Brazil's government talks to banks about bailout role -sources

SAO PAULO/BRASILIA, April 15 (Reuters) - Brazil’s economy ministry is talking with private banks about providing bailouts to airlines, automakers, power companies and large retailers to help them survive the coronavirus crisis, two sources with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.

Economy Minister Paulo Guedes met with the chief executives of the largest privately-owned Brazilian lenders, Banco Bradesco SA, Itau Unibanco Holding SA, Banco Santander Brasil SA over the weekend and on Monday to discuss which debt instruments would be needed, the sources said on condition of anonymity.

The heads of the Brazilian central bank, state development bank BNDES and state-controlled Banco do Brasil SA’s also attended the meetings, which are expected to continue in the coming days.

The participants discussed using either convertible debt or loans partially guaranteed by the Treasury, the sources said.

Divisions remain in the ongoing talks, with the banks expressing willingness to cooperate in some way but insisting the government take the lion’s share of the risk, the sources said.

Brazilian newspaper Valor Economico reported earlier on BNDES coordinating help for some sectors with the country’s biggest lenders.

BNDES and the economy ministry did not immediately comment on the matter.

Airlines including Gol Linhas Aereas Intelligentes , Azul SA and Latam Airlines Group SA have previously been reported to be in talks with BNDES about funding.

It was not immediately clear which other companies would be in line for potential bailouts. (Reporting by Carolina Mandl in Sao Paulo and Marcela Ayres in Brasilia Editing by Paul Simao)