Banco do Brasil (Bank of Brazil) is going to officially inaugurate its representation office in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, next Sunday, May 18. The office will be located in Emirates Towers, one of the postcard views of the city.
Several members of the board at the institution will be present at the inauguration. In practice, however, the office had already been operating for some months, supervised by executive Renato Gerundio de Azevedo, who arrived in the country in December 2007.
Azevedo said that there are already new business opportunities for the institution in the areas of foreign trade financing, equities, funds and infrastructure projects in Brazil. According to him, acceptance of Brazil as a scenery for business has been good, especially after the country was rated "investment grade" by Standard & Poor's.
The Bank of Brazil, which has the Brazilian government as its main shareholder, had in the first quarter of this year the greatest profit among Brazilian banks. The organization's net profit reached 2.3 billion Brazilian reais (US$ 1,4 billion), an increase of 66.6% over the period from January to March 2007 and 92.9% in comparison with the last quarter of 2007. Read below the interview with Azevedo:
In the talks we had in February you said that one of the objectives of the office in Dubai was to prospect new business for the bank. Has any promising opportunity arisen? Which?
Yes, business involving trade finance, investment in equities, funds and infrastructure projects, a sector in which the Bank of Brazil is a leader in Brazil.
With regard to the work to support Brazilian companies operating in the region, what has been done up to now?
We made contact with Brazilian companies to collaborate in their trade activities and in necessary investment.
How about the attraction of Arab investors to Brazil? Is there any possibility in sight? Which?
Some interesting conversations have been taking place.
How do you evaluate the interest in Brazil of local investors?
There are investors who already know and invest in Brazil and there are some who do not yet know of the opportunities in our market. Acceptance by investors, by the Bank of Brazil and by Brazil has been good. The recent improvement in the country risk rating collaborates to business prospecting.
Other Brazilian banks, like Itaú, Bradesco and HSBC (which is not Brazilian but has strong operation in the country and in the Emirates), are operating in Dubai. What does the Bank of Brazil offer to be different from the competition?
Each bank has its profile and strategy. The Bank of Brazil presents several strengths, among them being the largest bank in Latin America, being a bank whose main shareholder is the National Treasury, being the oldest bank in Brazil, operating for 200 years, being the leader in the administration of third party resources, through BBDTVM (asset management), having the largest customer base in Brazil (26 million clients), having presented the best share performance in comparison with its peers, and having good investment opportunities in infrastructure in Brazil.
Is there any performance target established for the office?
Banks are focussed on targets and results. However, the BB mission is to be the solution in services and financial intermediation, to fulfill the expectations of clients and shareholders, to strengthen the engagement between employees and the company and to contribute for the development of the country (Brazil).
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