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Banking

‘Credito alcool gel’ unblocks Brazil’s deal flow

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In stark contrast to previous periods of crisis, Brazil’s private-sector banks have been growing market share this year as the public banks have retrenched. This should translate to a busy deal pipeline as they look to refinance.

The Octavio Café – a round, birds-nest structure that sold delicious coffees and fruit juices at bankers’ expense-account prices (R$10 ($1.79) for an espresso) – was a long-time regular meeting place for those bankers and their clients up and down São Paulo’s main financial thoroughfare, Faria Lima.

Located just outside HSBC Tower, the café closed its doors during the coronavirus pandemic. The current owners say they won’t be reopening until the virus is contained or beaten by a vaccine.

There was no hint that a lack of credit was behind the decision – rather it was a curve ball thrown into the business plan. But for many other small and medium-sized enterprises, credit availability is worsening the business disruption: many owners believe their business can return when the economy reopens, but credit has been slow to arrive or hasn’t arrived at all.

Take Rodolfo Herrera owner of Dono do Takko, another São Paulo café – this time located in the old financial heart of the city.

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