Latin Day Ahead: Comercial Mexicana Seeks JPMorgan Debt Accord

Controladora Comercial Mexicana SAB expects JPMorgan Chase & Co. to approve a plan to restructure its debt; Tourists scared away by swine flu are returning to Mexican resorts; Gerdau SA and Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais SA (USIM5) were raised to “neutral” from “underperform” at Bank of America Corp.; Corn declined on speculation that higher prices may slow demand for animal feed.

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Comercial Mexicana Expects JPMorgan to Accept Debt Settlement

Controladora Comercial Mexicana SAB, the retailer that operates Costco Wholesale Corp. stores in Mexico, expects JPMorgan Chase & Co. to join five other banks in approving a plan to restructure more than $1.5 billion of debt.

Cancun’s Swine Flu-Idled Workers Miss Free-Spending Tourists

Tourists scared away by swine flu are back on the beaches at Mexican resorts, led by bargain-hunting locals snapping up offers for half-price hotel rooms and $1.25 beer.

Gerdau, Usiminas Raised to ‘Neutral’ at Bank of America

Gerdau SA and Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais SA were raised to “neutral” from “underperform” at Bank of America Corp., which cited an improving steel outlook in the U.S. and valuations of the two stocks.

Corn Drops as Higher Prices May Slow Demand for Feed, Biofuel

Corn declined on speculation that higher prices may slow demand for animal feed and biofuel and favorable weather in the U.S. Midwest will boost crops.

MAIN COMPANIES:

Argentina

Petrobras Energia Participaciones SA (PBE AF): Argentina’s oil refinery workers were scheduled to meet yesterday with company executives at the Labor Ministry to seek an accord on a wage increase and avoid strike action, a union leader said. Petrobras Energia, the Argentine unit of Brazil’s state- controlled oil company, fell 0.5 percent to 2.23 pesos.

Brazil

Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais SA (USIM5 BS) and Cia. Siderurgica Nacional SA (CSNA3 BS): Brazilian sales of cars and light trucks in the year through mid-June are “slightly above” the same period a year earlier, said Jackson Schneider, president of the country’s automakers association. Usiminas, as Brazil’s biggest provider of flat steel for Brazil’s auto industry is known, fell 0.2 percent to 38.78 reais. Second- biggest CSN fell 0.6 percent to 44.24 reais.

MMX Mineracao e Metalicos SA (MMXM3 BS): The mining company controlled by Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista raised estimates for resources at its Serra Azul iron-ore mine by 46 percent to 754 million metric tons. MMX fell 1.3 percent to 6.71 reais.

Chile

Socovesa SA (SOCOVESA) : Chile’s construction industry may bottom out in the coming months as unemployment in the industry peaks at 21 percent, according to the country’s Chamber of Construction. Socovesa, the Santiago-based real-estate developer, fell 2.7 percent to 148 pesos.

Colombia

Ecopetrol SA (ECOPETL) : Colombia’s state-controlled oil company may invest more than $6.5 billion in 2009, Chief Executive Officer Javier Gutierrez said yesterday in a speech in Bogota. Ecopetrol rose 0.2 percent to 2,480 pesos.

Mexico

Urbi Desarrollos Urbanos SAB (URBI*) : Mexico’s third- largest homebuilder is the “most attractive” option in the sector, as it’s trading at a 5 percent discount to its peers, IXE Grupo Financiero SA said yesterday in a research note. Urbi fell 0.4 percent to 19.45 pesos.

Fomento Economico Mexicano SAB (FEMSAUBD) : Latin America’s largest beverage maker had its Mexican national scale rating lowered to Aa1.mx from Aaa.mx by Moody’s Investors Service. Moody’s cited a “gradual deterioration of Femsa’s performance and credit metrics in recent years” and “limited prospects” to lower debt levels. Femsa fell 0.2 percent to 41.77 pesos.

LATIN AMERICAN MARKETS:

Argentina: The economy expanded 2.1 percent in the first quarter after growing 4.9 percent in the fourth quarter, according to the median forecast of five economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The national statistics agency is slated to publish the report at 3 p.m. New York time.

The peso advanced 1.2 percent to 3.7337 per dollar.

The yield on the country’s inflation-linked peso bonds due in December 2033 rose 21 basis points, or 0.21 percentage point, to 16.72 percent, according to Citigroup Inc.’s local unit.

Other prices in Latin American markets:

Brazil: The real rose 0.7 percent to 1.9607 per dollar.

The yield on the zero-coupon, real-denominated bond due in January 2010 fell three basis points to 8.97 percent, according to Banco Votorantim.

Chile: The peso rose 1.6 percent to 546.45 per dollar.

The yield for a basket of Chilean 10-year peso bonds in inflation-linked currency units, called unidades de fomento, declined four basis points to 2.83 percent, according to Bloomberg composite prices.

Colombia: The peso fell 1.9 percent to 2,076.38 per dollar.

The yield on Colombia’s benchmark 11 percent bonds due July 2020 fell four basis points to 9.38 percent, according to Colombia’s stock exchange.

Mexico: The peso rose 0.7 percent to 13.3931 per dollar.

The yield on Mexico’s 10 percent bond due December 2024 rose 10 basis points to 8.58 percent, according to Banco Santander SA.

Peru: The sol weakened 0.3 percent to 2.9967 per dollar.

The yield on Peru’s 8.6 percent bond maturing August 2017 dropped three basis points to 5.72 percent, according to Citigroup Inc.’s unit in Lima.

ECONOMIES: Venezuela will publish its May unemployment rate; Colombia will publish April retail sales and industrial production; Brazil will publish June FGV inflation and the minutes from its central bank policy meeting; Argentina will publish first-quarter gross domestic product.

To contact the reporter on this story: Laura Price in London at lprice3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Papadopoulos in New York at papadopoulos@bloomberg.net

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