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Brazil: Watchdog approves Itaú-XP deal

 |  March 18, 2018

Brazil’s antitrust watchdog Cade on Wednesday approved the purchase of a non-controlling stake in financial services firm XP Investimentos SA by Itaú Unibanco Holding SA, the nation’s largest bank, demanding no additional asset sales.

Five of seven members of Cade’s board voted in favor of the transaction, in which Itaú will take on a 74.9 percent stake in XP and a 49.9 percent stake in its voting capital by 2022 for 5.7 billion reais ($1.8 billion).

The transaction, which is subject to approval by the central bank, would grant Itaú a standing in the fast-growing market of financial services for retail clients, where new players threaten the dominant foothold of large banks.

Brazilian banks have typically allowed clients to invest only in products managed by themselves. In contrast, XP grants access to several independent managers and charges smaller fees.

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