(Adds CEO comments, context)
RIO DE JANEIRO, March 18 (Reuters) - State-controlled lender Banco do Brasil SA is increasing client credit limits by 100 billion reais ($19 billion) for individuals, businesses and local governments to cope with the global coronavirus pandemic, according to a statement on Wednesday.
The new credit lines were announced by President Jair Bolsonaro at a news conference and followed a raft of measures from the Brazilian government this week that are aimed at weathering the consequences of the virus on the Brazilian economy.
Nearly half of the total amount will be offered to companies of all sizes, with 24 billion reais of credit earmarked for individuals.
Chief Executive Rubem Novaes said in a statement that bank managers will work closely with clients to extend loans as soon as they need.
$1 = 5.1581 reais Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter Editing by Chris Reese and Rosalba O'Brien