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PT Multimedia and Gazeta Mercantil to Create Financial News Site

PT Multimedia.com, the technology branch of Portugal Telecom, cut a deal with Brazilian financial and investments newspaper Gazeta Mercantil in order to create Investnews.com.

Portugal Telecom, throughout PT Multimedia, is definitely interested in the Brazilian Internet market. After buying the portal Zip.Net, Portugal Telecom cut a deal with Unibanco, the third biggest Brazilian private bank, and joined forces to create the portal Banco1.Net. Now its time to get into the media.

Gazeta Mercantil will provide the content for the site while PT Multimedia has the power to distribute it. Investnews.com represents one more step for Portugal Telecom to achieve its position of being one of the big players of news in Latin America, mainly in the promissory Brazilian Internet market.

According to a new eLatin America Report, released by eMarketer this week, the number of active adult Internet users in Latin America will total 8 million by the end of the year, more than double from the previous year. This number, continued the report, is projected to increase to 19 million by 2003.

But more important for the Portugal Telecom deal is that although Internet capacity is not evenly spread throughout the region, Brazil alone accounts for 60% of e-commerce revenues.

PT Multimedia is investing US$ 36 million in the next 60 days, according to evaluations made by Bank of America and Arthur Andersen.

"PT Multimedia is investing to stay firmly in Latin American soil and it's aimed at being an online World leader for the Portuguese speakers," said Eduardo Martins, PT Multimedia's President. Martins also said the company was looking for partners and Gazeta Mercantil is the best financial information company, not only in Brazil but also in Latin America.

The President of Gazeta Mercantil, Luiz Fernando Levy, said the partnership represents great opportunities for the newspaper, allowing the consolidation of its economic situation. Martins, from PT Multimedia, agreed and said there is no limit for both companies to work together in new strategies. The executive remembered that PT Multimedia recently bought 42% of Lusomundo Group, which edits two of the biggest newspapers in Portugal.

Investnews.com already exists as a financial and investments news site and will become a new company. According to Levy, the main company, now under PT Multimedia's board, Gazeta Mercantil Informacoes Eletronicas will change its function in the group structure. "The company will be transformed in a sub-holding only for Internet operations," explained the executive.