Fitch: End of 'Pedaladas' Is Mild Boost to Brazil Bank Lending

miércoles 27 de enero de 2016 12:15 GYT

(The following statement was released by the rating agency) RIO DE JANEIRO, January 27 (Fitch) Brazil's move to end 'pedaladas' and pay back obligations owed to the country's large public banks is modestly positive for the liquidity of the three affected lenders. But Brazil's harsh economic conditions, subdued demand for credit and low risk appetite by banks mean there is unlikely to be a meaningful boost in overall sector loan growth , says Fitch Ratings. Fitch believes public banks are unlikely to significantly raise their risk appetites over the near term. Public and private banks in Brazil have been operating under tightened underwriting standards since the beginning of the macroeconomic downturn, though they continue to grow faster than their private peers. And as the threat of rising loan reserve charges remains, the hope of kindling new loan growth through the ending of pedaladas (Brazil's Treasury obligations owed to public banks) is unlikely. The impact on Brazil's largest federally owned banks' liquidities are also limited. Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social (BNDES), Banco do Brasil's (BdB) and Caixa Economica Federal's (Caixa) receivables from the Treasury were BRL27 billion, BRL16 billion and BRL5 billion, respectively, representing approximately just 4%, 2% and 1% of their overall loan balances, respectively. These amounts will also not have an impact on the overall loan market. The Ministry of Finance is currently in talks with the banks to see how the public banks may use these resources. It is expected that the Ministry of Finance will make an announcement Thursday, and the focus is likely to be mortgages (particularly for Caixa), agriculture (BdB), infrastructure (BNDES) and industries such as autos and construction. In addition, we believe lowering reserve requirements and/or changing risk weights of certain loans to spur lending in the whole sector could also be discussed. If banks' risk appetite increases more than we anticipate, their asset quality will come under bigger pressure than our base case scenario. Public banks' Fitch Core Capital (Fitch's benchmark capital adequacy ratio) ratios are reasonable, ranging from 7.8% (BdB) to 11.0% (BNDES). Tier 1 capital ratios range from 10.1% (Caixa) to 11.6% (BdB) and exceed the minimum regulatory requirement (including buffers). Thus, while there is capacity to lend, there is also capacity to satisfy the need to raise government revenue through paying dividends. In addition to settling pedaladas with public banks, Brazil's Treasury also settled its debt at Fundo de Garantia do Tempo de Servico (FGTS) -- Brazil's unemployment insurance fund, which amounted to BRL 20 billion. FGTS is one of the main lenders to Caixa, with BRL163 billion in lines extended to fund Caixa mortgages as of September 2015 (total FGTS assets were BRL438 billion at that time). It is also not yet confirmed whether FGTS will use part of the returned monies to extend funding to Caixa. If it does, Caixa's loan growth could be slightly higher than our base case scenario. While the repayment of pedaladas won't meaningfully boost lending, it is positive for the banks' governance. As we have previously commented, it imposes an improved level of separation between the government and the public banks. For further details on Fitch's outlook on the Brazilian banking sector, see "2016 Outlook: Brazilian Banks (Capitalization and Liquidity Support Banks in Harsh Operating Environment)," published Jan. 20, 2016 at Contact: Esin Celasun Director +55 21 4503 2626 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Claudio Gallina Senior Director + 55 11 4504 2216 Sao Paulo, Brazil Robert Rowan + 1 212 908-9159 New York, NY Media Relations: Hannah James, New York, Tel: + 1 646 582 4947, Email: The above article originally appeared as a post on the Fitch Wire credit market commentary page. The original article, which may include hyperlinks to companies and current ratings, can be accessed at All opinions expressed are those of Fitch Ratings. ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: here. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY'S PUBLIC WEBSITE 'WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM'. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH'S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE 'CODE OF CONDUCT' SECTION OF THIS SITE. FITCH MAY HAVE PROVIDED ANOTHER PERMISSIBLE SERVICE TO THE RATED ENTITY OR ITS RELATED THIRD PARTIES. DETAILS OF THIS SERVICE FOR RATINGS FOR WHICH THE LEAD ANALYST IS BASED IN AN EU-REGISTERED ENTITY CAN BE FOUND ON THE ENTITY SUMMARY PAGE FOR THIS ISSUER ON THE FITCH WEBSITE.