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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Stamp Investment Tip: Venezuela 1899-1901 Bolivar Issue (Scott #142-49)

From 1899-1901, Venezuela issued an attractive set of definitives honoring Simon Bolivar (Scott #142-49). Fewer than 1,000 of the 2b Orange high value (Sc. #149) were issued, and Scott '10 prices the unused set at $ 375.00. I strongly recommend either the complete set or the high value for investment. It is yet another example of a grossly undervalued issue of Latin America, which should do very well as the region continues its economic development.

With a population of about 26 million, Venezuela is resource-rich, and consistently ranks among the top ten oil producers in the world. Annual GDP growth has averaged almost 10% over the last 5 years, although it has been decelerating recently due to lower oil prices. Under Chavez-style quasi-socialism, the percentage of Venezuelans living below the poverty line has decreased from 48% in 2002 to 30% in 2006. The country has begun diversifying its economy away from its current near-total dependence on petroleum exports, and has spawned a rapidly growing manufacturing sector.

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