Press Releases

Brazil’s Novo Mercado a Success, According to New Publication by IFC Global Corporate Governance Forum

Nancy Metzger
Senior Project Officer
IFC Global Corporate Governance Forum
Phone: +1 (202) 458-5865

Washington, D.C., February 11, 2008—According to a new publication released today by the IFC Global Corporate Governance Forum, private-public sector leadership has helped drive the success of corporate governance reforms undertaken by BOVESPA, Brazil’s São Paulo Stock Exchange, which is now the world’s largest among emerging market countries. This past October, BOVESPA Holding SA successfully launched its own initial public offering, which raised $3.7 billion and was the world’s fifth-largest in 2007, according to Bloomberg.

In the new publication, Novo Mercado and its Followers: Case Studies in Corporate Governance Reform, Maria Helena Santana, Chairperson of the Brazilian Securities and Exchange Commission, writes that the viability of BOVESPA’s Novo Mercado was in doubt when it was launched.  “Since adherence by companies to its rules is voluntary, Novo Mercado could only become a reality if investors and other suppliers of capital demanded compliance and if companies considered corporate governance obligations to be advantageous.”  

To address investors’ needs, BOVESPA launched Novo Mercado, which requires companies to voluntarily adopt high standards of corporate governance that exceed those required by Brazilian law.  These include an expansion of shareholder rights and comprehensive disclosure obligations.  While at BOVESPA, Santana was in charge of creating and implementing the Novo Mercado and the two levels of corporate governance.  The initiative received broad support from the Brazilian Institute of Corporate Governance, Comissão de Valores Mobiliários, IFC, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and institutional investors and investment banks in Brazil.  With this support, Novo Mercado has become the “standard that investors would require for new companies seeking to go public,” Santana writes.  

The publication is available online in downloadable format on the IFC Global Corporate Governance Forum’s Web site at

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC's vision is that poor people have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through syndications and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information, visit

IFC Global Corporate Governance Forum

The Global Corporate Governance Forum is an IFC multidonor trust fund facility.  It was cofounded by the World Bank and the OECD in 1999.  Through its activities, the forum aims to promote the private sector as an engine of growth, reduce the vulnerability of developing and transition economies to financial crisis, and provide incentives for corporations to invest and perform efficiently in a socially responsible manner.  It sponsors regional and local initiatives that address the corporate governance weaknesses of middle- and low-income countries in the context of broader national or regional economic reform programs.  Its donors include IFC and the governments of Canada, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland.  For more information, visit