According to Brazilian daily newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo, the return on net assets for companies listed in the São Paulo Stock Exchange (Bovespa) was 16.02% last year,Â The percentage was greater than the one recorded in the United States, which was 14%.
In the financial sector, the return was almost twice as high: 19.6% for Brazil and 11.5% for the United States.
The data were culled from a survey conducted by financial information company Economática. The most profitable segment, as reported by the newspaper, was that of the steel and metals industry, at 31.3%.
The share of people investing in the Brazilian stock market increased from 9.7% in 1994 to 24.6% in 2006. Last year, until early november, considering the daily volume of stock purchases and sales volume in the São Paulo Stock Exchange (Bovespa), natural people investors represented 23.1% of the total.
Data disclosed by the Bovespa show that 310,625 individual investors have bought shares, totaling 84.59 billion reais (US$ 47.6 billion). A large share of individual investors is in the cities of São Paulo (48.22% of the total) and Rio de Janeiro (27.48%).
Men are the majority (77.94%) among the investors, whereas women account for only 22.06%. However, the trend is for the female participation in the stock market to increase. In 2002, women had a share of just 17.63%.
One of those investors is journalist Maira de Figueiredo Cunha da Costa, who decided two years ago to risk "a little cash" in the stock fund of the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES).
The Bovespa Brazil Index Papers ("Papéis índice Brasil Bovespa – PIBB) investment fund is comprised of bonds of the 50 most traded companies on Bovespa. The first version of the fund was launched in 2004, and the second in 2005.
The fund used to be negotiated in applications of a minimum of 300 reais (US$ 169) for natural people. The investors would also have a repurchase guarantee from the BNDES one year after the application, for disbursements of up to 25,000 reais (US$ 14,000).
To Maira da Costa, the experience was "wonderful", as it earned her an appreciation of more than 70% in the price of the stock purchased. "I wish I had invested more."
The future prospect of the launch of a new PIBB by the BNDES makes Maira da Costa enthused. "I will invest the maximum amount allowed, and the maximum amount that I am able to invest. I do not have much money to invest, but I would even be willing to assume a higher risk and move away from the more conservative positions, should a new fund be launched," she claimed.