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The majority of data and analysis at Financial Services Briefing is available only to subscribers. Each week, a small share of content from the service is made available to non-subscribers.

A government-sponsored survey in Brazil has generated debate about the country’s efforts to broaden access to banking services. The nationwide poll, conducted by the Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada, a foundation that advises the government on development policy, suggests that Brazilians are otherwise happy with their banks, although there is a gap between the services on offer and those that bank customers would like to receive.

Bank exclusion is an important issue in Brazil. Some 53m Brazilian adults do not have a bank account. Although high, the ranks of the unbanked are much smaller than they were ten years ago, thanks to more workers joining the formal job market. According to the Brazilian Federation of Banks, the number of bank accounts more than doubled over the past decade, reaching 134m at the end of 2009. Reflecting in part the success of policies to promote social inclusion under president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, more than 20% of those surveyed by IPEA said that they opened a bank account within the past five years.

Read more at Financial Services Briefing: “Accounts for all” (January 18th)


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The majority of data and analysis at Financial Services Briefing is available only to subscribers. Each week, a small share of content from the service is made available to non-subscribers.

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)

The majority of data and analysis at Financial Services Briefing is available only to subscribers. Each week, a small share of content from the service is made available to non-subscribers.

Investors from all over the world are looking for ways to buy into Brazil’s robust economy. But are Brazilians interested in gaining more exposure to global markets? The São Paulo stock exchange thinks so.

In early October, the bourse launched a range of unsponsored Brazilian Depositary Receipts, or BDRs, which enable local investors to buy shares from the likes of McDonald’s, Google or Apple without exchanging their reais for dollars.

The new product is being marketed as a diversification tool, giving investors a new way to hedge their exposure to the Brazilian economy and currency. Deutsche Bank, which will issue the first batch of unsponsored BDRs, claims that Brazil could soon overtake Mexico as the largest market for depositary receipts in Latin America.

Read more at Financial Services Briefing: “Outward bound” (October 15th)

The majority of data and analysis at Financial Services Briefing is available only to subscribers. Each week, a small share of content from the service is made available to non-subscribers.

After more than a year and a half of talks, the major securities exchanges in Chile, Colombia and Peru are ready to form themselves into a single, unified market. The new market will be the second largest equity platform in Latin America, ahead of Mexico’s Bolsa Mexicana de Valores and behind Brazil’s Bovespa.

The timing is right. As rich-country markets falter on a slower-than-expected rebound from the economic crisis, investors are looking to fast-growing emerging markets for better returns. Although this new crossborder Andean equity market still does not hold a candle to Brazil, it does give investors a larger target in the region, as well as the simultaneous opportunity to get exposure to three Latin American economies that look very strong coming out of the 2009 recession.

Read more at Financial Services Briefing: “Andean tie-up” (October 5th)

The majority of data and analysis at Financial Services Briefing is available only to subscribers. Each week, a small share of content from the service is made available to non-subscribers.

On its face the deal is not particularly appealing, but it has still emerged as the world’s biggest share offering of all time. Petrobras, Brazil’s oil giant, has located lots of oil and gas, but the reserves are hundreds of kilometres offshore and several kilometres under the ocean and a thick cap of geological salt. The company needs hundreds of billions of dollars in investment funds and will run cash shortfalls for years. Worst of all, the government insists on keeping a controlling stake and is not even paying cash for its shares.

Nevertheless, the positive aspects of the deal have won out, for now, as Petrobras priced a giant rights issue on September 23rd.

Read more at Financial Services Briefing: “Petrobras engineers a gusher” (September 24th)

The majority of data and analysis at Financial Services Briefing is available only to subscribers. Each week, a small share of content from the service is made available to non-subscribers.

In search of higher returns, investors are boosting their bets on private equity in Brazil.

In a recent survey of investors, Brazil took the top spot as the emerging market where the most new private equity money will flow this year. In addition to foreign firms, the country’s fast-growing private pension funds are also getting in on the act, having recently been granted more scope to invest in riskier assets.

The country’s attractive economic growth story is given additional lustre by the large investments the country will make to revamp its infrastructure ahead of the football World Cup in 2014 and the Summer Olympics two years later. International investors are also keen on taking part in the exploitation of huge new oil and gas discoveries.

Read more at Financial Services Briefing: “Southern charm” (April 21st)

The majority of data and analysis at Financial Services Briefing is available only to subscribers. Each week, a small share of content from the service is made available to non-subscribers.

On Wednesday, investors gave a vote of confidence to the IPO market, at least in Brazil. Spanish banking giant Santander raised R14.1bn (US$8.1bn) by selling a stake in its Brazilian unit. It was the biggest listing in the country’s history and the largest in the world since March 2008.

Investors are making an expensive, somewhat risky bet on Santander’s ability to integrate and expand the disparate elements of its Brazilian presence. They are also wagering on the durability of recovery in Latin America’s largest country.

Read more at Financial Services Briefing: “Big bets on Santander offering” (October 7th)

Brazilian IPOs

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