BB means big bucks or Banco do Brasil. The South American bank has more than 18,000 locations in Brazil and offices in more than 20 other countries. In addition to providing traditional retail banking services, Banco do Brasil and its subsidiaries sell insurance, underwrite and sell bonds, conduct asset trading, offer investors portfolio management services, conduct financial securities advising, and provide markets analysis and research. The bank also provides capital equipment leasing to Brazilian companies through its BB Leasing subsidiary. BB Securities is the bank's UK-based international securities brokerage house. More than 200 years old, Banco do Brasil is controlled by the Brazilian government.
About half of the bank's lending portfolio is composed of business loans. Banco do Brasil is also the nation's largest provider of agribusiness loans, which account for about 20% of its portfolio.
Riding on a wave of privatization in Brazil, the company has embarked on a buying spree as it strives to be among the largest financial conglomerates in Latin America. It bought São Paulo state bank Nossa Caixa, which added more than 400 branches in Brazil's largest city. It also bought a 50% stake in Banco Votorantim, another São Paulo institution. The partnership allows Banco do Brasil to continue expansion in São Paulo and grow its activities in corporate and consumer finance markets.
Building upon that strategy of increasing its customer base and service network, the bank in 2009 took over the former Piauí state bank BEP, the former Santa Catarina state bank BESC, and Banco de Brasília. In 2010, the company reported its highest net profits ever and became the largest Latin American financial institution in terms of assets.
Additionally, Banco do Brasil hopes to increase its international presence. In 2012 the Brazillian bank acquired Florida-based EuroBank. The $6 million deal expanded Banco do Brasil's operations into the US, where the company plans to target Brazilian and Hispanic communities. The company also is eyeing other troubled American banks in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and other states. Banco do Brasil is seeking expansion opportunities in Latin American countries including Argentina, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay. The bank completed a purchase of a majority stake in Argentina's Banco Patagonia in 2011. – less