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The Top 50 Brazil Financials based on assets held as of December 31, 2008 are listed below. The source of the data is Banco Central Do Brasil which is the Central Bank of Brazil.

The largest 50 Brazilian Financials based on Assets held in R$ thousands (as of December 31, 2008):

Ranked Bank Total Assets in R$ Thousands (as of Dec 31,2008) Number of Branches
1 ITAU 270.144.062 3.718
2 BANK OF BRAZIL 217.093.798 4.39
3 BRADESCO 170.022.827 3.37
4 SANTANDER 147.489.051 2.279
5 CEF 126.624.018 2.069
6 HSBC 47.967.608 931
7 VOTORANTIM 31.252.318 17
8 SAFRA 28.447.588 125
9 NOSSA CAIXA 23.226.622 563
10 CITIBANK 17.322.012 127
11 BNP PARIBAS 11.974.683 4
12 BANRISUL 10.858.318 427
13 CREDIT SUISSE 9.981.786 2
14 UBS PACTUAL 8.296.338 6
15 DEUTSCHE 7.348.374 2
16 BNB 6.922.223 182
17 ALFA 6.659.978 9
18 BBM 6.066.721 6
19 BIC 5.066.765 33
20 FIBRA 3.938.947 14
21 JP MORGAN CHASE 3.795.765 5
22 ABC-BRASIL 3.207.204 4
23 SS 3.188.515 1
24 RABOBANK 3.287.856 13
25 BASA 3.097.895 105
26 BMG 3.113.250 13
27 BANESTES 3.651.749 127
28 SOCIETE GENERALE 2.700.577 3
29 BANSICREDI 3.076.894 5
30 CRUZEIRO DO SUL 2.593.223 6
31 DAYCOVAL 2.852.690 28
32 MERCANTIL DO BRASIL 2.893.794 150
33 SOFISA 2.423.507 19
34 IBIBANK 2.401.496 1
35 BRB 2.348.830 59
36 BARCLAYS 2.226.295 1
37 ING 2.210.618 1
38 BANCOOB 2.192.534 8
39 PINE 1.935.624 13
40 WESTLB 1.640.331 1
41 CLASSICO 1.534.117 2
42 RURAL 1.030.445 27
43 BANIF 921.149 14
44 BANESE 920.147 61
45 INDUSVAL 915.63 11
46 JOHN DEERE 846.278 1
47 DBB BM 804.73 1
48 BTMUB 804.794 2
49 GE CAPITAL 728.245 8
50 INDUSTRIAL DO BRASIL 708.984 5

Source: Banco Central Do Brasil

The largest bank in Brazil is the private-sector bank Itau Unibanco Banco Multiplo S.A. (ITU). This bank, formed by the merger of Banco Itau and Unibanco, has over one hundred thousand employees and 3,718 branches. After reaching a low of $6.70, the stock has nearly doubled to close at $13.63 on April 10th.

The second largest bank is Bank of Brazil (aka Banco Do Brasil) which is state-owned. Though it has more branches than ITU, its asset size is smaller. Last week its CEO, Antonio Francisco Lima Neto, was fired by the President of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. The reason for his firing was that the bank was charging high interest on loans to consumers. Banco Do Brasil shares do not trade on the US markets. It must be noted that the Brazilian’s central bank name is similar sounding but is called Banco Central Do Brasil.

The third largest bank by assets is Banco Bradesco (NYSE:BBD), one of the top private-sector banks, and is the main competitor for ITU. BBD reached its 52-week low of $7.40 late last year and closed at $12.25 on April 10th.

Three foreign-owned banks appear in the top ten positions. These banks are the Spain-based Banco Santander (STD), HSBC Bank (HBC) of the UK and the US-based Citibank (NYSE:C).

Source: Top 50 Brazilian Financials by Assets