08.31.2011
By Terry Flanagan

S&P Launches MILA Index

The partnership of three Latin American exchanges has spawned a new S&P index.

The Standard & Poor’s collective of indices has launched the newest member of the family, which will gauge the performance of the largest stocks trading on the Mercado Integrado Latino Americano platform.

“The idea was to bring attention to MILA, and this index does that” said Alka Banerjee, vice president of global equity indices at the S&P. “The index’s purpose is to gauge a market’s performance. MILA is the second largest market in Latin America after Brazil, beating Mexico. MILA now has depth and liquidity. On their own, they are small, but together they are a force. “

The index is to include 22 companies from Chile, 12 from Colombia and six from Peru. The top five companies by index weight in the MILA 40 will be Compania de Minas Buenaventura (Peru; 5.90 percent), Ecopetrol (Colombia; 5.73 percent), SACI Falabella (Chile; 5.36 percent), Empresas COPEC (Chile; 5.24 percent), and Pacific Rubiales Energy (Colombia; 5.17 percent). It will be rebalanced twice a year in March and September.

“The index provides an investing vehicle,” said Banerjee. “The markets become more accessible, both local and globally.”

MILA is a market created from the integration of the trading platforms of the Santiago Stock Exchange (Bolsa de Santiago), the Lima Stock Exchange (Bolsa de Valores de Lima) and the Colombia Stock Exchange (Bolsa de Valores de Colombia). The platform was officially launched in May. There is also participation from each country’s respective securities depository, Chile’s DCV, Colombia’s Deceval, and Peru’s Cavali.

The launch of the S&P MILA 40 comes on the heels of the cancellation of the proposed merger between the Colombia Stock Exchange and the Lima Stock Exchange. No reason was given for the termination last week. The combined entity would have created a company with $33 billion in trading volume and $378 billion in market capitalization.

The deal, which was announced in January, reached a hurdle in June when Peru elected a new president. The parties had announced at the time that they would delay the closure of their merger to give Peru’s new government time to consider the details of the deal. Peru expressed concerns regarding the split of benefits to each economy. Under the terms of the transaction, the merged entity would have been split 64 percent and 36 percent between Colombia and Peru, respectively. The merger’s demise is not expected to affect the MILA cooperative.

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