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BR Insurance Advances as BTG Pactual Says Buy: Sao Paulo Mover

Brasil Insurance Participacoes e Administracao SA gained to the highest level in two weeks after Banco BTG Pactual said the company was its top pick in the industry and recommended clients buy the stock.

Shares in the company, which writes policies for marine transportation as well as automobiles and health as Brazil’s fourth-biggest insurer, climbed 1.5 percent to 20 reais at 11:51 a.m in Sao Paulo, and earlier rose 3.1 percent to the highest intraday level since March 5.

“Although we are positive on the insurance sector, we are less bullish on auto and health,” analysts Marcelo Henriques and Eduardo Rosman wrote in a report to clients today. BR Insurance “is the best vehicle to play the Brazilian insurance space” at this point, they wrote.

BR Insurance has made three acquisitions since the beginning of this year totaling 19.55 million reais ($10.8 million), according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Shares gained 16 percent this year through March 16.

BTG initiated coverage of Porto Seguro SA, which sells auto insurance, and Sul America SA, a health insurer, with neutral recommendations. Porto Seguro lost 0.5 percent to 20.69 reais, extending its decline after losing 2.3 percent this year through last week. Sul America rose 0.01 percent to 17.34 reais. It had gained 15 percent this year.

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