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BNDES injects R $ 55 billion to face coronavirus emergency

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Petrobras and BNDES buildings in Rio de Janeiro (Photo: Rodrigo Soldon)

The National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) is going to inject R $ 55 billion into the Brazilian economy, to contribute to the containment of the new coronavirus pandemic. The immediate execution socio-economic measures were approved on an emergency basis and announced today (22) by the bank's president, Gustavo Montezano, in a live broadcast on Youtube for journalists.

There will be four measures lasting six months: R $ 20 billion will come from the transfer of resources from the PIS-PASEP Fund to the Guarantee Fund for Seniority (FGTS), to be managed by the Ministry of Economy; R $ 19 billion from the temporary suspension of payments of installments of direct financing to companies, both principal and interest, called standstill; R $ 11 billion in indirect financing standstill for companies; and R $ 5 billion with the expansion of credit for micro, small and medium-sized companies through partner banks.

“We are expanding our credit offer for small and medium-sized companies. From micro companies to companies with up to 300 million annual revenues, they will have access to BNDES Working Capital, via financial transfer. The bank has this cash available, financing in up to 5 years, with a 2-year grace period, and the maximum limit is R $ 70 million for each borrower ”.

Montezano explained that the measures directly support the worker, with the possibility of new FGTS withdrawals, and indirectly, by helping to maintain the financial capacity of 150,000 companies, which employ more than 2 million people. The bank's president pointed out that the value of the measures is almost equal to the total disbursed last year by the BNDES, of R $ 60 billion.

He recalled that the moment is unprecedented, as it is a health crisis with repercussions on the economy, and that the bank has been preparing for the unknown.

“The bank has been working quietly for the past two weeks. We made technical changes and today we are able to work with 100% of the employees at home. Now we can start our critical mission, which is this BNDES countercyclical mission ”.

Sectoral measures

Montezano pointed out that the measures announced today are only the first step, with transversal actions that encompass all sectors of the economy present in the bank's credit portfolio and citizens with the FGTS. For the next week, the bank is already studying sectorial measures, with emphasis on airlines, tourism, bars and restaurants and states and municipalities.

“We believe that we managed to provide additional liquidity of R $ 10 to R $ 20 billion for this segment. However, it is important that this coordination is done in conjunction with the National Treasury. So Minister Paulo Guedes, with (Treasury) secretary Mansueto (Almeida), are conducting this negotiation. It is important that the federative pact and the Mansueto Plan are forwarded ”.

Airline

For the airline industry, Montezano pointed out that the objective is to provide financial support for the restructuring of the companies. “It will be a sector support, it will not be just for a company. We are thinking about products that cover large companies, others for regional ones and also for aircraft manufacturers ”.

He added that public funds cannot be used to pay private creditors and must be used for Brazilian companies' operations. For tourism, bars and restaurants, the bank's president informed that the idea is to provide temporary support, since, according to him, “the crisis will pass”.

“It is an oxygen for the sector to cross the bridge. But we will only go public when we are sure to announce something concrete and material that is available in the short term for these entrepreneurs ”.

Actions

Responding to questions from journalists, the president of the BNDES also explained that sales of shares in the bank are suspended, since the market is in a very volatile situation, as well as the return of resources to the Treasury.

“We are expecting a normalization of the markets. When that comes, we will again discuss a possible divestment of the bank. In the same way as the return to the Treasury. We were discussing whether we would do it and how much we would do to prepay the debt with the Treasury. But the instruction we received, both from the Treasury and the Ministry of Economy, is that we focus, at that moment, on all our efforts to overcome the crisis ”.

The conference was opened remotely by President Jair Bolsonaro, who recalled the importance of measures to help maintain jobs. “With these initial measures by the BNDES, the bank lives up to the social S”.

The President of the Republic, Jair Bolsonaro and the President of the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES), Gustavo Montezano, by videoconference announce measures to maintain jobs – twitter.com/jairbolsonaro

He also highlighted the lethality of the coronavirus. “We recognize that the virus has to be treated with due care. It can be fatal for certain layers of society, the elderly or those who have health problems, this worries us a lot. It is life first ”.

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