Chile’s economy is, in Cramer parlance, pantsing its U.S. counterpart.
We’re expected to grow our gross domestic product 1.2% in 2008; Chile’s expecting growth of 3.8%. Our budget deficit is equal to 2.4% of GDP; Chile has a budget surplus worth 7% of GDP. Last year, the Chilean peso gained 8% on the dollar.
This is why Cramer says it’s important to keep 20% of a portfolio in overseas stocks. Sometimes they offer returns you can’t get at home.
Sociedad Quimica – or the Chemical & Mining Co. of Chile, as it’s formally known – is the latest international play he offered up to viewers. SQM’s Latin American base, and the company’s exposure to agriculture and lithium, makes the stock a true triple play, Cramer said.
We already covered the strength of Latin America, Chile in particular, but check out the ag exposure. SQM makes half of the world’s supply of potassium nitrate, a cheaper fertilizer alternative to potash. Cramer said the global fertilizer shortage and continued strength of Agrium, Potash and Mosaic should lead to an increase in potassium-nitrate prices, which is good news for SQM.
Then there’s lithium, of which SQM’s the largest producer in the world. This is a play on the future of batteries. Sure, SQM is expected to ramp up lithium production by 40% in the second half of this year, but it’s the growing trend toward more and more lithium-ion batteries that has Cramer excited. Electric carmakers, builders of hybrids, even utilities have plans to put these eco-friendly devices to work.
There’s very little U.S. coverage of SQM the stock. But that’s because Wall Street’s wary of the company’s ownership structure, which is 62% controlled by Potash and Julio Ponce.
“That may scare the street away, but it doesn't scare Cramer,” he said. “This is just too good an opportunity to pass up.”
“I think you should say sí to Socieded Quimica,” Cramer said.
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