‘Trump of Tropics' Expected to Give Brazil Steelmaker Next Boost

(Bloomberg) -- With extensive operations in the U.S., Brazilian steelmaker Gerdau SA was well positioned to benefit from Donald Trump’s economic policies. Now the company is hoping its home country’s new president, often called “Trump of the Tropics,” will give it an equivalent boost.

“We see a similar scenario” in Brazil, Gerdau Chief Financial Officer Harley Lorentz Scardoelli said Wednesday when asked to compare Trump’s policies with the expectations for Brazil’s President-Elect Jair Bolsonaro’s administration.

“Our expectation is very positive, even for the government’s agenda of adopting structural reforms, which should promote the development of the national economy,” he said on the steelmaker’s third-quarter earnings call.

With about 33 percent of its net sales generated in Brazil, the best-performing of the large domestic steelmakers is hoping Bolsonaro will drive the economic reforms and new investment needed to finally resuscitate the country’s long-suppressed construction industry.

“As in North America, there are also here projections in infrastructure, which should have a positive effect on the markets in which Gerdau operates,” Scardoelli said on the call.

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