October 27, 2010
Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of Argentine banking group Grupo Financiero Galicia (Nasdaq: GGAL ) soared as much as 26% on news that Argentina's former president, Nestor Kirchner, had died.
So what: The markets see the death of the populist Kirchner as a potential boon for Argentine businesses. Kirchner presided over the massive debt restructuring in 2005 that gave creditors a mere $0.30 per dollar on $95 billion of defaulted debt -- a plan that's still being contested in international courts. Unofficial estimates also put the country's inflation rate as high as 25%. Investors are hoping that today's news will clear the way for fresh faces in government who will make the country more pro-business.
Now what: This news wasn't specific to Grupo Financiero Galicia, so fellow U.S.-listed Argentine companies Telecom Argentina (NYSE: TEO ) , Banco Macro (NYSE: BMA ) , and Empresa Distribuidora (NYSE: EDN ) were all hopping on the news. While Kirchner's death could lead to change in Argentina, at this point it's all speculation, so investors should be cautious about chasing these shares.
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