By Harold Emert
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – One of the largest banks in Latin America, established 211 years ago by Brazil’s future Emperor Dom Pedro I, Banco do Brasil (BB), could be up for sale or merger with the Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
According to reports by the reputable Brazilian economic newspaper “Valôr Economico,” the possible bombshell was officially launched in a speech Thursday May 16th in Dallas by President Bolsonaro’s super-Minister of the Economy Paulo Guedes.
Speaking at an award ceremony for the President, Guedes stated: “Let us make an association because both banks are good for agricultural loans. We already have started a new relationship between Embraer (Brazil’ s National Aerospace industry) and Boeing. Let us construct transnational companies, going abroad, and seeking out new economic opportunities.”
Guedes’ suggestion appeared in the bank workers union’s newspaper Folha Bancária, noting that BB earned R$4.2 (US$1.02) billion in the first quarter of 2019.
“This new administration has never hidden what it intends to do with public banks: sell, dismantle and carry out their privatization. The attacks on the heritage of all Brazilians will result in negative consequences,” says the coordinator of the Commission of BB workers and director of the Union, João Fukunaga.
He adds: “the sale will hurt the poorest people, affect the financing of agriculture, public housing, and social programs.”
Late last year after Bolsonaro was elected, Guedes had already suggested the likelihood of the association. He is a close friend of Alexandre Bettamio, President of Bank for America for Latin America.