January 14, 2014 / 11:07 PM / 5 years ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks rise slightly on telecom merger

MEXICO CITY, Jan 14 (Reuters) - Brazilian stocks advanced slightly on Tuesday, helped by telecom shares after Brazil’s competition watchdog approved the merger of Grupo Oi SA and Portugal Telecom SGPS SA with no restrictions.

Brazil’s Bovespa, which dropped in two of the latest three sessions, rose 0.56 percent to 49,703.1 points.

Shares of Grupo Oi SA jumped 4.4 percent. Oi and Portugal Telecom in October announced plans to form a new company with more than 100 million subscribers and almost $19 billion in annual revenue.

“The decision was already expected, but it is always good to have a definition. There’s always some investors willing to buy after it,” said Fabio Gonçalves, an analyst with Banrisul brokerage in Porto Alegre.

Shares of banks contributed most to the Bovespa’s gains on Tuesday, with Itau Unibanco and Banco do Brasil rising 1.49 percent and 3.17 percent respectively.

The Bovespa was one of the world’s worst performing indexes in 2013, a year of disappointing economic growth in Brazil, and is currently trading close to four-month lows.

* Launches of new housing projects by Brazil’s largest homebuilder Cyrela rose 39.8 percent in the fourth quarter from the same period a year before to 1.922 billion reais ($812 million). Its shares rose 3.8 percent on Tuesday.

* Shares of Estacio Participacoes SA rose 3.13 percent after Brazil’s education ministry revoked the licenses of rival college operators Universidade Gama Filho and UniverCidade, both based in Rio de Janeiro.

* Mexico’s IPC stock index rose 0.67 percent to 42,439.79 points, boosted by cement company Cemex and mogul Carlos Slim’s telecoms giant America Movil which rose 3.22 percent and 1.19 percent, respectively.

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