Brazil government boosts bank

Brazil’s federal government yesterday injected 1.4bn reais (£523m) into the capital base of state-controlled development bank BNDES, which is poised to lend a record amount this year. The government will cede shares in state-controlled electricity utility Eletrobras to Rio de Janeiro-based BNDES as part of the plan, according to a post in the official government gazette. The gazette did not say what the BNDES would give the government in exchange for the Eletrobras shares. Last week, the government transferred about 7bn reais worth of Petrobras stock into BNDES and Brasilia-based Caixa Economica Federal, Brazil's largest mortgage lender. The decision underscores President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s wish to strengthen the balance sheets of state lenders so they can ramp up lending.