Brazil's Itaú sees defaults rising further this year

martes 2 de febrero de 2016 10:50 GYT

SAO PAULO Feb 2 (Reuters) - Loan defaults at Itaú Unibanco Holding SA will continue to rise this year, though perhaps at a slower pace than in 2015, as a recession hampers consumers' and companies' ability to stay current on their debt, Chief Executive Officer Roberto Setubal said on Tuesday.

Slowing loan book growth will result in a decline in interest income in the coming years if Brazil's economy does not recover significantly, Setubal said at a news conference to discuss fourth-quarter results. Shares in Itaú slumped on Tuesday after it gave cautious forecasts for this year, including a sharp increase in loan-loss provisions. (Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal and Aluisio Alves; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)