Brazil's Caixa mulls U.S. IPO of its digital bank

FILE PHOTO: Caixa Economica Federal bank headquarters building is seen in Brasilia, Brazil October 29, 2019.REUTERS/Adriano Machado

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazil’s state-owned lender Caixa Economica Federal is planning an initial public offering of its the newly created ‘digital’ arm in the U.S. as soon as next year, Chief Executive Pedro Guimaraes said in an interview.

Last week, Economy Minister Paulo Guedes unveiled the government’s plans to list this subsidiary.

Known as Caixa Tem, Caixa’s digital arm has roughly 70 million clients, most of them added this year, as the government used the state-owned lender to pay emergency payments to Brazil’s poorest.

Guimaraes estimates that Caixa will retain nearly 40 million people as clients, as the government plans to continue to use Caixa Tem to pay other social programs.

He added that the digital bank will soon offer services like fast payments, micro lending and insurance.

Caixa plans to sell a 15% stake in the bank, Guimaraes said.

Reporting by Aluisio Alves, writing by Carolina Mandl; Editing by Bernadette Baum