BRASILIA, March 7 (Reuters) - Brazil’s government unveiled on Monday a series of measures to ease financing for infrastructure projects, as President Dilma Rousseff struggles to increase investment in a deep recession.
Finance Minister Nelson Barbosa proposed simpler rules to accelerate approval of infrastructure bonds, according to a ministry statement. State development bank BNDES also said it would lower the cost of financing for infrastructure projects by as much as two percentage points.
A finance ministry official also said 500 million reais ($130 million) worth of government real estate would be transferred into a fund offering guarantees to minimize preoperational risks for infrastructure projects.
Rousseff has frequently courted private investment to tackle Brazil’s notorious transportation bottlenecks since she was first elected in 2010, but the country’s investment rate continues to slide in the second year of a steep downturn.
A corruption scandal stemming from state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA has also snared many of the country’s biggest engineering conglomerates, slowing or sidelining their work on major civil construction projects.
$1 = 3.8 Brazilian reais Reporting by Marcela Ayres; Editing by Cynthia Osterman