BANKING & FINANCE
Bank lending in Brazil rebounded in March, with new loans increasing for the first time in three months, signalling a thaw in credit markets in the Latin American nation (Reuters).
Banco do Brasil replaced several top executives on Thursday as newly appointed Chief Executive Officer Aldemir Bendine took the helm of the federally controlled lender (Reuters).
UBS AG agreed to sell its Brazilian business back to its original owners for about $2.5 billion, boosting its capital despite a small loss, and potentially reducing the need for a capital hike (Reuters).
Brazil’s banking spreads, or the difference between the rate that banks lend funds and the country’s benchmark borrowing cost, will only decline once its causes are attacked, the head of the Brazilian banks federation said (Reuters).
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Brazilian companies are better positioned to weather the global downturn than their Mexican counterparts, which are struggling amid a tumbling peso and the U.S. recession, ING Bank analysts said (Reuters).
Brazil cut taxes on Friday on a range of domestic appliances and construction materials for a three-month period, the government’s latest attempt to lift Latin America’s biggest economy out of a slump (Reuters).
Brazil’s mining giant Vale said on Monday that it is selling iron ore at a 20 percent discount to 2008 benchmark prices, until new annually revised term contract price agreements were set (Reuters).
Brazil’s Petrobras is seeking around 240 offshore oil development vessels in the next five to six years, its chief financial officer said, deals that could bring new life to the stagnant global shipbuilding sector (Reuters).
Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil’s state-controlled oil company, found more evidence of oil in an onshore block in the country’s Espirito Santo Basin, the Brazilian petroleum regulator said (Reuters).
TIM Participacoes plans to buy Brazilian long-distance operator Intelig in an all-stock deal worth $300 million, the Brazilian mobile phone operator said (Reuters).
The big four auto makers in Brazil joined forces with the Sugar Cane Industry Association (Unica) on Wednesday in a campaign aimed at expanding the use of cane-based ethanol in flex-fuel vehicles (Reuters).
Brazilian sugar and ethanol producers will open fewer mills next year and probably won’t expand sugar-cane planting as they struggle with debt amid a global credit crisis, a government official said (Bloomberg).
Shares of Brazilian meat industry companies soared on Thursday after the government’s National Monetary Council approved a 10 billion reais ($4.6 billion) credit line for local meat processing companies (Reuters).
Rio de Janeiro’s state governor will meet with Baosteel. and offer land and partnership opportunities in a bid to persuade China’s biggest steelmaker to reverse its decision to leave Brazil (Bloomberg).