Breaking with a long-standing policy of not opening full-fledged banking offices overseas, Wachovia Corp. has agreed to buy a Brazilian bank from Portugal's Banco Commercial Portugues SA.

Hugh Durden, an executive vice president and head of Wachovia Corporate Services Inc., acknowledged that the decision ran counter to the bank's previous policy. But he also stressed that it came in direct response to demand from Wachovia's corporate customers for international services.

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