Missed Rio debt payment complicates Olympics metro construction

A man walks on the railroad of a metro line extension under construction near Nossa Senhora da Paz station in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, February 24, 2016. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Missed debt payments by the state of Rio de Janeiro have halted the release of a loan of 1 billion reais ($294 million) from Brazil’s state development bank BNDES to conclude a metro line to the Olympics venue, the state’s finance secretary told Reuters on Thursday.

Julio Bueno said the non-payment of debt to the Agence Française de Developpement and the Inter-American Development Bank blocked the release of the funds. He said he was talking to the federal government about release of the funds in order to complete the much-delayed Line Four of the Rio metro on time for the start of the Olympics on Aug. 5.

A spokesperson for BNDES was not immediately available for comments.

Reporting by Alonso Soto; Editing by Dan Grebler