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Bovespa is the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange, Brazil's main stock exchange. The exchange's full name is now BM&FBOVESPA, after a 2008 merger of the Brazilian Mercantile & Futures Exchange (BM&F) and the Sao Paulo exchange (Bovespa).

Expanded Definition

Brazil is one of the emerging markets of the early 21st century -- part of the BRIC bloc of Brazil, Russia, India, and China that captures growth investors' attention and money. Bovespa is a leading Latin American exchange.

The Sao Paulo Exchange was founded in 1890. Bovespa is now a subsidiary of a public company, Bovespa Holding, which also owns the Brazilian Clearing and Depository Corp.

There were nearly 400 companies listed on the Bovespa exchange in mid-February 2009, with a total market capitalization of roughly $663 billion, in U.S. dollars.

Foreign investors topped the financial volume in the Bovespa equities market in 2008, accounting for 35.5% of the total volume, according to Bovespa figures. Institutional investors were second, with 27.1%. There were 536,000 individual investor accounts at the end of 2008, up more than 17% over the previous year.

Check out the website http://www.bovespa.com.br/english for more information.

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