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Cencosud Rallies as Credit Suisse’s Top Chile Pick

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July 14 (Bloomberg) -- Cencosud SA rose the most in 18 months after Credit Suisse Group AG named the Santiago-based company as its preferred Chilean retailer, initiating coverage with an “outperform” rating on earnings growth prospects.

Chile’s largest retailer by sales rose 5.2 percent to a record 2,694.3 pesos, the biggest advance since January 2009.

The operator of home-improvement outlets, department stores and supermarkets is Credit Suisse’s top pick among Chilean retailers, analysts Antonio Gonzalez, Vanessa Quiroga and Marcel Moraes wrote in a research note. They rated rivals Empresas La Polar SA “outperform” and SACI Falabella and Ripley Corp SA “neutral.”

“Cencosud took the 2009 crisis as a chance to make a pause on its aggressive expansion phase and emerged as a much stronger operator,” they wrote. “We forecast profitability levels above historic standards for the following years.”

La Polar increased 1.3 percent, Ripley gained 1 percent and Falabella climbed 0.9 percent. Chile’s Ipsa index gained 0.2 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eduardo Thomson in Santiago at ethomson1@bloomberg.net.

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

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