Brazil’s Itaú Bank profits rise by 39 pct in 2005 to 2.06 billion euros

22 February 2006

Sao Paulo, Brazil, 22 Feb – The profits of Brazilian bank, Banco Itaú, which has a stake in Portuguese bank BPI, increased 39 percent in 2005, to 2.06 billion euros, Brazil’s second largest private institutions said Wednesday.

Itaú has been supporting banking operations and financing to Brazilian businesspeople and companies in Angola, through BPI.

The bank’s profits were boosted by high interest rates and an increase in loans, the bank said in a statement. Brazil’s interest rates are some of the highest in the world and currently stand at 17.5 percent per year.

Loans provided by Itaú totaled 26.8 million euros, an increase of 27.2 percent in comparison with 2004.

In December, Banco Itaú’s assets totaled 60 billion euros, a 16 percent increase against December 2004.

Banco Itaú, through its holding Itaúsa Portugal, controls Itaú Europa, a Portuguese bank set up in October 1994 which has no retail activities or branches open to the public.

Itaúsa Portugal has a 16 percent stake in Banco Português de Investimento (BPI). (macauhub)