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Banking: BBVA plans new Brazil platform

Spanish bank BBVA has announced plans to open a new platform in Brazil, following the sale of its 5.01% stake in Banco Bradesco.

BBVA booked a gain of €740 million for the stake in Bradesco it took on in 2003. These new funds are now earmarked for investment in the new business in Brazil. BBVA has declined to comment further on the details but market rumours suggest it will focus on specialized trade financing rather than try to roll out a new retail or complete investment banking platform in Brazil’s already highly competitive market.

A New York banker says: "BBVA is not even a relevant commercial bank in Brazil and so it is unlikely it will try to build an investment banking franchise around a strong lending capacity like [local investment banks] Itaú BBA and Bradesco BBI are trying to. I guess unless they are prepared to make a bold move and hire an existing team of bankers, research analysts, equity sales people and so on it’s going to be a long old road to the top for them."

Carmen Munoz, senior director at Fitch Ratings, thinks the new operation will be specialized.

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