AmBev Drops With Brazilian Consumer Stocks on Rate Outlook

Cia. de Bebidas das Americas, the Brazilian unit of Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, fell to a four-week low on concern that rising interest rates will curb spending on beer and other alcoholic beverages.

Non-voting shares of AmBev, as the company is also known, lost 1.3 percent to 81.69 reais at the close of trading in Sao Paulo, the lowest since July 29. The MSCI Brazil/Consumer Staples index sank 1.3 percent.

Economists covering Brazil expect policy makers to raise the country’s benchmark interest rate to 9.50 percent by the end of this year, based on a weekly central bank survey released today. That compares with a year-end forecast of 9.25 percent the previous week.

“Stocks of companies that depend on internal demand are suffering because of the prospects of interest-rate increases,” Felipe Rocha, an analyst at brokerage firm Omar Camargo, said by phone from Curitiba, Brazil. “The raise will affect the country’s growth and these companies’ revenue through next year.”

Brazilian policy makers meet on Aug. 28 and 29 to set the benchmark Selic rate, which is at 8.5 percent currently.