SOURCE: The Bedford Report

The Bedford Report

November 12, 2010 11:25 ET

These Brazilian Banks Continue Posting Significant Gains

The Bedford Report Provides Analyst Research on Banco Itau and Banco Bradesco

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - November 12, 2010) - Investor interest in Brazil has taken off this year. Brazil's economy had a shallow recession and has recovered nicely. Its market has been one of the best performing since Dec. 31, 2008 with both inflation and the budget deficit under control. Indeed, in recent years Brazil reduced its national debt to 40% of GDP and aggressively boosted its foreign reserves. These structural reforms, among others, have helped verify the country's solid economic foundation. The Bedford Report examines investing opportunities in Brazil and provides research reports on Itau Unibanco Banco Holding SA (NYSE: ITUB) and Banco Bradesco SA (NYSE: BBD). Access to the full company reports can be found at:

www.bedfordreport.com/2010-11-ITUB

www.bedfordreport.com/2010-11-BBD

Brazil has a rapidly growing middle class, which is significantly assisting the nation's growth. Recent statistics showed that about half of Brazil's 200 million population is now considered "middle class" and that credit card purchases have jumped by 22% a year over the past decade. Auto sales hit a record high of 300,000 in June 2009. Brazil's banking stocks are certainly cashing in the growth with many private banks posting double digit gains in their loan portfolios this past year.

Itau Unibanco is the largest private sector bank in Brazil and resulted from the merger of the two large banks, Itau and Unibanco. Earlier this week the company reported that its third quarter profit rose to 3.2 billion reais from 2.69 billion reais a year earlier. The company says its loan portfolio is up 16.6 percent year-on-year to 313.2 bln reais.

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Banco Bradesco is another one of Brazil's larger private sector banks. The company also has operations in the US, Argentina, the UK and the Cayman Islands. When Banco Bradesco reported third quarter earnings last month, the company's Chief Financial Officer Domingos Abreu said the bank expects its credit portfolio to rise between 15 percent and 20 percent in 2011. 

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