Brazil central bank quickens pace of currency swap rollover

RIO DE JANEIRO Fri Aug 1, 2014 5:56pm EDT

RIO DE JANEIRO Aug 1 (Reuters) - Brazil's central bank on Monday will kick off the rollover of currency swaps that expire early in September by offering more daily contracts than it did last month, a sign it wants to slow a recent weakening of the real.

The bank said in a statement that it will auction as many as 8,000 currency swaps - derivatives that provide protection against losses in the real - as part of its strategy to renew $10.1 billion worth of swaps that expire on Sept. 1.

Last month, it offered as many as 7,000 contracts per day to roll over some $9.5 billion worth of swaps that expired on Aug. 1, renewing about 70 percent of those contracts.

If the central bank keeps the new rollover pace intact until the end of the month, it will be able to renew about 80 percent of the Sept. 1 maturities.

The regular sale of swaps has been part of a successful central bank program of intervention in the foreign exchange market, which has helped the real gain more than 4 percent so far this year.

The central bank has succeeded in stabilizing the real largely within 2.20 to 2.25 per dollar since April, but the currency weakened past that level this week as fears of higher U.S. interest rates increased globally.

The real closed on Friday at 2.2572 per dollar. (Reporting by Walter Brandimarte and PatrĂ­cia Duarte; Editing by Dan Grebler)