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Lula privatizes bank

Feb. 11th. 2004
In an auction which lasted less than ten minutes and had only two biddings, Bradesco bought the control of Bank of State of Maranhao (BEM), which had being administered by the Central Bank since July 2000. Bradesco bid was R$ 78 million; Itau, the other bidder, offered the minimum bid of R$ 77.172 million.
This was the first privatization of a state controlled company during the Lula government. In 2002, the auction was scheduled, but an injunction prevented it from happening. The Workers Party (Lula's Party), at the epoch, was against the privatization of this bank as well as any other privatization.
Bradesco became the bank with most branches in Maranhao. The Bradesco shares finished yesterday up 0.63%.
More details (in Portuguese) at
O Globo (quick registration required).

The next privatization is scheduled to happen sometime this year: the Bank of State of Ceara. Next year, the state banks of Piaui and Santa Catarina are also to be privatized.

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