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Chilean earthquake boosts shares in cement companies

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World Cement,

The magnitude 8.2 earthquake that struck off the northern coast of Chile on Tuesday appears to have done little damage to the country’s infrastructure. Reports indicate that more than 2600 homes were damaged, as was the hospital in Iquique, but otherwise the impact of the earthquake was relatively minimal compared to the US$30 billion damage done in the 8.8 magnitude quake that hit the country in 2010.

“The quake has caused severe damage to some buildings in the affected region, but in general the building standards in Chile are comparatively high, allowing buildings and infrastructure to withstand such quakes reasonable well,” earthquake expert Alexander Allmann of reinsurer Munich Re told Reuters.

In spite of this, shares in local cement manufacturers rose on the back of speculation that cement demand would increase following the quake. At one point, Cementos Bio Bio gained 17% on its share prices, while Melon SA saw a 41% rise. Cementos Bio Bio has cement plants in northern Chile.

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