February 8, 2017 / 8:47 PM / a year ago

Brazil's MRV spent 50 pct more on public works in 2016

SAO PAULO, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Brazil’s biggest low-income homebuilder, MRV Engenharia e Participações SA, boosted spending on public works by 50 percent last year, the company said on Wednesday, in a sign of stricter permitting and more housing starts ahead.

MRV spent 192 million reais ($62 million) to build schools, sewage treatment stations and roads around its housing projects in 2016, according to a statement.

Low-income homebuilders such as MRV have been forced to spend more on public works in recent years as municipalities require more urban infrastructure in return for approving new housing projects. A spokesperson for MRV said about a quarter of its public works spending last year was voluntary.

Higher infrastructure spending also underscores MRV’s efforts to speed up housing starts as Brazil’s central bank cuts interest rates to pull the economy out of a deep recession. ($1 = 3.11 Brazilian reais) (Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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