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Anhanguera Falls as Brazil Criticizes Courses: Sao Paulo Mover

Anhanguera Educacional Participacoes SA, Brazil’s second-largest education company by market value, fell after the government said it may bar students from enrolling in courses it determined to be low performing.

Shares fell 2.5 percent to 34.50 reais at the close of trading in Sao Paulo, the steepest decline since Dec. 3. Competitor Estacio Participacoes SA lost 1.2 percent to 40 reais and Kroton Educacional SA rose 0.2 percent to 46.50 reais after earlier falling as much as 2.9 percent. The Bovespa Small Cap index rose 0.4 percent.

Brazil’s Ministry of Education released today a list of 672 courses it deemed “unsatisfying” and ordered administrators to improve the quality within six months or stop offering them. Universities that offer those courses, including Anhanguera, Estacio and Kroton, had to sign documents committing to improve the level of education, and students can’t get loans for the ones on the government list of poor performers.

Anhanguera said in an e-mailed statement that “the courses mentioned in that list are concentrated in institutions that were recently acquired by the company, therefore, reflect previous management results.” Anhanguera acquired 12 institutions between December 2010 and September 2011 and had 18 courses included in the government list.

Kroton, which had three courses in the list, said in an e-mailed statement that it “is making efforts to improve results.” Estacio’s press office didn’t respond to a phone call seeking comment.

Anhanguera has jumped 72 percent this year while the Bovespa Small Cap index gained 27 percent in that same period.

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