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Santander Brasil looks to boost lending in basic education market

Banco Santander (Brasil) SA is looking to double its share of lending to the basic education segment in Brazil, a market that comprises more than 40,000 private schools across the country and employs north of half a million people, Reuters reported, citing Alexandre Teixeira, head of the bank's business and corporate area.

The bank currently has a share of around 15% in the basic education segment, and is working to raise that figure by attracting more clients with new sector-related products and services.

The basic education market in Brazil has seen growing interest from investors this year, including from Kroton Educacional, the country's largest private higher education group, according to the report.

The segment reportedly accounts for between 6% and 7% of the bank's small and medium-sized enterprises credit portfolio. Santander Brasil has identified around 4,000 schools it will target during the first round of the expansion project.

"The idea is to extend the offer to support schools and reach this audience of students before they enter universities," Teixeira was quoted as saying. He added that the bank wants to diversify its investments in the education sector, where it currently focuses on higher education institutions.