* Itau rises on better outlook for handling bad loans
* Petrobras falls on debt, dividend cut, cost concerns
* Brazil Bovespa down 0.22 pct, Mexico IPC down 0.18 pct
By Danielle Assalve
SAO PAULO, Feb 5 Brazilian stocks closed
slightly lower on Tuesday after state-oil giant Petrobras cut
its common-share dividend following weak results.
Mexico's IPC index fell for the third session in
four, while Chile's bourse was up just under half a
Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index ended the day
down 0.22 percent at 54,444.97 points.
Petrobras' worst annual result in eight years prompted it to
cut its common-share dividend on Tuesday as it seeks to preserve
cash to maintain investments as fuel and refining losses mount.
Common shares in the company fell 8.29 percent -
their biggest daily drop since June of last year - to their
lowest level since December 2005, while shares in competitor OGX
dropped 6.22 percent, driving losses in the index.
Preferred Petrobras shares rose, however, adding
"This shows a inability to actually get the company to
deliver and distribute dividend income", said analysts at XP
Investimentos in a report.
Tempering losses, shares of Itaú Unibanco Holding SA
, Brazil's second-biggest lender, rose more than 2
percent after the company reported a fall in loan delinquencies
on Tuesday and released a better-than-expected outlook for
bad-loan provisions for 2013.
Mexico's IPC index fell 0.18 percent to 45,688.12, as
shares of telecommunications firm America Movil,
controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim, dropped 1.98 percent.
Chile's IPSA index was up 0.42 percent at 4,581.02
points, as a 1.74 percent loss by retailer Cencosud
offset a 3.05 percent gain in rival Falabella.
Latin America's key stock indexes at 2150 GMT:
Stock indexes % change
MSCI LatAm 3,937.01 -0.03
Brazil Bovespa 59,444.97 -0.22
Mexico IPC 45,688.12 -0.18
Chile IPSA 4,581.02 0.42
Chile IGPA 22,277.48 0.39
Argentina MerVal 3,357.90 -2.06
Colombia IGBC 15,194.72 0.39
Peru IGRA 21,730.15 0.41
Venezuela IBC 541,758.75 9.64