** Swiss bank Union Bancaire Privee (UBP) avoids Brazil-exposed European stocks in the run-up to Brazil’s election, arguing that the economic outlook for Brazil remains weak regardless of who wins the vote.
** Brazil President Dilma Rousseff and pro-business challenger Aecio Neves are running neck-and-neck ahead of a runoff election on Oct. 26, a poll showed on Monday.
** Scott Meech, co-head of European equities at UBP, says the company has avoided the likes of energy group BG and French supermarket retailer Casino, which both have major business ties to Brazil.
** Casino is the largest private sector employer in Brazil, according to Casino’s website, while BG also has major operations in the Brazilian region. BG and Casino shares are down nearly 15 pct over the last month.
** Brazil’s financial markets have been volatile throughout the election campaign, rallying when polls showed Rousseff weaker and falling when she gained ground, as many investors look for an end to what they call excessive state intervention in an economy that slipped into recession this year.
** “We feel somewhat cautious on the economic outlook for Brazil where the data has been weak for some time,” said Meech.
** “Other factors that are a concern include falling oil and iron ore prices which are important for the economy and the corporate sector is relatively indebted when compared to Europe. Subsequently we have tried to avoid exposure to European companies that have significant Brazilian earnings,” he added. (RM://email@example.com)