Bogota — The world’s best-performing stockmarket returned an astounding 3,883% this year. Sort of. The surge in Venezuelan equities mostly reflects a 97% currency devaluation on the black market and runaway inflation. But an official government exchange rate stayed fixed at 10 bolivars to the dollar, creating the illusion of astronomical returns and distorting valuations to the point that some Venezuelan companies had market capitalisations that exceeded behemoths such as Apple. At the black-market rate that most Venezuelans use to access hard currency, stocks have gained a respectable but much less impressive 18%. This allowed local investors — and they’re almost all local, since it’s so difficult to get money in and out of the country — to partially protect their savings from the economic chaos that’s engulfed the nation. GDP contracted a staggering 16.5% last year, while Bloomberg’s Cafe Con Leche Index puts inflation at an annual pace of 7,000% over the past six months "If you h...

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