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Brazil's federally controlled banking giant Banco do Brasil (BB) has requested a banking license to operate in Uruguay's market, state news agency Agência Brasil and local media reported.
BB has filed the necessary documentation with Uruguayan central bank BCU and the country's finance ministry.
The move is yet another step in the bank's ambitious international expansion plan. Earlier this year, BB announced the purchase of small bank EuroBank in Florida to enter the US market.
Additionally, Argentina's Banco Patagonia, in which BB has a 51% stake, has asked BCU to turn its Punta del Este-based Financial Institute for Foreigners - Instituto Financiero para Extranjeros (IFE) - into a commercial bank.
The license request could take 3-4 months to process, and BB is set to begin its Uruguayan retail banking operations in 2H11, news agency Mercopress reported.