Banco Bradesco Grows Sharper and More Nimble

Banco Bradesco Grows Sharper and More Nimble

Mario Cypriano Banco Bradesco has turned into a more athletic kind of bank in the last year. The bank once scorned by investors for its sluggishness and obsession with size over profits, has begun changing. Bradesco is still Brazil's biggest private-sector bank by assets, but it has become one of its best-performing banks too. The bank's operating income rose by half to $443.4 million in the first six months, but lending rose by only one-fifth to $8.59 billion. Return on equity at the end of the second quarter was 24%, the highest in recent years. In 1999, the bank's ROE was only 16.3%, about the same as

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