BRAZIL'S second largest retail bank plans to set up a representative office in Hong Kong early next year to advise on investments in South America. Anthony Pain, director of Banco Bamerindus do Brasil Sociedade Anonima, said Asian investors had been showing increasing interest in Brazilian business. Mr Pain said the plan was awaiting approval from the Central Bank of Brazil and Hong Kong Monetary Authority. The office would also develop contacts with China, Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore, and learn different requirements of businesses within the region, he said. Mr Pain said the bank would hire local people familiar with the business environment in the territory. He said the abolition of Brazilian government monopolies in the oil and telecommunications industries and simplification of Brazil's myriad taxes would provide opportunities for Hong Kong businesses. Restrictions on foreign ownership of banks would also be relaxed.