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Gafisa Leads Ibovespa Gain as Split Into Two Companies Weighed

Brazilian homebuilder Gafisa SA rallied after saying it may divide into two separately traded companies and replaced its chief executive officer.

The shares advanced 5.3 percent to 3.17 reais at 1:38 p.m. in Sao Paulo, the highest on a closing basis since Jan. 28. Gafisa was the best performer on the benchmark Ibovespa stock index, which climbed 0.1 percent.

The possible listing of Construtora Tenda SA, Gafisa’s subsidiary that focuses on low-income projects, and the replacement of CEO Alceu Duilio Calciolari by executive director Sandro Gamba, announced today, is “positive” for the company, Eduardo Silveira, an analyst at BES Securities in Sao Paulo, wrote in a research note to clients.

“The most important news is the change in Gafisa’s top management,” Silveira wrote. “Gafisa is entering a new phase after a turnaround strategy started in 2011.”

Gafisa has been shifting its focus to building more expensive homes with higher profit margins and selling assets to trim debt. The homebuilder’s adjusted net loss narrowed to 124.5 million reais ($52.2 million) in 2012 from 1.1 billion reais in 2011. The loss shrank to 9.4 million reais last year, according to the average estimate of 11 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

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