NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - August 20, 2009) - Latin American equity markets are well on their way to recovering last year's catastrophic losses. MSCI's benchmark emerging-markets Latin America index ended July at 3,232.31, having soared nearly 95 percent (in dollar terms) since bottoming out last fall.

To keep up with surging investor interest, many firms have been beefing up their coverage of the region. Researchers at J.P. Morgan now track 160 stocks, 25 more than last year.

"This is a bigger, broader franchise today than it was 12 months ago," says Ben Laidler, J.P. Morgan's head of Latin American equity research in New York. "We have been building out in the region to get closer to companies and local clients."

J.P. Morgan leads the 2009 Latin America Research Team, Institutional Investor's 17th annual ranking of the region's top equity analysts as determined by the world's leading money managers, vaulting all the way from fifth place. The firm captures 15 total team positions, nearly twice as many as the eight it won last year and one more than last year's top-ranked firm, Credit Suisse, which slips to second place.

Holding steady in third place is Banc of America Securities-Merrill Lynch, with 13 positions -- one more than last year. Santander and UBS Pactual tie for fourth, with 11 positions each. The Spanish bank, which was ranked No. 4 last year as well, picks up two team positions. UBS Pactual tumbles from second place, having lost six total team positions. (In April the Swiss bank announced that it would sell its Brazilian financial services operations to São Paulo-based BTG Investments; the $2.48 billion deal is expected to close later this year.)

The analysts who provide the best insights into Brazil's booming stock market can be found at UBS Pactual, according to the 2009 All-Brazil Research Team, Institutional Investor's sixth annual ranking of the nation's leading equity analysts -- also released today. The UBS Pactual team is in first place for a fourth year running; the firm captures 11 total team positions, down from 13 last year.

Full results of both rankings can be found on our Web site,

Contact Information: Contact: Alyssa Walker 212-224-3677