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Itaú - MasterCard JV brand to be launched in 2017

The new credit card brand to be created through a jointventure between Itaú UnibancoHolding SA and MasterCard Inc. will be launched by the second quarterof 2017 at the latest, O Estado de S.Paulo reported, citing the bank's director for cards, Marcos Magalhães.

The new card will compete with the Elo brand that belongs toBanco Bradesco SA,Banco do Brasil SAand Caixa EconômicaFederal with more than 95 million cards issued.

The Itaú-MasterCard debut was delayed as from Brazil's antitrust regulatorCade took longer than expected.

The new card brand has yet to be named, but it can't useeither of the firm's names per Cade's requirements.

Itaú plans to keep its Hipercard brand in operation, which accounts forabout 4% market share in the Brazilian credit card market, the publicationnoted.