Forecasts & Strategies

03/09/2017 7:00 am EST

Focus: STRATEGIES

Mark Skousen

Editor, Forecasts & Strategies, High-Income Alert

When I was in Panama as a young man in the late 1960s, Panama was a lazy, poverty-stricken country; last month, I was in Panama speaking at an economic conference and Panama City now looks like Hong Kong. 

Some call it the “Singapore of Latin America.” Panama has pursued a pro-growth policy of free enterprise, relatively low taxes and sound money. 

Panama has the fastest-growing economy in Latin America, and  have by far the largest per capita income in Central America. Foreign investment increases every year by double-digit percentages. 

There is no Panama country fund and just two Panama-focused stocks trade on the New York Stock Exchange. I’m not recommending them at this time, but I thought you’d like to know what’s available:

Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio SA (BLX) is a bank stock selling for only 11 times earnings and sporting a 5.7% dividend yield.

Copa Holdings SA (CPA), the Panama-based airline, lost money last year but is expected to make good profits this year. It yields 2%. We flew Copa Airlines to Panama and it was comfortable, on time, inexpensive and completely full both ways; it is my kind of airline.

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