Brazil: Portugal’s Caixa Geral de Depósitos starts operating in Brazil in January

5 January 2009

Sao Paulo, Brazil, 5 Jan – Portuguese state bank Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD) is due this month to begin operating in Brazil, with initial capital of 123 million reais (37.98 million euros at the current exchange rate), an official of the bank said Friday.

Rodolfo Lavrador, a member of the CGD board of directors, cited by Brazilian newspaper Volort Económico, said that Banco Caixa Geral Brasil – S.A would be focused on providing support to Portuguese companies.

“Portugal is a mature market. Organic growth is difficult and it makes no sense to buy private banks when you already lead the market,” he said.

“The strategy was thus to grow outside of Portugal and help Portuguese companies that are searching for new markets,” he noted.

Lavrador said that CGD was not planning, as it had in the past, to act as a retail bank as the local market was dominated by large Brazilian banks.

“The Brazilian market is at a stage of concentration and maturity. It wouldn’t be sensible to re-launch our project from 10 years ago and try the retail market again,” he said.

Banco Caixa Geral Brasil will begin its operation in Sao Paulo, with plans to expand its operation to Rio de Janeiro and the northeast of the country, where there are also Portuguese investments.

“Brazil was always a crucial market. It is natural to grow in the country given the historical and cultural affinities and because it is the destination of much Portuguese investment,” he said. «

Authorisation for CGD to start its activities in Brazil was granted by the authorities in February of last year.

CGD currently has a representational office ion Sao Paulo, after having sold, in September 2005, its 12 percent stake in Brazilian bank Unibanco. (macauhub)