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Peru, Colombia, and Chile merge stock markets

The market alliance of the three right-leaning nations spanning most of South America's Pacific coast gives investors better exposure to assets linked to the region’s natural resources and its rising middle class.

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Peru, Colombia, and Chile will formally merge their stock markets Monday, creating the second-largest bourse in Latin America after Brazil and promising to increase liquidity in the mineral-rich Andean region.

The market alliance of the three right-leaning nations spanning most of South America's Pacific coast gives investors better exposure to assets linked to the region’s natural resources and its rising middle class. And coupled with their recently announced plans with Mexico to form an economic bloc called the Area of In-depth Integration, the stock market merger creates a political foil to the Bolivarian Alliance of regional leftist governments led by Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.

“There's a clear difference in policy organization in this group of countries,” says economic analyst Sebastian Guevara of Apoyo Consultaría, a Lima-based research company. “There's a conscious effort to encourage integration between these like-minded countries.”

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