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01/08/2012 | Brazil - Brazil’s development bank will disburse loans at a faster pace to prop economy

Mercopress Staff

The national bank for economic and social development, BNDES, Brazil's largest source of long-term credit for companies, is ready to disburse loans at a faster pace in the years ahead to prop the economy, the bank's top executive said on Monday.

 

The bank will release 8% more in loans per year through 2015 from a pace of about 6% now, BNDES President Luciano Coutinho said in São Paulo. BNDES' disbursements will almost double in the second half from the first six months as a result, he added.

“We are considering making changes to our financial planning assumptions for the coming years” Coutinho said at an event. He reaffirmed estimates of total lending at the bank nearing 150 billion Reais (73.5 billion dollars) for 2012.

Coutinho's remarks add to evidence that President Dilma Rousseff's government is concerned with the impact of a year-long slowdown on job creation and poverty reduction. Investment, a key engine of growth, has lost steam recently as companies worry the economy, which not so long was thought to be overheated, has cooled too quickly.

BNDES doled out less credit last year after industrial companies reworked or cancelled requests for new loans. Many economists have for years blamed BNDES' bigger role in credit markets for putting the brakes on the development of more solid bond and equity markets in Brazil.

Rousseff is using state-run banks to increase the flow of credit into the economy, lower borrowing costs and force private sector peers to boost credit. Assets at Rio de Janeiro-based BNDES, the country's state development bank, more than doubled since the end of 2008 to 640 billion Reais.

Critics of the strategy say that BNDES' more active stance in recent years has made local companies over-reliant on bank and state loans as potential disruptions in global financial markets pose a risk to their liquidity.

Still, the high degree of participation by BNDES and commercial lender Banco do Brasil on corporate lending has been unable to prevent debt restructurings or bankruptcy protection filings by some firms, Moody's Investors Services said in a recent report.
 

Mercopress (Uruguay)

 


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