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Brazil’s Caixa Plans to Begin Investment Bank by Second Quarter

Caixa Economica Federal, Brazil’s biggest mortgage lender, plans to start its investment-banking unit by the second quarter of 2013, according to Chief Financial Officer Marcio Percival.

The new division will oversee online trading, capital markets and the creation of investment funds, Percival said yesterday in a phone interview.

“These activities, which are now scattered inside Caixa, will have a focus,” Percival said. “We are going to get into the market to work in all the areas an investment bank works.”

State-controlled Caixa and Banco do Brasil SA expanded credit and gained market share from non-government rivals as President Dilma Rousseff urged lenders to cut profits to “civilized” levels. Caixa’s loan portfolio rose 43 percent to 324.5 billion reais ($156 billion) in the third quarter from a year earlier, the Brasilia-based company said in an e-mailed statement. Total credit in Brazil expanded 16 percent in September from a year earlier, according to the central bank.

The new division, which will be staffed with current employees, is expected to be authorized by the central bank in the first quarter, Percival said. Caixa plans to lend 100 billion reais in the current quarter and end 2012 with its loan book expanding 42 percent from a year earlier, he said.

Caixa may sell bonds denominated in reais or dollars in overseas markets by April or May, Percival said. Last month, the bank tapped international bond markets for the first time, selling $1 billion of five-year notes and $500 million with a maturity of 10 years.

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