BB Seguridade

The insurance arm of Brazil’s state-owned bank, Banco do Brasil, has staged the world’s biggest initial public offering in more than six months, defying tough conditions in the local market.

BB Seguridade priced its shares near the middle of its range, raising R$11.48bn in the world’s largest IPO since Japan Airlines’ $8.5bn offering in September last year, according to figures from Dealogic.

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Another day, another Brazilian company outlining plans for an initial public offering.

On Wednesday, Banco Do Brasil, Latin America’s largest bank by assets, said it was seeking to raise as much as R$12.15bn ($6bn) from the spinoff of its insurance and pension unit, BB Seguridade.

But talk is cheap. Given the lacklustre IPO market in Brazil at the moment the Bovespa index is down nearly 12 per cent since the start of the year can Banco Do Brasil pull off what would be the world’s biggest IPO so far this year? Read more

It’s not the industry that normally springs to mind when you think of Brazil, but insurance is fast becoming one of the country’s investment hotspots.

Growing income among Brazil’s new middle classes and a tight labour market are boosting demand for health and auto policies. Meanwhile, the vast infrastructure projects underway to get the country ready to host the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics two years later also offer huge opportunities for insurance companies. Read more