Putting Itself Out In Front

Putting Itself Out In Front

Brazil

Overlooking the still, fetid waters of São Paulo's Rio Pinheiros and hemmed in by traffic-clogged expressways and highways, stands a solitary office tower that houses one of the country's most desirable businesses: União de Bancos Brasileiros, or Unibanco. It is not the largest or most profitable bank in Brazil, but it may be the easiest one for a competitor to snap up. It is a superbly managed operation that controls about 5% of the largest banking market in the southern hemisphere. Yet it trades at a 50% discount on the stock market, making it one of the cheapest banks on the continent. Citibank and Spain's Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria are two names often said to have he

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