Latin American Markets Mostly Lower; Brazil's Ibovespa Index Slides Despite New Round of Deal-Making

By Staff,

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Latin American markets are mostly lower today, with Mexico's IPC index the lone winner among the regional market gauges.

Here's where the regional markets stand today:

- Ibovespa was down 323.79. Now down 287.45 (-0.3%) to 51,331.2.

- IPC (Mexico City) up 395.7 (+1%) to 40,628.4.

- Santiago Index IPSA down 49.8 (-1.2%) to 4,069.45.

- Merval Buenos Aires down 44.9 (-1.3%) to 3,404.8.

The Ibovespa index tracking Brazilian stocks is down for the third day in four - albeit paring some losses, which come despite an 8.6% rise today for Marfrig Alimentos SA (MRFG3.SA), with shares of the meat processor soaring on reports the company is close to selling its Seara Brasil poultry unit to larger rival JBS SA.

The transaction could be worth as much as $3 bln in cash and assumed debt, a source close to the negotiations told Reuters late yesterday. The deal is seen benefitting both firms, helping MRFG3.SA reduce a $6.1 billion debt burden built up during a recent acquisition spree of smaller rivals while JBSS3.SA - Brazil's largest beef processor - further expanding its poultry and pork operations.

JBSS3.SA shares are down 6.7% this afternoon.

IN ADR news, Reuters also is reporting today that six "high-level sources" inside and outside of the company are saying Brazil's state-owned energy company Petrobras ( PBR ) is looking to exit Peru, continuing its efforts to shed its foreign assets so it can better focus on its operations.

The sources did not say how much PBR is looking to fetch from the sale of its two natural-gas fields in Peru although the company previously has said it expects to net about $9 bln from its global asset sales.

U.S.-listed PBR shares are now down about 0.4% at near $16.50 apiece, giving back a small rise as high as $16.74 earlier today.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2014 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing Commodities
Referenced Stocks: PBR

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