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Bahamas I Bardados I Bermuda I Dominician Republic I Jamaica I Trinidad & Tobago I Costa Rica I El Salvador I Guatemala I Honduras I Nicaragua I Panama I Argentina I Bolivia I Brazil I Chile I Colombia I Ecuador I Mexico I Paraguay I Peru I Uruguay I Venezuela

BEST BANK: Banco Itaú
BEST DEBT HOUSE: Merrill Lynch
BEST M&A HOUSE: Goldman Sachs

Brazil is Latin America’s toughest, yet arguably most important market. Corporates are becoming more capital-hungry and more sophisticated in their strategies, and improving macroeconomic conditions have enhanced consumer purchasing power. Brazil is witnessing credit expansion, which, according to Moody’s, has proceeded at vigorous rates of 20% a year for the past two years. Banks are therefore channelling more of their energies towards lending, especially to consumers, rather than investing in government securities.

What makes Brazil different is that it is the only big market in the region where local banks are as competitive as the foreign institutions. The country’s best banks are as strong as any in Latin America and standing still is not an option for any of them.

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