| SAO PAULO, July 15
SAO PAULO, July 15 Itaú Unibanco SA
borrowed a combined $480 million from a U.S. government-run
lender and Wells Fargo & Co, as Latin America's largest bank by
market value is increasingly using loan markets to finance
clients in Brazil, its home turf.
Itaú obtained $400 million in a six-year term loan from
Washington, D.C.-based Overseas Private Investment Corp, in the
largest deal that the development agency, known as OPIC, ever
carried out in Latin America. Wells Fargo, which also helped
arrange the loan for OPIC, extended the remaining $80 million
The proceeds will be used to fund a group of Itaú Unibanco's
clients, chiefly small- and mid-sized firms, located in Brazil's
northern and notheastern regions, said Carolina de Arruda
Camargo, the head of international financial institutions at
Itaú BBA, the corporate and investment-banking arm of Itaú.
"The highlight of this transaction is the volume, which was
very significant for OPIC in Latin America, while for us it's
great to see that export credit and development agencies are
very interested in Latin America," Camargo said in an interview
late on Monday.
Itaú will pay an interest rate pegged to the Libor, as the
London Interbank Offered Rate is commonly known, plus a spread,
Camargo added. She declined to elaborate on the spread and other
terms of the deal.
Entrepreneurship in Brazil's once-depressed north and
northeast corners is booming after years of fast expansion in
household income and investment for sectors from infrastructure
to paper and pulp and energy.
For years Itaú has strengthened ties with multilateral
lenders and export credit agencies for lending deals that are
often offer better conditions than market-based deals. Some of
those institutions include the U.S. Export-Import Bank, the
European Investment Bank and the World Bank's International
(Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Bernard Orr)