With his particular, relaxed style, the stock market analyst, Claudio Zuchovicki, stood before the audience that listened to him during the Expoagro fair and asked: “If they give you a $ 100,000 bonus today, what would you do? What if it was a million pesos? ”
The majority response to the first question was that they would “save” the greenbacks. To the second, something very different but that ends up being similar: they would “convert” the local currency into the United States.
For Zuchovicki, this behavior is a principle of explanation to the chronic problems that Argentina suffers. “There is a phrase that says:‘ Save in the currency of the countries where you would go to live, because they are where you see the future. ” The economy lost something basic: confidence and expectations about the future, “he said.
This panorama affects what the expert considered the key for Argentina to leave the stagnation and the continuous recessions: that the investment is superior to the consumption.
“Seduce investment is the main debate that must be generated in Argentina. And it is something that goes beyond words and is not just for outsiders: Argentines themselves do not invest here, they have more money outside than inside. The problem is that we are good at speculating, but very bad at generating long-term value, “he continued.
But it is this habit of living in a speculative economy that drives an opportunity, in the midst of the global crisis that has caused the coronavirus pandemic and that had a strong impact on the stock markets.
In the same talk, Alejandro Chapto, director of Burplaza, showed a graph with the historical evolution of the Merval index: its current level is close to the historical lows of 2008 (US mortgage crisis) and 2001 (Argentine economic crisis). After these periods, the actions always rebounded strongly.
Globally, the same has happened, according to Zuchovicki. He recalled, for example, that during the spread of avian influenza, “markets also fell more than 15 percent and then rebounded with great force.”
Therefore, he did not hesitate: “This will be an anecdote in three or four months. As long as the uncertainty continues, Argentina is a nice rebound opportunity, not to invest in the long term. ”
According to his view, the reaction of the markets was “exaggerated” and that is because 75 percent of operations today are managed by algorithms and observe, for example, what social networks communicate and comment on.
“Technology accelerates the dynamics. During bird flu, there was no WhatsApp, nor did the presidents communicate on Twitter. Today in the markets, a large part of the decisions are made by algorithms and that hyperpowers the reactions, such as those of the market, which are violent, ”he added.
For this reason, he insisted that “the markets are going to rebound”, but recommended that most investments in safe instruments be kept.
“I advise 80/20: 80 percent with zero risk, such as United States Treasury bonds; and 20 percent on a motorcycle at 200 kilometers per hour, which would be the shares. If you do poorly with 20 percent, the remaining 80 maintains purchasing power, “he summarized.
Another aspect that he considered positive is that the situation generated by the coronavirus, by affecting the economy globally, favors the renegotiation of the Argentine debt.
“The world fell and that is good for us. I don’t think there is a friendly settlement, but I also rule out a default. They will end up agreeing but with a very strong discussion ”, was Zuchovicki’s forecast.
The important thing for an investor or a company, under this scenario, is that when the State withdraws from the public offering of securities, the interest rate charged by banks and the options for stock financing should begin to drop.
“The State was taking 80 percent of the savings. Now, they are going to need to put the money somewhere and the companies that endured the 2019 crisis are less risky than a year ago, ”he evaluated.
The original text of this article was published on 03/16/2020 in our printed edition.