SAO PAULO, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Filings for bankruptcy protection in Brazil hit an 11-year high as the harshest recession in decades hampered the country's businesses' ability to generate cash and pay high-cost debt, credit research company Serasa Experian said on Tuesday.
They rose to 1,863 in 2016, up 44.8 percent from 2015, according to Serasa Experian data, which sources its information from courts and official newspapers. It has collected data on filings since 2006.
"The financial health of Brazilian companies deteriorated, causing a record number of bankruptcy filings," Serasa Experian said in a report.
Small-sized companies led the Jenuary-December tally with 1,134 filings, followed by mid-sized firms, with 470. As many as 259 large firms sought protection from creditors in the period, Serasa Experian added. (Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Dan Grebler)