UPDATE 1-Peru president says economy solid, reserves at hand

Thu Jun 7, 2012 2:37am IST

By Antonio De la Jara and Fabian Cambero

PARANAL OBSERVATORY, Chile, June 6 (Reuters) - Peru's economy is solid and the country has international reserves to face the global turbulence that the euro zone's debt crisis is whipping up, Peruvian President Ollanta Humala said on Wednesday during a visit to Chile.

"Even though we're prepared to face this crisis with a solid economy and international reserves to back it ... and relatively low debt levels ... the economic crisis in Europe and the northern hemisphere will affect us all," Humala said.

Peru's international reserves have doubled since the global financial crisis of 2008-2009 and now total nearly $60 billion, while the country's net public sector debt load is a tiny 6 percent of gross domestic product, and its public sector surplus in the first quarter of the year was a whopping 7 percent of GDP.

The Finance Ministry also has a separate rainy day fund of more than $5 billion.

Private investment and strong metal sales have helped Peru grow at China-paced rates in recent years, and foreign firms have pledged about $15 billion in investments in Peru, or about 10 percent of GDP, since Humala took office nearly a year ago.

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