A few years ago the phrase Latin lover might have conjured images of Antonio Banderas but not today. Nope, today it brings to mind Wall Street traders who love to make money from the explosive growth happening south of the border.
"The surprise in terms of growth in emerging markets this year is actually Latin America," said Joyce Chang, JPMorgan's head of emerging markets strategy, during a recent conference organized by asset management firm Ashmore Investment Management Ltd in New York.
For the 12 months ending March 2008 Latin America was the best performing region among the emerging markets.
Latin America has typically followed the United States into recession in the past, but this time even the International Monetary Fund estimates the region will grow 4.4 percent this year versus a U.S. economic growth forecast of 0.5 percent.
And the best play in the space may be Brazil according to Will Landers, manager of the BlackRock Latin America fund.
“Brazil is probably one of the best emerging markets in terms of corporate governance and valuations,” says Landers on Fast Money, “and the fundamentals are great, too.”
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Landers also believes the newly emerging middle class gives Brazil almost unlimited potential.
“When you look at Brazil you can invest in commodities, financials, tech and even housing,” he says.
If you’re looking for a trade Landers likes the the Brazil ETF, or if you want to play individual stocks he recommends Petrobras , Vale , Banco Bradesco and Companhia de Bebidas das Americas .
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Trader disclosure: On Aug 20, 2008, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Macke Owns (MSFT), (WMT); Adami Owns (AGU), (BTU), (C), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT), (NUE); Najarian Owns (MS), Najarian Owns (AAPL) And Is Short (AAPL) Call, Najarian Owns (ANR) And Is Short (ANR) Call, Najarian Owns (JOYG) Call Spread, Najarian Owns (LEH) Put Spread, Najarian Owns (NOK) And Is Short (NOK) Calls, Najarian Owns (XLY) Puts
Terranova Owns (AAPL), (BNI), (CME), (EOG), (FCX), (GS), (GOOG), (INTC), (KOL), (NOV), (POT), (RIMM), (SA), (XLF), (SU), (X), (VLO), (YHOO); Terranova Owns (AIG) Puts; Terranova Is Short Crude Oil Time Spread (Short Dec. 2009, Long Dec. 2012); Terranova Is Long Crude Oil Futures (Dec. 2012)
Terranova Is Chief Alternatives Strategist Of Phoenix Investment Partners, Ltd.; Phoenix Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (ABD), (ARE), (BRE), (CNTY), (CLB), (OFC), (DLR), (ESS), (EXR), (FL), (IAT), (IGE), (LNET), (MAC), (OIIM), (PSPT), (DBC), (DBV), (SLB), (SKT), (BLV)
Terranova Is Co-Portfolio Manager Of The Phoenix Diversifier PHOLIO; Phoenix Diversifier PHOLIO Owns (IGE), (DBC), (DBV)
Landers Owns BlackRock Latin America Fund; BlackRock Owns Approx. 1% Of (PBR), (RIO), (BBD), (ITU), (UBB), (ABV); BlackRock Latin America Fund Owns (PBR), (BBD), (ITU), (UBB), (ABV); BlackRock Latin America Fund Owns 2% Of (RIO)