Brazil stocks cap 2009 recovery with 83 pct gain

by Dave

 Reuters

Brazilian stocks edged higher on Wednesday and posted hefty gains of about 83 percent for the year, underscoring the strength of the recovery in an economy viewed as an investor darling. The index’s 2009 gains of 82.66 percent stand in stark contrast to the Bovespa’s performance in 2008, when it plunged 41.2 percent, its second-worst performance in its 41-year history.

Brazil snagged a coveted third investment-grade rating in September, when Moody’s Investors Service said the global crisis had helped prove the resilience in Latin America’s largest economy. Comparatively, Mexico — Brazil’s closest peer in Latin America — saw its sovereign debt downgraded twice.

Brazil also held its own compared to other emerging market powerhouses. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose just over 49 percent in 2009 through Wednesday’s close, with India’s BSE index up about 80 percent over the same period.

Two of the world’s biggest initial public offerings came out of Brazil this year — an $8.07 billion Santander  offering, topping the list, and the $4.33 billion VisaNet — now Cielo sale. The money pouring in from abroad has helped the Brazilian currency, the real (BRBY), strengthen 34 percent against the greenback so far this year.

On the Bovespa index,
Itau Unibanco, Brazil’s largest private-sector bank,
Banco do Brasil, Latin America’s largest bank by assets,
The index’s two biggest stocks – State-controlled energy company Petrobras and mining giant Vale

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