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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

[Foreign]The B of BRIC Countries - Brazil Stocks

In previous articles we have talked about India and China, the I and C countries of the famous BRIC countries. Today we will take a look at the stocks from the first of the BRIC - Brazil.

According to the BRIC report prepared by Goldman Sach, Brazil is a rising market where in 2025 its economy will overtakes Italy, France by 2031 and UK and Germany by 2036. Just like the other three, Brazil is rich in natural resources. However the country's growth lags behind the other three and have growth obstacles such as less open trade, lower savings and investment and highter public and foreign debt according to the report.

Here are some of of Brazil based companys worth mentioning that are traded under US stock exchange:

Sector - Basic Material
  • Companhia Vale do rio Doce(RIO): the company engages in iron ore mining with exploration in Brazil, Gabon, Chile, Mozambique, Mongolia, Argentina and Peru. In addition the company operates logistics system such as railroads and ports to be integrated with the mining operation. The stock has been on steady rise since 2003 and has been giving out cash dividend every half year. The company also has continues increase in revenue and income for the past three years.
  • Gerdau S.A. (GGB): although in the same industry (Steel & Iron) as RIO, the company focus on distribution of crude steel and related products. The company markets its products in Brazil, United States, Canada, Chile and to a lesser extent, in Argentina and Uruguay. The company is 104 years old and has been on the US stock exchange since March, 1999. The stock is showing strength recently from low of $9 per share in July to $16 per share today.

Sector - Financial

  • Banco Itau Holding Financeria S.A. (ITU): the Brazilian financial giant offers banking services to individuals and corporations in Brazil and internationally. The 60 year old company has total of 2,290 branches in Brazil as of June, 2005. The stock has consistantly performed well since May last year and is now trading at $23.52 today, about $10 more than a year ago.
  • Banco Bradesco S.A. (BBD): this other Brazilian banking King Kong operates 2917 branches in Brazil, about 700 more than the rival ITU. The fiancial giant is showing steady revenue and income growth for the past three years. The stock is trading at $29 per share now, a 100% increase from last year and is distributing dividend every month.

Fund and ETF

  • iShares MSCI Brazil Index (EWZ): if you prefer a more diversified portfolio, you can also invest in this ETF which tracks MSCI Brazil Index. Although considered as a diversified investment, the ETF still gives a juicy return of more than 50% for this year.

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