Andes Stock Market Integration to Spur Peru Fishing IPOs, Bernales Says

Peru, the world’s largest fishmeal producer, will see a “wave” of initial public offerings by fishing companies as an integration with the Colombian and Chilean exchanges spurs investor demand, National Fisheries Society vice-president Ricardo Bernales said.

Fishmeal producers including Pesquera Diamante SA and Pesquera Exalmar SA may sell shares on the Lima exchange next year, Bernales, who is also a director of Diamante, said today in an interview.

“Work on corporate governance is under way, and we took on a financial partner as we’re headed for an IPO,” Bernales said. “Other companies also plan to tap the markets, which is the smartest move today.”

Colombia, Chile and Peru will integrate their exchanges at the end of November, Colombia stock exchange President Juan Pablo Cordoba said Oct. 5. The integrated market will be Latin America’s top issuer with a total 563 stocks, and second in market capitalization with $564 billion, behind Brazil with $1.28 trillion.

Peru posted $2.2 billion last year in fishing exports, the Andean country’s third-biggest income earner. Only two of Peru’s 14 fishmeal producers, Copeinca ASA and Austevoll Seafood ASA unit Austral Group SA, trade on the Lima Exchange, while CFG Investment SAC has access to Asian markets through its parent company China Fishery Group Ltd., Bernales said.

Diamante, which hired Citibank Peru corporate banker Manuel Salazar to refinance the $160 million acquisition of three smaller companies in 2007, produces about 18,000 metric tons a day of fishmeal at eight plants and operates 42 trawlers, according to its website.

Investor Demand

Exalmar Chief Executive Officer Rossana Ortiz didn’t immediately return telephone calls seeking comment.

“There’s strong demand among institutional investors for new stocks, and the market integration will provide access to new buyers,” Leoncio Altamirano, a trader at Lima-based Juan Magot y Asociados SAB, said in a telephone interview. “Fishing IPOs would be successful as Peru is well-known for its rich fishing grounds.”

Fishmeal has risen 71 percent in the past two years to $1,480 per ton as demand for the animal feed surges in China and Japan, according to the Fisheries Society, an industrial group.

The Lima General Index fell 1.8 percent to 18,940.03 at 4:07 p.m. New York time.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Emery in Lima at aemery1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net.

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