Feb. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Banco do Brasil SA’s U.K. business may see loan growth of more than 10 percent this year as it steps in to serve clients affected by European banks curbing lending amid the region’s debt crisis, according to Paulo Guimaraes, general manager of the London branch.
“We’ve seen a lot of opportunities, rather than crisis,” Guimaraes said in an interview in London on Feb. 6. “Many banks have reduced exposure to some companies in Latin America so it’s a good opportunity to replace them.”
The combination of stricter capital requirements at banks and a preference for hoarding cash or buying government bonds instead of lending money to companies has reduced the supply of corporate loans from European banks.
Last year, Banco do Brasil’s U.K. loan portfolio grew about 10 percent, according to Guimaraes. This year there is potential for stronger growth, he said. Guimaraes said Banco do Brasil doesn’t disclose loan volume details for the U.K.
Banco do Brasil’s U.K. operations finance Brazilian companies that trade with or have operations in Europe, as well as some European companies with clients or subsidiaries in Brazil, he said.
The bank’s consolidated loan portfolio grew 21 percent to 442 billion reais in the third quarter of 2011 from a year earlier, according to the company’s Nov. 3 earnings statement. The bank maintained its forecast for 15 percent to 18 percent loan growth in Brazil in 2011.
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