stocks ended the first quarter of 2012 strongly on Friday with
Brazil's Bovespa and Chile's IPSA posting their sharpest
quarterly gains since September 2010.
With fears of a European debt crisis easing and a slowly
improving economy in the United States, Brazil's Bovespa stock
index advanced 13.6 percent this quarter to 64,510.97.
Chile's IPSA stock index climbed 11.8 percent.
The Bovespa is likely to reach an all time high of 75,000
points by year end and Mexico's IPC stock index, which
logged a 6.5 percent gain this quarter, is expected to jump 13
percent from the 2011 close, according to a recent Reuters poll.
"There is abundant liquidity and interest rates are very
low. This is an attractive sign for the market," said Luciana
Pazos, wealth management chief at Mirae Securities.
Low interest rates in the U.S., Europe and Japan have
helped fuel the rise in riskier assets as investors flock to
higher-yields. The MSCI Latin America index shot
up 13.9 percent this quarter.
Mideast firms face $91bn refinancing needs
Middle East investment grade companies are facing refinancing needs of about $91 billion from bank and bond debt due to mature over the next four years, according to a recent report.