Peruvian gastronomy expanding abroad through franchises

In the 1990s, the big names of American fast food, such as Burger King and McDonald's, saw an opportunity in Peru. But they did not foresee that they would have to fight an extremely resilient rival in the Andean country.

Bembos, a local burger chain, not only survived the invasion of Whoppers and Big Macs but emerged as king of the burger market. And now, 15 years after the first McDonald's opened its doors in Lima, Bembos owns roughly 50 percent of the market.
Exporting its successful experience abroad, Bembos is expanding beyond the Peruvian borders -- beginning in India, where it has opened three fast-food restaurants that sell burgers made of anything but beef -- lamb, soy or beans.

Bembos is not an isolated case. Indeed, a number of successful Peruvian restaurants, from fast food to gourmet, have begun to sell Peruvian cuisine all over Latin America and are eyeing more-difficult markets, such as the United States.

China Wok, a Peruvian food chain specializing in ‘chifa’, a tasty mix of local and Chinese flavors, already has 50 restaurants in seven Latin American countries, and it plans to enter the U.S. market next year.

According to the manager, Carlos León Velarde, it has already begun negotiations with businessmen from the East Coast. ‘It will be our entrance door to the American market,' he said.

Pardo's Chicken, a popular roasted chicken fast-food chain, opened its first restaurant in the United States in 2006, in New York's West Village, and this year it will open two more -- one in Coral Gables and the other in Mexico City.
To explain the chain's success, Arnold Wu, the company's CEO, talks about what he calls the 'Peruvian taste' and Pardo's secret formula, made of a mix of 14 ingredients imported from Peru.

But not all the international expansion comes from the fast-food chains.
Higher-end restaurants are also making inroads in the international market.
One of the first of this kind of restaurant to cross the Atlantic is Astrid y Gastón, which in 2007 opened in Madrid's most exclusive zone.

This year the owner, Gastón Acurio, one of Peru's most prominent chefs, is opening another restaurant, La Mar, specializing in marine dishes, in the San Francisco Bay area, with an investment of about $6 million. Acurio says soon there will be La Mar restaurants in New York, Las Vegas and Florida.

'It's time for the Peruvian cuisine to make the big leap to achieve global recognition,' said Acurio. He thinks this global expansion can get help from foreign investors who find it is profitable to invest in Peruvian cuisine, because of both its quality and the fact that other national cuisines are overexposed.
The Peruvian government is also part of the collective effort to sell the national cuisine abroad.

According to Mara Seminario, tourism director of Promperu, the National Committee for the Promotion of Exports and Tourism, Peru is participating in gastronomic fairs around the world with the motto ‘Perú, mucho gusto,' a phrase that plays with the double meaning of ‘mucho gusto’ – ‘nice to meet you,’ and ‘very tasty.’ Also, the government has declared the national cuisine as one of its seven ‘flag products’ to be actively promoted abroad.

‘Peruvian food is unique. The first wave of Peruvian restaurants outside the country were made by immigrants, but this second one is of a much better quality and mixes tradition with modernism, sophistication with history,’ Seminario said.

Among the Peruvian dishes that already attract global attention are ceviche, a raw fish cooked in lime juice, and causa, mashed potatoes mixed with fish or seafood.
Peru is also selling itself as a gastronomic destination. Statistics from Promperu show that in 2007 more than 20,000 visitors came to the country to do ‘gastronomic tourism’ -- paying an average of $3,500 to eat at exclusive restaurants, visit local markets and visit fishing ports.

Source: Miami Herald

Shougang Hierro Peru gets go-ahead for expansion

Peruvian iron ore producer Shougang Hierro Peru's board has authorized the company to begin a major investment program to increase its output capacity by 8m tonnes/year.

The project foresees installation of a beneficiation unit and a pelletizing plant, besides mine development in Marcona (southern Peru). In total, Shougang is expected to invest around US$1bn in the program, Steel Business Briefing learns from a company announcement.

As previously reported, the upgrade is expected to be concluded by mid-2010 and will virtually double Shougang’s capacity to 16m t/y. The company is also considering a second expansion phase that would eventually increase output to 20m t/y.

Publication: SBB - Steel Business Briefing
Provider: Steel Business Briefing
Date: June 25, 2008


Brazilian Natura likely to open plant in Peru

Brazilian direct sales cosmetics player Natura evaluates several locations, including Peru, to satrt the construction of its new production plant.

Currently, the company has a production plant in Cajamar, 40 minutes from Sao Paulo (Brazil) and a soap production plant in Belen du Para, also in Brazil.

According to Natura Peru chief executive officer, Jose Ramon Hernandez, cosmetics and skin care demand in the region has increased substantially in recent years, and that is why the company has begun to evaluate the possibility of building a new production plant.

