FINANCIAL MARKETS: Rubber Checks On the Bourse

Rubber Checks On the Bourse

Among wealthy Brazilians, such pastimes as sunbathing and the samba have been joined lately by stock-market speculation. Since May 1987 the bourse in Rio de Janeiro has jumped almost 400%. Lebanese immigrant Naji Robert Nahas, who alone accounted for nearly half of the market's trades in recent weeks, brought Brazil's bulls to a halt last week after several brokerage houses discovered that $31 million of his checks had bounced on them. To avoid a bearish stampede, the Rio and Sao Paulo markets were forced to close last Monday. When trading resumed the next day, the benchmark I.B.V. index plunged 9% and...

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