Year-End Cheers: Brazil Stock Market Celebrates 43.4% Gain in 2007

Bovespa, Brazil's stock exchange Bovespa, Brazil's main stock market, ended an exceptional 2007 with a turnover of US$ 570 billion and its biggest annual gain in four years, over 40%. The São Paulo stock exchange closed Friday, December 28, at 63.774 points, accumulating 43.4% gain over the closing of 44.473 points a year ago.

Companhia Vale do Rio Doce, the world's biggest iron ore and nickel miner, and Petrobras, the government controlled oil company, paced this year's advance ranging between 150% and 90%.

However the stock index is likely to increase less in 2008 because of slowing growth in the United States, Brazil's largest trading partner, according to strategists at Citigroup Inc., Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch.

But UBS Pactual and Spinelli forecast a 33% advance this year to 85.000 points, based on Brazil's economy growth of 5%, low inflation, strong local currency and the awarding of "investment grade" to the country's sovereign debt.

The overall turnover of Bovespa in 2007 was above the trillion reais, equivalent to US$ 570 billion, compared to the 530 billion reais of 2006, up 92%, according to Economática, a São Paulo financial investment advisor.

The three shares with the largest turnover were Petrobras (13.8% of total business); Vale do Rio Doce, 11.4% and Bradesco bank, 3.3%.

Ibovespa's 20 main shares in 2007 represented 60% of all operations totaling 596 billion reais, greater than the whole of 2006. For investors operating in US dollars this year's advance in Brazilian stocks was magnified by the more than 21% currency gain against the dollar.

Performance in other Latinamerican stock exchanges was more modest: Argentina's Merval index had its smallest annual gain in six years. Chile's IPSA index slipped, paring its fifth straight yearly increase to 13%.

In Colombia, the IGBC index was little changed and had its first annual decline in six years. Peru's Lima General Index gained 36% in 2007, its sixth straight annual gain.

Mercopress

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