Overcoming concerns that financial turmoil in Asia would depress earnings in Latin America, BankBoston Corp. has reported a 60% rise in net income, to $54 million, in Brazil during the first half.

Alex Zornig, vice president for finance at BankBoston in Sao Paulo, attributed the strong improvement to an increase in local lending, 27,000 new retail customers, a rise in assets under management, and a sharp increase in Brazilian interest spreads.

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