"Eventually, the project could be located in Peru because of the proximity of inputs and its strategic position within Latin America enabling the company to access the largest consumer markets of this sector", he told Andina news agency.

In addition, Peru has a high level of legal security, economic strength and a favorable environment for investment in the long and medium term, making it an attractive market.

"A location study to find the most suitable area to build the new plant is being carried out, and it is expected that the location will be defined in the medium term, between three to five years", he said.

However, he commented that Natura investments are located near the north of Latin America since the largest consumer markets such as Mexico, Venezuela and Colombia, are located.

As for the local operation, Hernandez said that the company is positioning in key markets such as provinces Trujillo (La Libertad), Lima (Lambayeque), Arequipa and Cusco, where it comes from a good percentage of sales of the company.

"In addition, as part of sales strategy we are entering the east of the country, in cities like Tarapoto (San Martin) and Iquitos (Loreto)", elaborated.

The company owns a portfolio of 600 products with which this year expects an increase in sales of 40 percent, driven mainly by products for the treatment of the face, perfume and makeup.

Publication: Andina - English Newswire
Provider: Andina
Date: June 18, 2008


Acqua invests $10m. to build five-star hotel in Urubamba, Cusco

Hotel chain Acqua Hotel Resort Spa announced today they will invest more than 10 million dollars fo the construction of a five star hotel located in the valley of Urubamba, about 80 km from Cusco city.

Acqua's marketing manager, Gonzalo Tafur, said that the hotel spa will have 115 colonial rooms, including a presidential suite, 15 suites and 99 standard rooms .

"The 500 square-meters presidential suite will include two bedrooms (a matrimonial and a double room), two living rooms, one dining room, a terrace, a pool, an observatory, and a movie and music theater", detailed Tafur to Andina news agency.

Furthermore, the project will include the construction of an artificial lake, two restaurants, a bar, a sushi bar, an art gallery, a library, a museum, and a movie theater for 25 people, he added.

Tafur detailed that the total area of the hotel is ten hectares, but they will only use six hectares in the first stage of the construction. The remaining four hectares will be used for the second stage, which will take place in 2010.

Publication: Andina - English Newswire
Provider: Andina
Date: June 18, 2008

Taca Cargo to start Lima-Guatemala direct flights from July 15th

Taca airline will start direct cargo flights from Lima to Guatemala from July 15th, with three flights a week, the director of Taca Cargo, Víctor Mejía, reported Wednesday.

Flights will be available on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday in both ways. Flights from Lima will take off at 10:30 hours (15:30 GMT) and land in Guatemala at 14:05 hours.

While, flights from Guatemala will take off at 15:00 hours and land in Lima at 20:35 hours.

In this way, Peruvian exporters will have a larger offer for their exports abroad, and the central american entrepreneurs will be benefited as well.

"For us, it is important to be able to provide an excellent service on aour flights".

Publication: Andina - English Newswire
Provider: Andina
Date: June 19, 2008


16 Peru Utilities Invest $39.1 Mln in Power Projects Jan-Apr 2008 - Fonafe

Sixteen Peruvian state-owned utilities invested 111 mln Peruvian soles ($39.1 mln/25.1 mln euro) in 90 power projects for January to April 2008, the National Fund for Financing State Business Activities (Fonafe) said on June 9, 2008.

The projects form part of the 197 projects approved by Fonafe to be developed in full 2008.

The energy generators Egasa, Egemsa, Egesur, Electroperu and San Gaban invested 19 mln soles ($6.7 mln/4.3 mln euro) in 14 thermal and hydro power projects in the first four months of 2008.

Fonafe said that some state-owned utilities were developing projects in line with the government's policy for increased usage of natural gas. One of these companies is Egesur that started a project for conversion of its Calana thermoelectric power plant to use natural gas. The project demanded investments of 10 mln soles ($3.5 mln/2.3 mln euro).

Fonafe also mentioned the utility Electroperu that is now investing in a new hydroelectric power plant La Guitarra and in a gas-fired thermal power plant, that are seen to absorb a total 187 mln soles ($65.9 mln/42.3 mln euro).

On the other hand, local state-owned distributors as Electrocentro, Electronorte, Electronoroeste, Electropuno, Electrosureste, Electrosur, Hidrandina, Adinelsa, ElectroOriente, ElectroUcayali and Seal invested 91 mln soles ($32.1 mln/20.6 mln euro) in 76 projects for January to April 2008.

To meet the demand in the Madre de Dios region, Electrosureste is building a 138 kV transmission line San Gaban – Mazuko - Puerto Maldonado, that will be kicked off in the second half of 2008.

ElectroOriente plans to invest 26 mln soles ($9.2 mln/5.9 mln euro) in 30 projects in full 2008, of which 10 are now under development.

