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Alpargatas, Grendene Rally as Brazil May Defend Local Industry

Jan. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Sao Paulo Alpargatas SA and Grendene SA, Brazilian footwear makers, rallied in Sao Paulo after a report that Trade Minister Fernando Pimentel said the government may take action to shore up the industry.

Alpargatas, the maker of Havaianas flip-flops, gained 4.5 percent to a record 12.70 reais at the 3:15 p.m. New York time close, while Grendene, whose brands include Ipanema and Melissa sandals, advanced 2.4 percent to 10.19 reais, the highest price since March last year.

Pimentel, speaking at an event in Sao Paulo, said the government will begin a probe of Chinese shoemakers that may be evading duties, O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper reported today. Brazil on Dec. 28 said it was raising its tariffs on toy imports from China to 35 percent from 20 percent until the end of this year to protect the South American country’s manufacturers.

“The government has given indications that, if it identifies competition that doesn’t favor national companies, it will take measures,” said Joao Pedro Brugger, who helps oversee 60 million reais ($35.8 million) including Grendene shares at Leme Investimentos in Florianopolis, Brazil.

A press official at the Trade Ministry, who asked not to be identified because of internal policy, confirmed Pimentel’s comments.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alexander Cuadros in Sao Paulo at acuadros@bloomberg.net

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

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