Banco Bradesco S.A. (Bradesco), Brazil's largest private bank with R$341 billion (US$192 billion) at yearend 2007, operates over 3,000 branches in the country. The bank also has branches in New York, Grand Cayman Island, Nassau and Argentina. It focuses on providing consumer and commercial loans, as well as leasing services to its broad customer base. Banco Bradesco also offers internet banking, insurance, pension planning, and credit card services to its clients. Bradesco s long-term credit ratings are BBB- by Fitch (upgraded from BB in May 2007), BBB- by Standard & Poor's, and Baa3 by Moody's.

Business and Financials

The strategic focus of Banco Bradesco has been to consolidate its position as the leading private full-service financial institution in Brazil, increase profitability, grow its credit portfolio, and generate high returns. The company plans to accomplish these goals through continued strategic alliances and acquisitions, strengthening its traditional operations, and expanding into new operations. Bradesco is adding to its business model with a major insurance subsidiary. The company expects this to increase profitability, while enhancing its position in the insurance sector.

Bradesco completed the R$80 million cash acquisition of Banco Morado's consumer financing business, which has 1.1 million customers and 33 branches. In July 2005, Bradesco entered into a partnership with Uni o de Lojas Leader, a retailer mainly operating in the states of Rio de Janeiro and Esp rito Santo, for the management of Leadercard, one of the five largest private label credit card companies in Brazil. In August 2005, the company announced an agreement with Lojas Colombo, the third largest home appliances and furniture retailer in the country, for the start-up of a Financing Company, which will have Colombo's clients portfolio as its focus. Additionally, Banco Bradesco will continue to invest in technology to operate more efficiently than its peers and focus on organic growth.

Trends and Forces

Acquisitions and Expansions

Bradesco entered an exclusive three-year operating agreement with Casas Bahia, a leading Brazilian retailer. The bank will finance consumer credit transactions and offer financial products for Casas Bahia's 10 million customers. Other private label partnership agreements with major retailers include those with Cooperativa de Consumo (COOP), Latin America's largest consumer cooperative, announced in July 2006 and Gbarbosa, Brazil's fifth largest retail chain located in the Northeast region, announced in June 2006. In January 2005, Bradesco reached another important agreement with a Brazilian medium-sized bank, called Banco Panamericano. According to this agreement, Bradesco will have the exclusive right to provide private credit to retired people through Banco Panamericano. Additionally, Bradesco has reached three other agreements with local, small- and medium-sized banks (Banco Cruzeiro do Sul, Banco Bonsucesso, and Banco BMC), strengthening its position in the fast growing Brazilian credit business.

With incomes rising all over Brazil, Banco Bradesco SA (ADR: BBD), the country’s largest private bank, plans to add 350 new offices throughout the country in the next year and a half. As of now, the bank has 3,160 branches, 21% fewer than Brazil’s largest bank, state-owned Banco do Brasil SA.

Safe from US woes

Brazil is far enough removed from the sagging U.S. economy because South America as a whole has strong energy, mining, financial and agriculture industries, making them less reliant on U.S. imports. Banco Bradesco’s mortgage lending nearly doubled between 2006 and 2007, from $1.32 billion (2.12 billion reals) to $2.5 billion (4.09 billion reals), and and the bank expects $3.7 billion (6 billion reals) in mortgages this year.


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