Brazil's Banco Bradesco Sets Aggressive 2019 Targets, Including Potential Acquisitions

Banco Bradesco SA on Thursday posted forecast-beating quarterly earnings and set more aggressive targets for 2019, including eyeing upcoming government asset sales, sending the Brazilian lender’s shares to a record high. Brazil’s second-largest privately owned bank reported a 19.9 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit over a year earlier and beat analysts’ average estimate on lower loan-loss provisions. Recurring net income at Banco Bradesco came in at 5.830 billion reais ($1.58 billion) in the fourth quarter, above the average Refinitiv estimate of 5.526 billion reais. The bank’s loan book grew at a faster 1.6 percent pace in the quarter. Bradesco also set a 2019 loan book growth target of 9 percent to 13 percent, after a 7.8 percent expansion last year. “With the faster-than-expected pick-up in loan growth, Bradesco appears to be moving further into a new lending cycle,” UBS analysts wrote in a note to clients. Read more