Mexico Stocks Upgraded To Overweight, As Chile Cut - Citi

Date : 02/08/2010 @ 10:45AM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Ambev S.A. American Depositary Shares (Each Representing 1 Common Share) (ABEV)
Quote : 6.86  0.1 (1.48%) @ 4:25PM

Mexico Stocks Upgraded To Overweight, As Chile Cut - Citi

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Citigroup Inc. upgraded its rating on Mexico's equity market to overweight and cut Chile's stocks to underweight in its latest Latin America strategy report.

Analysts see attractive valuations in Mexico and expect the country to benefit from a U.S. economic recovery, a low-beta peso and delayed rate hikes until September. Moreover, retirement funds administrators are seen stepping into the market at key support levels.

Citigroup's year-end target for the Mexican Bolsa is unchanged at 35,000. Friday, the benchmark IPC index of leading issues closed at 30,630.73. The bank's top stock picks are Latin America's largest mobile operator America Movil SAB (AMX), retailer Oranizacion Soriana SAB (SORIANA.MX), beverage bottler Coca-Cola Femsa SAB (KOF, KOF.MX), home builder Corporacion Geo SAB (CVGFY, GEO.MX), mining conglomerate Grupo Mexico SAB (GMEXICO.MX), manufacturing and telecommunications conglomerate Alfa SAB (ALFA.MX) and microfinance bank Banco Compartamos SA (COMPART.MX).

Mexico is in position to outeprform Chile, which Citigroup says has outperformed the region 16% since late November. As a result, the bank cut its rating on Chile to underweight and dropped Chilean pulp and paper manufacturer CMPC (CMPC.SN) from its focus list.

While Brazil is one of the most expensive markets now, along with Peru, "it is too late to sell Brazil," according to the analysts. Citigroup kept its rating on the country' stocks at overweight and added brewer AmBev (ABV) to its focus list, while dropping fuel and petrochemicals company Ultrapar Participacoes (UGP) and telecommunications holding company Telemar Norte Leste SA (TMAR5.BR) from the list.

Across Latin America, the most attractive sector versus historical performance is consumer discretionary. Industrials, financials and consumer staples are the most expensive, said Citigroup.

"We do not believe emerging markets or Latin American equities are in bubble territory," analysts wrote in the research report.

-By Riva Froymovich, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2217;


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