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ATM maker NCR Corp. will lease space for a manufacturing plant in Brazil instead of building new facility, Richard Maton, a company spokesperson, tells ATM&Debit News, a CardLine sister publication. "We're still looking for a location," Maton says. NCR announced in June it will spend $37.5 million to construct a new manufacturing plant in the Amazonas region in Northern Brazil. Since the announcement, NCR's management has changed its strategy about building a new facility. The factory, scheduled to open in December, will make NCR's SelfServ line of ATMs. During a second-quarter conference call with analysts last week, Bill Nuti, NCR chairman and CEO, said the manufacturer will sell the SelfServ machines throughout Latin America to take advantage of the existing agreements between Brazil and other Latin American countries. "There are free-trade agreements between Brazil and those countries, so we can export out of Brazil," Nuti said. Brazil also has free-trade agreements with certain countries in Africa that would lower the cost to ship ATMs to the countries, Nuti said. "The free trade agreement that Brazil has with Africa has the potential to lower our costs of ATMs, be it logistics, manufacturing and shipments," said Nuti, adding NCR could lower costs by $200 to $250 per machine. Africa is a fertile market for NCR and other ATM manufacturers, say industry experts. "The Middle East and Africa is competing closely with Central and Eastern Europe," says Dominic Hirsch, managing director of Retail Banking Research, a London-based strategic-marketing firm. "The Middle East and Africa is growing fast due to selected countries expanding quickly, notably Nigeria and Iran (in the Middle East). The region also is growing from a relatively small base," Hirsch wrote in an e-mail message to CardLine sister publication ATM&Debit News. "Nigeria, for example, has fewer than 30 ATMs per one million people compared with over 1,800 per million people in South Korea." South Korea has the largest number of ATMs per person in the world.

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