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The 2014 All-Brazil Research Team: Corporate Debt, No. 1: Ciro Matuo

Ciro Matuo Itaú BBA First-place appearances: 7

Total appearances: 8

Team debut: 2007

Ciro Matuo of Itaú BBA extends his winning streak to a fourth straight year. The 41-year-old debuted in first place on this roster in 2007 and has slipped from that position only once, when he earned the No. 2 position in 2010. Investors hail the researcher for his local expertise. He “provides information with deeper analysis and interpretation” than his competitors, as one money manager insists. General elections will be held in October to select Brazil’s next president, and Matuo, who works out of São Paulo, believes that any monetary and fiscal policy announcements by the new government will affect confidence levels in general and sovereign risk perception. “Besides the implications for the whole corporate curve in Brazil,” he says, “these variables have a direct impact on the pricing of quasisovereign issuances, which are trading at a discount relative to their current average rating levels.” On a comparative basis, he adds, issues from Brazil still offer the best risk-adjusted returns in Latin America. Favorite names include São Paulo–based Marfrig Global Foods and Minerva, the nation’s second- and third-largest beef producers, respectively. Brazil’s animal protein sector has been enjoying a positive outlook in 2014, Matuo says, thanks in part to expectations that a recurrence of an El Niño weather event would result in higher rainfall amounts, to the benefit of pasturing and thus cattle availability. “He’s always able to clarify any details or answer any questions I have,” notes another admirer.

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