It was in the middle of a judicial battle, which determined successive delays to the Banespa privatisation, that the Central Bank of Brazil established the date of 20 November for the privatisation auction. Injunctions are still likely to be imposed and revoked until the privatisation date.

To note, Banespa is one of the largest banks of Brazil. Since 1994, Banespa has been overseen by the Federal Government because of a debt the State of São Paulo owed the Federal Government, which led to the bank´s federalisation in 1997.

The winning bid will be in an amount of at least R$ 1.85 billion (approximately US$ 1 billion) for 60% (sixty per cent) of the bank´s voting capital and 30 % (thirty per cent) of its corporate capital.

Despite the delay to the process resulting from the drawn out judicial battle, financial institutions are maintaining their interest in the Banespa sale due to the bank´s size and prominence in terms of ranking, number of banking agencies and clients. Nine key financial institutions are involved in the bid process, five of them foreign: BankBoston, BBVA, Citibank, HSBC and Santander; and the remaining four Brazilian: Bradesco, Itaú, Safra and Unibanco.