1. 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?

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  2. This weekend we stumbled over Lugares Comunes. The New York Times translates the title of the movie into 'Common Places', they didn't understand a thing about the movie when that's their best shot. 'Common Ground' is what a translation from Spanish would sound like.
    I've been a big fan of Adolfo Aristarain for many years now. If he would be born in another country he would probably be a sort of classic film-maker in the history of cinema. But he isn't, the man is Argentinian. Argentina intrigates me endlessly, especially now. The Pesos is on a historical low and in times when there's no hope, I believe in countries. Argentina is one of those examples. And the movie deals exactly with these questions:
    How to change without loosing your ideals?
    How to get old and feel as the first day of your youth?
    How to keep loving the same woman during all your life?
    How to start again when all the hopes are over?

    Basic questions. But I don't hear them often (enough) when living in Belgium. Belgians have so many opinions, debates, thoughts,... We are so wise. But seldomly do I have a conversation where I see my friends asking themselves these questions in a broader perspective.

    This film is poetry into a movie. One of the best scripts contents of the Latin American cinema. Aristarain shows one more time to be one of the best ever Argentinean directors. Below is my favorite scene. Take your time to enjoy it.

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