BRASILIA, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff could release up to 60 billion reais ($15 billion) in fresh credit from state-run banks and a workers’ pension fund to help lift the country out of a deep recession, two senior government sources said on Wednesday.
Her government will announce the fresh credit at a high-profile meeting with business leaders and union bosses on Thursday, at which it will unveil a blueprint to pull the economy out of what could be its worst recession in a century.
“The overall figure could rise to 60 billion reais but we are still finishing the details,” said one of the officials, who were not authorized to speak publicly about the matter. “This will have no fiscal impact. The Treasury will not pour in any fresh capital to those banks.”
In December, the government repaid 56 billion reais in debts to state-run lenders BNDES, Banco do Brasil, Caixa Economica Federal, and a workers’ pension fund known as FGTS.
That extra liquidity will be used to open new credit lines to construction companies, farmers, exporters and producers of machinery and other capital goods, the official said.
The government is also considering a scheme to allow workers to use part of their FGTS funds as collateral to get loans.
The administration believes the new credit will help companies retain employees after the economy shed a record 1.5 million jobs last year.
The new stimulus has raised fears among investors that Rousseff will return to the expansive fiscal policies of her first term that eroded Brazil’s public accounts and cost the country its investment grade rating.
Facing impeachment proceedings in Congress, Rousseff is under tremendous pressure from her Workers’ Party and other leftist allies to bolster the economy as the recession keeps her popularity at record lows.
Economists also said the new stimulus could complicate the job of the central bank to control inflation, which rose to 12-year highs above 10 percent last year.
Fitch Rating said in a research note that higher liquidity in state-run banks is unlikely to bolster loan growth in Brazil due to the severe recession and low demand for credit. ($1 = 4.0585 Brazilian reais) (Reporting by Alonso Soto; Editing by Richard Chang)