Both Standard Chartered Bank from the UK and US-based microfinance group Acción International have received required approvals from Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to start operations in the country.
In September, the national monetary council (CMN) said it had recommended approval for Standard Chartered and its plans for an investment bank in the country. The bank will have 100mn reais (US$58.4mn) in initial capital, CMN said at that time.
While Lula gave Standard Chartered the right to hold 100% ownership of its local subsidiary, Acción International will be allowed to hold 99% of its Brazilian operations of Acción Gateway Fund.
The fund is the group's instrument for investing in its partner institutions. The fund currently holds shares in microfinance institutions in Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela.