Roger Downey & team Credit Suisse
second team Felipe Hirai & team BofAMerrill Lynch
third team Edmo Chagas & team UBS Pactual
Roger Downey pilots the Credit Suisse trio to the top spot for a third year running. The 42-year-old São Paulobased analyst has worked in the mining industry and has a great network of contacts, according to one client. The team downgraded the ADRs of Brazil-based Vale (formerly Cía. Vale do Rio Doce), the worlds largest iron-ore producer, to neutral in February, at $16.97, on declining worldwide production of steel. The ADRs have seesawed ever since, ending July at $19.73 a gain of 16.3 percent that underperformed the sector by 16.7 percentage points, in dollar terms.
The BofA-Merrill foursome guided by Felipe Hirai rises one rung to second place. Hirai, who also co-leads the No. 3 team in Agribusiness, wins praise from clients for his critical global view and longer-focused models for where stocks should be trading. In December the team highlighted its buy on the ADRs of Cía. de Minas Buenaventura, a Peru-based precious metals mining company, as a good defensive play because gold offered a much lower downside risk than other metals, explains Hirai, who is based in New York. The ADRs skyrocketed 77 percent, from $14.72 to $26.05, through July.
Down a notch to third place is the UBS Pactual duo led by Edmo Chagas, who also helms the No. 2 team in Pulp & Paper. The Rio de Janeirobased Chagas is strong in every department, observes one investor. In December the team reiterated its strong buy recommendation on MMX Mineração e Metálicos, calling the Brazil-based mining company an attractive acquisition target. In May Chinese conglomerate Wuhan Iron and Steel Co. agreed to buy a minority stake, and by late July MMX shares had zoomed 141.7 percent since the upgrade.
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