Bank of Brazil’s Net Income Up 46% to About US$ 3 Billion

A Banco do Brasil branch in Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil State-owned Banco do Brasil (BB), Brazil's biggest bank, and the largest by assets in all of Latin America, recorded net income of 6.044 billion reais (US$ 2.859) in 2006, an increase of 45.5% compared to the previous year.

According to Bank of Brazil, the result was mainly due to the growth of the loan portfolio, which surpassed the performance of the Brazilian banking system, and to the increase of 16.2% in service fees while administrative expenses grew only 4.6%.

The results correspond to a Return on Equity of 32.1% and earnings per share of 7.32 reais (US$ 3.46). In the fourth quarter of 2006 net profit was 1.2 billion reais (US$ 568 million), 69.4% higher than last year's 4th quarter..

In the year, Banco do Brasil distributed 2.4 billion reais (US$  1.13 billion) to shareholders – R$ 1 billion as Dividends and R$ 1.4 billion as Interest on Shareholders' Equity.

Also in 2006, Banco do Brasil was admitted into Bovespa's Novo Mercado, a segment for companies that adopt differentiated corporate governance practices, and celebrated 100 years of trading on stock exchanges. BB's shares appreciated 65.8% in 2006, while Ibovespa appreciated 32.9% (year basis).

Banco do Brasil's loan portfolio reached 133.2 billion reais (US$ 62.87 billion), a growth of 30.8% compared to 2005. The domestic loans portfolio grew 30.6% in the year, while the Brazilian banking industry increased 20.8%.

Loans to individuals backed by free funds increased 35.8%, 10.6 basis points higher than the Brazilian banking industry. Loans to businesses grew 34.8% in the period, and agribusiness loans increased 26.2%.

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