SAO PAULO Dec 30 Brazil will offer an
additional 50 billion reais ($21.2 billion) in subsidized credit
lines for industries and farms in 2014 as the government tries
to boost economic growth, the finance ministry said on Monday.
Finance Minister Guido Mantega had previously said the
loans, part of a special program from state development bank
BNDES that lowers the cost of some goods for businesses, would
continue through 2014 with some adjustments.
The program spurred investment and boosted a tentative
economic rebound in the first half of 2013, but also alarmed
ratings agencies by lifting Brazil's gross debt.
The loans can be used on goods and services ranging from
farm equipment and trucks to electricity and are meant to "give
incentive for the expansion of national industry," according to
a statement from the finance ministry that gave details on the
monetary council's meeting about the loans.
A total of $372 billion reais in credit will now be
available in 2014, the statement said, up from the $322 billion
that had been available as of October.
The government raised interest rates on capital goods and
trucks for 2014 in order to ease the effect of the additional
stimulus on public finances.