The Brazilian bank Itau Unibanco, the largest bank in the southern hemisphere, will open branches in Colombia, lcoal media reported on Monday.
The bank, currently the tenth largest bank in the world by market value, will deal primarily in large projects in mining, oil and infrasturcture sectors through its corporate branch Itau BBA.
Ramiro Gonzalez, the bank’s Colombian representative, told Colombian newspaper El Pais that in relation to gaining approval for the move “We met all the requirements before the Superintendency of Finance, and in less than a year we got the approval, after attending two stages. The first was to ask permission for a representative office, which was achieved in March and April of this year. We are very satisfied.”
When asked about the focus of the companys operations, Gonzalez said “Initially we will operate as a financial corporation. Itau BBA is the corporate arm of investment bank Itaú Unibanco Group, which is the most valuable market capitalization in Latin America.”
According to the bank representative, “Colombia is an extremely attractive investment for both the region and companies outside Latin America. We have identified a target market of 600 companies, of which 200 are already our customers in countries where we operate.”