Bank of Brazil might pursue acquisitions in the U.S.

Banco do Brasil, Latin America’s largest bank by assets, is considering possible acquisitions in the U.S., which wants to boost its number of customers from a growing community of Brazilians living.

Banco do Brasil, which earlier reported the purchase of Eurobank (located in the state of Florida) for $ 6 million, hopes to have up to 20 branches operating in the U.S. in five years, said Allan Simoes Toledo, who heads the division of international business and wholesale banking entity.

While the focus remains on organic growth in the U.S. economy, “can not completely rule out acquisitions,” Toledo said at a news conference.

Banco do Brasil, headquartered in Brasilia, expects to have 400,000 new customers in the U.S. in five years, he added.

The rapid internationalization of the Brazilian economy over the past decade is leading to Banco do Brasil to seek growth opportunities abroad.

The chief executive of the entity, Aldemir Bendine, said last month that the bank wants to increase its presence in Europe, Africa and Latin America to provide financing and advice for Brazilian companies that operate there.

Banco do Brasil has an option to operate in China as a commercial bank within three years, Toledo, without elaborating.

Attempts to Brazilian banks to expand abroad have faced a tough scrutiny from investors.

Indications Unibanco Banco Itau, the main rival of Banco do Brasil, that would seek to expand in South America have slowed the rise in its shares.

Share price

Analysts are concerned about the potential size of any acquisition in the U.S. and its impact on capital and solvency of lending rates in Brazil.

The acquisition of Eurobank was less than expected by most analysts.

“In that sense, the size of the transaction announced intangible should give relief to those concerns,” he wrote in a statement Daniel Abut, an analyst at Citigroup in New York.

The agreement is still subject to approval by Brazilian regulators. Eurobank currently has three branches in Coral Gables, Pompano Beach and Boca Raton.

Shares of Banco do Brasil fell 0.14%, to 29 reais, while the main indicator of the Bolsa de Valores de Sao Paulo, the Bovespa was down 0.09% marginal.