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The Regional Bet of Banrisul

The Regional Bet of Banrisul (IstoÉ Dinheiro Magazine)

Banrisulís boundaries are well defined. It is in southern Brazil that the State controlled multiple-service bank wants to strengthen. With plans of opening ten branches in the State of Santa Catarina, the financial institution headquartered in Porto Alegre is among midsize banks that had a great performance in the stock market last year: its PNB share appreciated 181.4%. Last week, CEO Fernando Lemos announced net income of R$541 million, up 7.2% over the previous year, and talked to DINHEIRO:

DINHEIRO - Banrisul has offices in New York and Sao Paulo. The intention is to expand throughout the country?

FERNANDO LEMOS - Our focus is on the Southern Region. We do not wish to become a national bank. It would take much money to have adequate coverage that a retail institution must have. We want to be the larges regional bank in Southern Brazil.

DINHEIRO - What are the plans?

LEMOS − To consolidate in the State of Santa Catarina and present a good profitability. We already have 23 branches there, 12 of which were opened in 2009. This year, we will open ten more.

DINHEIRO - Insurance is considered a priority for the result of the banks, but Banrisul today does not have its own insurance company. Do you plan to create one?

LEMOS - We will not go heavily into insurance. We will maintain partnerships with Icatu and SulAmérica. We had an insurance company in the past, sold to Bradesco. Our focus is on credit and banking services.

DINHEIRO - There was a 65% increase in credit provisions from 2008 to 2009. Delinquencies still cares?

LEMOS − The default rates have returned to an appropriate level. The increase in provisions was important last year, but now there are no problems.

DINHEIRO - The Social Credit is important for the bank‘s results?

LEMOS − It does bring positive results for a public bank, yes. Banrisul has both the tradition and the branch network throughout the State and our clients must have the opportunities to access long-term credit from BNDES. This strengthens our performance.

DINHEIRO - Why was the conversion of PNA shares last week?

LEMOS - There is still a small portion of our PNA shareholders who have chosen not to convert their shares since the public offer. We do not want to keep together the PNA and PNB shares, which is Banrisulís most liquid share in the market. The PNA share will extinguish naturally. In two yearsí time, at most, it should cease to be.

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