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Its media arm declares itself “the happiest TV in Brazil”, but Grupo Silvio Santos was far from jolly after the country’s central bank engineered a rescue of its banking unit this week. Banco PanAmericano, a mid-sized lender, needed a R2.5bn (US$1.45bn) emergency loan to cover a giant hole that apparently opened some time ago on its balance sheet.

The case generated temporary panic selling of shares in PanAmericano and similar banks. But it poses neither a threat to the Brazilian financial system nor reveals any general weakness among banks. PanAmericano may, however, be the first of many smaller lenders that have been undermined by providing overly generous credit to poorer consumers in recent years.

Read more at Financial Services Briefing: “A bump in the boom” (November 11th)

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