Itau creates Spain-focused corporate division

Bnamericas Published: Friday, May 30, 2003
Brazilian bank Itau has created a division to serve Spanish companies doing business in Brazil and Brazilian companies exporting to Spain, local daily Valor Economico reported. Heading the new division is Jose Alfonso Fuentes Hernandez, a member of the board at Spain's third largest bank La Caixa, which owns 3% of Itau, and a member of Itau's credit committee. "I have direct access to La Caixa's top management to solve any problems," Hernandez was quoted as saying. Spanish companies have combined investments of about U$30bn in Brazil, which represents 14% of foreign direct investment in the country, he said. Itau and La Caixa are also partners in Portuguese bank BPI, each with a 15% stake. Itau is Brazil's second largest private bank. Bradesco, the largest private bank in the country, created a Spanish desk early this year following the acquisition of Spanish bank BBVA's local operation, whereby BBVA received a 4.5% stake in Bradesco as part of the payment.

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