The BNDES, Brazil’s government-owned development bank, will open its first Africa office on Friday in South Africa’s commercial capital of Johannesburg. Only the third overseas office for the Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social after Montevideo and London, it signals the ever-growing ties between Latin America’s largest economy and the world’s fastest growing continent. Its goal is simple – to push Brazilian companies deeper into Africa. Continue reading »

As hundreds of thousands of Brazilians take to the streets, Eike Batista’s investors have been staging their own protests in the market over the past few weeks.

The latest disappointment came on Wednesday night when the Brazilian billionaire cancelled plans to delist his Colombian coal business, CCX. It was the last straw for the company’s investors, who abandoned the stock on Thursday, causing the shares to slump 37 per cent to an all-time low. Continue reading »

Has Eike Batista’s “X” group of companies become too big to fail?

Judging by the amount of help that “Brazil Inc” has been throwing his way, one would be forgiven for thinking so. The latest to lend a helping hand? BNDES, Brazil’s development bank, which on Thursday approved a 10-year, R$935m ($464.6m) loan to Batista’s mining group, MMX Mineracao e Metalicos. Continue reading »

If anyone was worried by Moody’s downgrade of BNDES and Caixa Econômica, the banks themselves seemed unruffled.

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Is the Brazilian government robbing Peter to pay Paul?

That may sound a bit harsh but it is what Moody’s seems to suggest with its downgrade of BNDES and Caixa Econômica on Thursday. Continue reading »

The BNDES, Brazil’s government-owned development bank, lent more than it set out to last year, as loan requests and loans approved reached “levels without precedent in the history of Brazil”, as the bank itself put it.

Its triumphal tone will grate with those who believe the BNDES should be shrinking, not expanding. This applies even to Luciano Coutinho, the bank’s president, who told the FT two years ago the BNDES should be “crowding in” the private sector – rather than, as it is often accused of doing, crowding it out. Continue reading »

Photo: Bloomberg

The Batista family, controlling shareholders of JBS, the world’s largest meat producer, has a lot to celebrate this week.

The family is expanding into paper and pulp through a new unit of its J&F holding company, Eldorado Celulose and Papel. The company’s new plant, which it claims will be the world’s largest “single-line” pulp mill, is due to start operation this week with a total investment of R$6.08bn. Continue reading »

Brazilians are generally not big fans of DIY, but when it comes to the economy, the government is always keen to resort to some good old Do-It-Yourself.

And their favourite tool? BNDES – the super-state bank with a loan book about four times bigger than the World Bank’s.

Brazil’s Treasury Secretary Arno Augustin has told the country’s Valor Econômico newspaper that the government is considering pumping cash into BNDES for the fifth straight year. Continue reading »