April 28, 2020 / 4:04 PM / 3 months ago

Chile´s Entel expects strong 2020 as demand for telecoms booms amid coronavirus crisis

SANTIAGO, April 28 (Reuters) - Chile telecoms giant Entel expects strong performance this year in Chile and neighboring Peru as quarantine measures to combat coronavirus increase demand for its services.

Most South American nations have imposed long-term restrictions on travel and mobility, forcing many to work from home and boosting sales and demand for many of the region´s telecoms companies.

“This business is very resilient to crises, since the need of people for our services is great in situations like this,” Chief Executive Antonio Buchi said in a statement.

The company said in a statement ahead of its annual shareholders meeting that Peru remains its most promising market.

“Peru continues to be the market where we see the greatest potential for growth, with a telecommunications industry that offers us attractive opportunities,” he added.

In the near term, however, Entel said it expects to focus most of the $433 million of investment slated for 2020 on the development of the mobile and home business in Chile.

That figure is down from $600 million worth of investment in 2019, a drop the company blamed primarily on the falling Chilean peso, which this year hit a historic low.

The company said its plans were subject to change as the coronavirus outbreak evolves.

Chile has confirmed nearly 14,000 cases of the virus, while Peru has reported more than 28,000 cases. (Reporting by Fabian Cambero; writing by Dave Sherwood; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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