available to the AFPs at the request of their respective asset managers.
The Industrial Production Index (IPI) fell by 2.4% year-on-year in January 2021, due to the negative impact of the three sectors that comprise it, reported the National Statistics Institute (INE). The Manufacturing Production Index (IPMan) was the most influential in the result, registering a 4.4% drop compared to the same month of the previous year. The Index of Electricity, Gas and Water Production (IPEGA) fell 1.6%, while the Mining Production Index (IPMin) showed a year-on-year decline of 0.4%.
The unemployment rate reached 10.2% in the November-January quarter, reported the National Statistics Institute (INE). While the figure represented a slight decline from the 10.3% recorded in the last quarter of 2020, it was 2.8 percentage points higher than that recorded in the November 2019-January 2020 period.
In January 2021, the Trade Activity Index (TSI) increased by 4.3% year-on-year. The result is explained by the increase observed in two of the three divisions that make up this index. Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorbikes (division 47) recorded an increase of 10.2%. Wholesale trade, except of motor vehicles and motorbikes (division 46) grew by 4.4% in twelve months.
The Chilean Navy received an Anchor Handling Towing Supply and Standby Vessel (AHTSSV) ocean support vessel from India's Larsen & Tourbo (L&T) for a value of $11.5 million. India's Kanpur based MKU Limited has also executed a defence contract with Carabineros of Chile for 11,700 Ballistic Helmets with accessories worth $7.2 million. The Indian company is expected to sign a contract extension worth $2.1 million shortly.