ElectroUcayali is investing 760,000 soles ($267,900/171,900 euro) in electrification of the settlements La Marina, Aguaytia and Pucallapa. The second stage of the company's electrification programme will demand 2.0 mln soles ($705,000/452,000 euro).

Both Electropuno and Electrocentro are now investing in the construction of transmission lines to cover their concession areas. Electropuno will allocate 21 mln soles ($7.4 mln/4.8 mln euro), while Electrocentro will invest 15 mln soles ($5.3 mln/3.4 mln euro), Fonafe added.

Publication: Business Digest
Provider: AII Data Processing Ltd.
Date: June 10, 2008

Colombian Promigas, Peru Kuntur in Talks for Alliance on Concession of Gas Pipeline in Southern Peru

Colombian gas utility Promigas is in talks with U.S. Conduit Capital Partners, owner of Peruvian Kuntur Transportadora de Gas (Kuntur), for alliance for the concession of a gas pipeline to be built in southern Peru, Colombian media reported on June 9, 2008.

Conduit Capital Partners said that it was also negotiating with an unnamed construction firm to build the pipeline, should Kuntur win the concession.

The pipeline, named Gasoducto Andino del Sur, will demand investments of $1.2 bln (770 mln euro). It will allow the transportation of natural gas from the deposits in the region of Cusco to 16 provinces in southern Peru, including the cities of Cusco, Arequipa, Matarani and Juliaca.

Kuntur's president, Samuel Gomez, said that the role of each company in the consortium was now under consideration.

Promigas (www.promigas.com) activities include natural gas transport and distribution, gas pipeline construction, operation and maintenance, and data, voice and image transmission services along with high-speed connection to the Internet. Promigas is controlled by U.S. power company AEI, which in turn is controlled by Ashmore Investment Management Ltd., part of Ashmore Group PLC. In Peru, Promigas is involved with the gas transportation in Lima and Callao via Peruvian natural gas company Calidda Gas Natural del Peru. Promigas and Ashmore Energy International, a company owned by British Ashmore Investment Management, acquired 100 pct in Calidda in mid-2007. After the operation Promigas holds 40 pct in Calidda, while Ashmore acquired the remaining 60 pct. Ashmore controls 53 pct in Promigas.

Now, the development of the gas pipeline project depends on the approval of the Peruvian Mines and Energy Ministry.

Publication: Business Digest
Provider: AII Data Processing Ltd.
Date: June 10, 2008


10 Ecuadorian companies to invest in Peru through Banco Financiero

Ten enterprises will invest in Peru this year through Banco Financiero due to the good conditions and clear rules for investing in Peru, stated today the general manager of the bank, Carlos Blanco.

"These enterprises are our costumers and all their investments plans in Peru are highly advanced", he stated to Andina news agency.

Blanco pointed out that these enterprises are dedicated to industries such as construction, metal mechanic, hotels, among others.

He explained that the interest of the Ecuadorian enterprises to establish in Peru has grown in the past months to the point that their projects have speed out so that they can start operations in the following months.

"We have noticed that the interest for investing in Peru has increased since this country offers clear rules not only for Peruvians but also for foreign investors and also because of the region sustainable economic growth", he added.

Publication: Andina - English Newswire
Provider: Andina
Date: June 6, 2008


Bancolombia leasing unit invests US$1.5mn in Peruvian market entry

The leasing unit of Colombian bank Bancolombia (NYSE: CIB) will invest US$1.5mn to start up operations in Peru, Leasing Bancolombia said in a statement sent to the Colombian regulator.
Leasing Bancolombia said it will request authorization from both Colombian and Peruvian regulators to launch the company.

Bancolombia also operates a car leasing subsidiary in Peru and has said it plans to launch a trust fund unit in that country later this year.

Bancolombia is the largest bank in its home market in terms of overall market share and began expanding abroad last year when it acquired El Salvador's biggest bank Banagrícola for some US$900mn.

Publication: Business News Americas - English News
Provider: Business News Americas
Date: June 2, 2008

Petro-Peru picks four to proceed in refinery modernisation supervision tender

Four consortia have been pre-classified within the tender run by Petro-Peru for a firm to supervise the modernisation of the Talara refinery. The president of the state group, Cesar Gutierrez states that the quartet is as follows: ABSG Consulting Inc (of the US); Inelectra-Idom Ingenieria Consultoria SA-Nippon Koei Co Ltd (of Spain and Japan); Germaischer Lloyd (of Mexico); and Venezolana de Proyectos Integrados (of Venezuela). The whole selection process should be complete before June 2008 is out. Petro-Peru needs to invest US$1bil in modernising its number-one asset (the Talara refinery).

Publication: SABI - Business News
Provider: South American Business Information
Date: June 3, 2008