Macro Gains in Argentina on Better-Than-Forecast Profits

Banco Macro SA, Argentina’s largest bank by market share, rose the most in two weeks in Buenos Aires after third-quarter earnings beat analysts’ forecasts.

Macro advanced 5.6 percent to 10.35 pesos at the close in Buenos Aires, the biggest gain since Oct. 27. The Merval index climbed 1.6 percent.

The lender had profit of 314 million pesos ($73.7 million) in the third quarter, a 17 percent increase from a year earlier and 22 percent higher than the second quarter of 2011, according to a statement posted last night on the website of the Buenos Aires stock exchange. The result was “well ahead of expectations” as loan growth boosts interest margins and fees, Deutsche Bank AG analysts Tito Labarta and Mario Pierry wrote in a note to clients today.

“Banks have been overly punished by investors,” Roberto Drimer, a partner at Buenos Aires-based Vatnet Financial Research, said by telephone. “Now Macro is showing that despite a difficult scenario, it’s a very solid bank.”

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