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10th January 2012

Itaú Unibanco Latin America expansion

Itaú Unibanco is to continue its expansion across Latin America despite a slowdown in Corporate and Investment banking activity. The bank operates in Argentina, Chile, Columbia and Peru in addition to Brazil. The Columbian operation was the most recent to open. The bank comments that with each additional country added there is a cumulative benefit. Specifically when the Columbian operation opened it could immediately start to serve companies in that country that it already had relations with in other countries.


Candido Bracher, chief executive of Itaú BBA, the investment banking subsidiary recently told the Financial Times that Mexico was the next logical target to open in. Itaú BBA was the second largest dealmaker in Brazil last year, behind BTG Pactual. M&A deals in Latin America total value last year was $142bn according to Dealogic. Although down 40% on 2010, the fall is less than in many other regions. The strong economic performance of Brazil does bring the Itau BBA the problem of significantly increased competition from foreign banks establishing subsidiaries in Brazil however.