Brazilian banking giant Itaú Unibanco announced a US$5.1bn investment in technology infrastructure earlier this week, including construction of a new data center.
Itaú is planning to invest US1.1bn in the data center project, Fox Business reported, citing an announcement by the company’s president Roberto Setubal during a Tuesday press conference. Another part of the investment is a $1.3bn in upgrades to existing technology.
The investment, made over the 2012-2015 period represents a tripling of the company’s annual technology spend.
Itaú is also planning to upgrade its call center, online banking and self-service technology, according to a press release (translated from Portuguese).
The data center project in Mogi Mirim, a São Paulo municipality, is expected to create 700 jobs, the company said. It is also expected to contribute to the regional economy in other indirect ways.
While Brazil is one of the world’s most active data cener markets, it is also one of the riskiest locations to operate a data center in, according to a recent report created jointly by Cushman and Wakefield and hurleypalmerflatt.
The report predicted that the majority of growth in South America’s data center industry is going to take place in Brazil and Mexico. It warned, however, that it was riskier to have a data center in Brazil than in the world’s other major markets because of high energy cost, a difficult business environment, high corporate tax requi0rements, political instability, a relative scarcity of educated workforce, low GDP per capita and high inflation.
The report compared risk as it relates specifically to data center operation in a wide variety of places around the world, including the UK, Germany, Qatar, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa, Poland, the Czech Republic, China and India, among others.
It made the comparisons based on a number of risk factors, including the ones listed above, as well as labor costs, sustainability and water availability. Brazil performed better than others in these three categories.