This morning we checked out of the hotel in Sao Paulo and headed to our last business trip in Brazil. Banco ABC Brasil was originally formed as a partnership in 1989 under the name of Banco ABC Roma S.A. The name was officially changed in 1997 when the Arab Banking Corporation acquired the opposing group’s shares. The company went public in 2007 and is now involved in commercial banking, investment banking and treasury services. There are a total of five major banks in Brazil, and ABC Brasil is responsible for about 20.5% of these market shares. Mr. Alexandre Sinzato, the head of investor relations and marketing, was very clear when stating that ABC Brasil is not in the market to compete with major players such as Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch, rather they are perfectly synergistic serving the corporate segment only. The company spoke proudly of their performance during the financial crisis and even right now during their current recession. ABC Brasil’s future growth strategy is to increase the profitability per client by conducting cross-sales transactions and also to increase the number of middle-market clients by moving into new regions.
Banco ABC Brasil is fully aware of the macroeconomic and political events going on in Brazil, and they were open to discussing how these happenings may affect their business and the country moving forward. The greatest concern expressed by Mr. Zinzato and Mr. Emerson Faria, the investor relations manager, was the political government and whether or not they will attempt to stabilize the Brazilian economy now that election season has passed. S&P 500 recently ranked Brazil’s economy below investment grade, and the Banco ABC Brasil expects the government to take full responsibility and provide greater efforts in order to attract foreign investment in the future. Lastly, the economy’s lack of credit monitoring may pose a risk to the future of Banco ABC Brasil. Credit opportunities have been increasing rapidly in the country’s economy, and ABC Brasil expresses concern since this may affect their ability to expand in the middle market.
After the excitement of macroeconomic and political conversation came to an end, we traveled to the MASP museum, the largest collection of European art in Latin America. We were able to view many paintings by multiple famous artists including Picasso, Monet, Van Gough, etc. Outside of the museum we were lucky enough to run into two famous men in the Brazilian culture. One of the people was Naldo, a Brazilian funk artist, and the other was Junior Cigano Dos Santos, a well-known Brazilian UFC fighter. We were all excited to take pictures and meet people as famous as these men in the Brazilian culture! Lastly, to end our time in Brazil, we immersed ourselves in the culture one last time and ate lunch at an exceptional Brazilian Steakhouse. We then traveled to the airport and said our good-byes. Santiago, Chile, here we come!