July 12, 2017 / 2:46 PM / a year ago

Brazil state banks, government to bolster funding for cities

BRASILIA, July 11 (Reuters) - Brazil on Wednesday announced a program to boost infrastructure investments by municipal governments, demonstrating President Michel Temer’s efforts to maintain a positive agenda despite a corruption trial that could remove him from office.

The government will offer up to 11.7 billion reais ($3.6 billion) in funding for local works in partnership with private companies and state-controlled banks Banco do Brasil SA and Caixa Economica Federal, Planning Minister Dyogo Oliveira said.

State development bank BNDES also expects to disburse 10 billion reais over the next year to fund projects by states and cities, bank Chief Executive Officer Paulo Rabello de Castro said.

The program adds to the government’s efforts to revive a recession-hit economy, with a swelling budget deficit prompting the government to increasingly rely on private concessions and partnerships. Greater investments in cities may also help Temer secure congressional support from deputies to block a corruption trial that could remove him from office later this month.

Temer was charged last month in connection with a graft scheme involving JBS SA, the world’s biggest meatpacker. Executives said the president took bribes to resolve tax matters and facilitate loans from state-run banks.

Temer has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. ($1 = 3.2254 reais) (Reporting by Silvio Cascione and Marcela Ayres; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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