Gerdau, Nutrisa, Petrobras, Walmex: Latin America Equity Preview

The following companies may have unusual price changes in Latin American trading. Stock symbols are in parentheses and share prices reflect the previous close.

The MSCI Latin America Index climbed the most in more than a month, advancing 1.3 percent to 4,457.36.

Brazil

Gerdau SA (GGBR4 BS): Latin America’s largest steelmaker may have its credit rating raised by Moody’s Investors Service. The company’s Ba1 rating was placed under review for possible upgrade, Moody’s said in a statement. The stock slipped 0.5 percent to 20.14 reais.

MMX Mineracao & Metalicos SA (MMXM3 BS): The company controlled by billionaire Eike Batista expects prices of iron ore to remain above $100 a metric ton through to 2012, said Chequer Hanna Bou-Habib, MMX’s commercial director, at a conference in Perth, Australia. The stock increased 0.2 percent to 9.35 reais.

Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4 BS): The state-controlled oil company’s output of oil and natural-gas equivalent in Brazil and abroad rose 1.7 percent in February from a year earlier, Petrobras said in an e-mailed statement. The shares gained 1.2 percent to 28.33 reais.

Tractebel Energia SA (TBLE3) (TBLE3 BS): The Brazilian unit of GDF Suez SA said its board approved investments of $368.2 million in wind projects, according to a regulatory filing. Tractebel jumped 3.2 percent to 26 reais.

Vale SA (VALE3) (VALE5 BS): The world’s biggest iron-ore producer hopes to match 2009’s record sales of 140 million metric tons of iron ore to China “as early as possible” this year, Luiz Meriz, president of Vale Minerals China Co., said at a conference in Beijing. Vale retreated 0.4 percent to 46.68 reais.

Mexico

Banks: Mexico’s annual inflation will be 3.9 percent at the end of 2011, according to a survey released by Banamex, Citigroup Inc.’s local unit.

Grupo Financiero Banorte SAB (GFNORTEO MM), Mexico’s third- largest bank by outstanding loans, rose 2 percent to 53.83 pesos. Grupo Financiero Inbursa SAB (GFINBURO MM), the financial services firm controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim, added 0.9 percent to 52.27 pesos.

Retailers: Mexico’s retail sales climbed 4.1 percent in January from the same month a year earlier, according to the median forecast of 13 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The national statistics institute will report the figure today.

Kimberly-Clark de Mexico SAB (KIMBERA MM), Mexico’s biggest consumer products company, rose 2.7 percent to 71.40 pesos. Organizacion Soriana SAB (SORIANAB MM), the country’s second- largest grocery store chain, advanced 2.7 percent to 40.29 pesos. Wal-Mart de Mexico SAB (WALMEXV MM), Latin America’s largest retailer, gained 2.8 percent to 34.78 pesos.

Grupo Nutrisa SAB (NUTRISA* MM): The operator of health food stores in Mexico is planning a spinoff to create a company called Bases y Productos Naturales La Planta SA, Nutrisa said in a filing to Mexico’s stock exchange. The shares were unchanged at 40 pesos.

Desarrolladora Homex SAB (HOMEX* MM): Mexico’s largest homebuilder will continue growing in Brazil after increasing housing units there nearly sixfold from 2009, Chief Financial Officer Carlos Moctezuma said in an interview yesterday. The stock added 0.1 percent to 51.02 pesos.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan J. Levin in Mexico City at jlevin20@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Papadopoulos at dpapadopoulos@bloomberg.net

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