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Peruvian Profits

Monday, 31 Mar 2008 | 7:02 PM ET
Spotlight on Peru
With low inflation and a growing GDP, Peru is a great place to invest right now, says Mad Money's Jim Cramer.

As the U.S. economy teeters toward recession, Cramer is constantly on the lookout for new places to invest in parts of the world that don’t suffer from our credit problems. On Monday’s show, he added Peru to that growing list.

The Peruvian economy is benefiting from growing GPD and low inflation as mineral prices surge and import duties shrink. But the best part is, according to Cramer, that Peru, like other developing Latin American countries, is finally getting serious about its financials. And there’s no better way to play this phenomenon than with Creditcorp , the country’s largest financial services holding company.

Creditcorp’s largest subsidiary, Banco de Credito, is Peru’s largest bank with 30% market share in loans and 36% in depots. It also owns an insurance company, Peruano Suiza, which has 30% market share. There’s really no analogue to Creditcorp with that kind of diversified exposure in the U.S., Cramer said.

So while the financials in this country continue to stumble, they’re actually part of a growth industry in Latin America, where people are making more money and thus depositing more and becoming eligible to borrow. Need proof? Creditcorp saw loan growth of 10% last quarter and 40% in 2007. That’s practically the polar opposite of U.S. banks, Cramer said.

The company’s quality of loans is solid, too, with less than one percent past due. Valuation comes at a bit of a premium, but Cramer thinks it is well deserved because of the potential for growth.

So don’t cry for Peru – invest in it. Creditcorp shares are off eight points from the 52-week high. The time is right to pull the trigger, Cramer said.

Worried about investing in a developing market while the U.S. economy's in turmoil? Where in Europe should you put your money? Cramer answers callers' questions in this video.


Questions for Cramer? madmoney@cnbc.com

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