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SAO PAULO, Aug 19 (Reuters) - State-controlled Banco do Brasil SA, the nation's largest bank by assets, pledged on Wednesday to extend 9 billion reais in credit to a "wide array of productive sectors" affected by the steepest economic downturn in a quarter century.
In a statement, Brasilia-based Banco do Brasil also vowed to free up to 3.1 billion reais in credit to auto and auto parts producers in the country, which are in need of paying mounting debts with suppliers. Management at the bank will discuss the measures at a news conference later Wednesday. (Reporting by Alberto Alerigi; Writing by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)