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Two leading Brazilian banks join to expand operations in Africa

Wednesday, August 11th 2010 - 06:07 UTC
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Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega

Two leading Brazilian banks have agreed to acquire stakes in BES Africa, a holding company belonging to Portugal’s biggest publicly traded bank that makes investments in Africa.

Banco Espirito Santo said that Banco do Brasil and Bradesco are entering a partnership with its African holding company to acquire stakes in financial institutions based in Africa, according to a regulatory filing.

“It’s very positive to have Brazilian banks operating abroad, not only to expand their businesses but also to help Brazilian citizens that work in other countries and companies that have operations abroad” Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega said in Sao Paulo at a news conference to announce the African partnership.

Banco do Brasil, Latin America’s biggest bank by assets, raised 9.76 billion Reais (5.54 billion US dollars) in July in a stock offering to expand abroad and increase lending. The Brasilia- based bank in April made its first international acquisition, paying 480 million US dollars for a controlling stake in Banco Patagonia SA, Argentina’s third-largest bank by market value, joining competitors Bradesco and Itau-Unibanco to expand abroad.

Banco do Brasil is considering acquisitions in the US and has identified a few possible names, Aldemir Bendine, the bank’s president, said at the news conference. He didn’t provide further details.

Bradesco, Brazil’s second-biggest lender by market value, said in April it would hire 40 people for its asset-management division to expand in Latin America, Europe, the US and Japan.

BRAM, as Bradesco’s asset management unit is known, said one- third of the new hires would work outside Brazil to sell Brazilian-asset funds and lure capital to local markets.

The banks will complete in 60 to 90 days studies of their venture in Africa with BES, Bendine said.

Categories: Economy, Brazil.

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