(Bloomberg) Argentina’s Prospects After Fernandez Brighten, Says Scott Mathis of Algodon Group

Source: Bloomberg.com
By: Daniel Cancel
03.20.2015

(Bloomberg) -- Scott Mathis, a former Oppenheimer & Co. partner, says his luxury real-estate development company stands to benefit as Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s second term ends later this year.

Sentiment toward Argentina is improving before the Oct. 25 elections, Mathis, the 52-year-old chairman of Algodon Wines & Luxury Development Group Inc., said in a phone interview from New York. Suspicions surrounding the death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman, inflation of about 20 percent and capital controls had made it hard to change perceptions, he said.

“People are looking at this election as a potential time for change,’ Mathis said.

Algodon owns a 10-room hotel in Buenos Aires’s Recoleta neighborhood, where rooms go for as much as $980 a night, as well as 2,050 acres in Mendoza province with an 18-hole golf course and winery. Algodon has sold about 40 percent of lots on that property, which range from about $150,000 to $200,000, in a first phase of the development, according to Mathis. Lots with vineyards allow homeowners to bottle their own wine.

With Morgan Stanley predicting Argentina’s stock market will gain 45 percent in U.S. dollars this year, Mathis isn’t alone in seeing increased optimism.

‘‘Valuations are up, but it’s risen from such a low base since Argentine assets were trading at a 60 to 70 percent discount to the rest of the world,” Mathis said. “We’re long-term believers in Argentina, and we think the time is now coming for opportunities and growth over the next decade.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel Cancel in Buenos Aires at dcancel@bloomberg.net

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