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Last Updated: Monday, 20 March 2006, 15:39 GMT
Amex to sell Brazilian card unit
American Express card
American Express cards are used in 130 countries
American Express (Amex) is to sell its Brazilian credit card business to local bank Bradesco for $490m (279m).

Privately-owned Bradesco will take over Amex's 1.2 million Brazilian customers when the deal is completed in July.

Banco Bradesco is already Brazil's second largest credit card provider with nearly nine million users.

Amex will retain its traveller's cheques business but the deal will significantly reduce its involvement in a market dating back to the 1920s.

'Important step'

Amex began offering credit cards in Brazil in the 1970s.

Under the terms of the deal, Banco Bradesco will have the exclusive right to issue cards using the American Express brand for ten years.

"The partnership represents an important strategic step for Bradesco, allowing it to expand its client base in a fiercely competitive segment," the company said in a statement.

Banco Itau is the market leader in credit card services, with more than 11 million Brazilian customers.


SEE ALSO:
Amex buoyed by card spending rise
27 Apr 05 |  Business
Amex shares rise on spin-off news
01 Feb 05 |  Business
Amex is suing Visa and Mastercard
15 Nov 04 |  Business
Mastercard planning share float
31 Aug 05 |  Business


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