American Banknote Corp. said its subsidiary in Brazil has formed a joint venture with the French smart card manufacturer Gemplus.

Their company, Gemplus Banknote, occupies American Banknote's card production and personalization facility in Sao Paulo and is targeting the banking, retailing, telecommunications, transportation, multimedia/Internet, and health care markets.

"Brazil's smart card market is very promising and this joint venture with the world's premier provider of smart card solutions offers companies and financial institutions a local, reliable partner for the deployment of a countrywide smart card infrastructure," said Sidney Levy, president of American Banknote Brazil.

The two owners last year entered into a similar venture in Australia.

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