UPDATE 1-Brazil raises BNDES lending rate for second straight time

jueves 26 de marzo de 2015 15:57 GYT
 

(Adds context of financial costs)

BRASILIA, March 26 (Reuters) - Brazil's highest economic body on Thursday raised the interest rate at which state development bank BNDES pegs its loans for a second consecutive time, further reducing subsidies that have eroded the country's finances in recent years.

The country's national monetary council, which is made up of the finance and planning ministers and central bank chief, raised the so-called TJLP rate by 50 basis points to 6 percent for the second quarter of 2015.

Before its hike in December, the government of President Dilma Rousseff had kept the TJLP rate unchanged for nearly two years to pump more cheap credit into Brazil's stagnant economy.

Faced with a widening fiscal gap that threatens Brazil's investment rating, Rousseff has shifted policies and is now seeking to reduce the financial costs stemming from BNDES' subsidized loans.

At one point analysts calculated the government was losing 35 billion reais a year for supporting BNDES' subsidized credit. (Reporting by Alonso Soto; editing by Richard Chang and Leslie Adler)