Not many will following me in my reasoning, but I believe Argentina is full of opportunities. Not in the last place because of the FX opportunity against the Euro (plot the chart on 10 years). Anybody who is into farming or any production industry with growth potential? I'll gladly drop by on our Latam trip in April.
And yet, I'm in doubt today. I have been thinking for the past weeks to buy Cresud shares on NASDAQ. Cresud is Argentina’s largest publicly traded agri-commodities firm. It is controlled by successful manager Eduardo Elsztain. Farming activities include producing crops, beef-cattle and milk. Cresud has been adding to its herd in recent quarters and now owns about 88,000 heads of cattle. Cattle prices are up more than 50% since 2002 and should rise further as emerging countries move towards diets richer in protein. Its principal crops include wheat, corn, soybean and sunflower. Asian demand for soybeans remains high because soy protein is central to human and livestock diets, again pushing prices higher. More importantly, Cresud is also the largest agricultural land owner in Argentina, with more than one million acres, and has significant commercial property interests in Buenos Aires. This makes the valuation rationale straightforward. The company owns more than $300m in commercial property and about $350m in farmland. Cresud also has $120m-$140m in cows, crops and cash. That translates into a value of approximately $750m or $770m against a market cap of $350m. And that’s without considering the potential of its farming activities. At 10,1 EU, the stock is really cheap. And I know, there's the Argentinian bureaucracy and tax, management skimming off profits,... But still I believe the fundaments of the stock make it a buy opportunity. Anybody an opinion?