March 1, 2003
In all its 195-year history, Banco do Brasil has probably never been in such good health. In 2002, pretax income rose by 50% in dollar terms to $951.1 million. The government-owned bank is well-capitalized, tightly managed and ready to do battle with the country's aggressive private sector banks. Indeed, last year it posted a 22% return on equity, better than the country's largest private sector bank, Bradesco, which reported an 18.6% ROE and $438.4 million in pretax profit.
This is quite an achievement. Between 1995 and 1996, Banco do Brasil posted net losses of $11.61 billion. The government had to inject $6.39 billion in fresh equity in 1996 after Banco do Brasil's capital ratios collap
Banco do Brasil, the state-owned bank, is in top form and higly profitable. Now, under new management, Brazil's biggest bank needs to convince the markets that it still means business.