Economy, Currency and Banking
largest commercial bank, Central Bank of Brazil, Banco, unit of currency, Janeiro
The country’s recent economic difficulties resulted in frequent devaluations of the currency along with frequent name changes to the unit of currency, including cruzeiro, cruzeiro novo, and cruzado. The present currency is the real, which replaced the cruzeiro real in 1994, and has approximate parity with the U.S. dollar (1.83 real equal U.S.$1; 2000 average).
The Banco de Brazil is the largest commercial bank, established in 1808. In 1965 the Central Bank of Brazil became responsible for the supply of currency and the control of circulation. There are over 250 banking organizations, with more than 18,000 agencies. In addition to federal and private banks, there are a number of state banks.
The largest stock exchange is that of Sao Paulo, with an average daily turnover of $380 million, more than double that of Rio de Janeiro. There are seven smaller exchanges.
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