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Best Managed Companies in Latin America 2012: Local management key to international expansion

Expansion in the region to take advantage of rapid economic growth and the opening of operations elsewhere in the world are core themes among Latin America’s best-managed companies.

Latin America’s best-managed companies are making healthy profits and are on the acquisition trail in the region and globally. For the seventh year, Euromoney has produced a Latin American company ranking based on a survey of market analysts at the main banks and research institutes in Latin America. Respondents were asked to nominate the top-three companies in each of the countries or sectors they covered, bearing in mind market strength, profitability, growth potential, quality of management and earnings. This year’s overall best-managed company was AmBev, the Brazilian food and drinks company. Itaú Unibanco, the Brazilian bank, and Vale, a Brazilian metals and mining group, achieved joint second place. Last year, Vale was also ranked in second place and Itaú Unibanco took the fourth spot.

This year Ecopetrol, a Colombian oil and gas group, was ranked number four and Bancolombia, a Colombian bank, was placed number five.

"A lot of Latin American companies are expanding in the region," says David Bojanini, chief executive of Grupo de Inversiones Suramericana (Sura), the Colombian holding company strong in banking and financial services (it owns Bancolombia) that is ranked in overall joint ninth place, along with LAN, a Chilean airline operator, and Ultrapar, a Brazilian conglomerate.

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