The 2014 Latin America Research Team: Technology, Media & Telecommunications, No. 3: Maurício Fernandes, Rodrigo Villanueva & team
Maurício Fernandes, Rodrigo Villanueva & team Bank of America Merrill Lynch First-place appearances: 8
Total appearances: 25
Team debut: 1994 Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s troupe directed by Maurício Fernandes in São Paulo and Mexico City–based Rodrigo Villanueva slips one position on this list to No. 3. The team monitors 12 regional technology, media and telecommunications shares and see challenges ahead for the group. “The telco and media sector in Latin America is already relatively mature, leading to a limited growth outlook,” explains Fernandes. “Also, shorter technology cycles, the need to differentiate and regulatory scrutiny should maintain capital expenditure intensity above historical levels in the foreseeable future, putting pressure on investment returns.” Even so, the analysts see a possible bright spot. “Consolidation opportunities might create an outlook of potentially higher investment returns,” he says. In February they raised their rating on Chile’s largest telecommunications company, Empresa Nacional de Telecomunicaciones, better known as Entel, from neutral to buy, believing that concerns related to an uncertain macroeconomic environment and the company’s August 2013 acquisition of mobile operator Nextel del Perú were overstated. They reiterated the call in June, and by late July the shares had jumped 16 percent since their upgrade, to 6,999.90 Chilean pesos.