MercadoLibre To Invest $100 Million in Argentina

Marcos Galperin, the company's CEO, said the investment plans reflect growing investor confidence in the Argentinean economy.

Latin American online retail firm MercadoLibre is investing more than US$100 million in Argentina over the next five years, creating as many as 5,000 jobs.

Marcos Galperin, the company’s CEO, said the investment plans reflect growing investor confidence in the Argentinean economy.

The majority of the investment will be used for expanding its office complexes in Buenos Aires and providing training for online technology professionals.

The retailer said it would recruit developers, designers, system engineers, economists, HR, and marketing executives in addition to customer service agents. The announcement was made in the presence of Argentina’s new pro-business President Mauricio Macri, who visited the retailer’s office last week, according to La Noticia.

MercadoLibre, which means ‘open market’ in Spanish, is Latin America’s most popular e-commerce site as measured by the number of visitors. It is also called the “eBay of Latin America“; eBay is incidentally a major shareholder in MercadoLibre.

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For 2Q16, the retailer reported US$199.6 million in revenue, up 29% year over year and up 73% in local currency, beating the Wall Street consensus estimate of $180 million. Growth was primarily driven by Brazil and Argentina, where sales rose 57% and 46%, respectively.

Founded in 1999, MercadoLibre boasts some 90 million users, with operations in all major Latin American countries, including Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Panama and Peru, in addition to Argentina.

Earlier this year, MercadoLibre opened a new office in Argentina’s second largest city Córdoba with an investment of US$1.5 million. Analysts say the company’s proven strategy of driving transactions and payment volumes is clearly a key asset.

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