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Brazil names new central bank chief

Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - 01:40

Itau Unibanco's chief economist Ilan Goldfajn is to head Brazil's central bank in a bid to restore investors' confidence. David Pollard reports.

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If business needs new friends in Brazil, then this is the latest face among them. Ilan Goldfajn will be central bank governor. Widely praised on Wall Street, his appointment's seen as a bid to shore up investor confidence. (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) ECONOMY MINISTER HENRIQUE MEIRELLES SAYING: "I am carrying out the decisions needed - whether for the Central Bank or public accounting or economic policy. We're going forward in an important and decisive way." The issue is reform. After Dilma Rousseff's suspension as president, her interim replacement Michel Temer now, reportedly, targetting a new pensions bill within 30 days. One small plug for a budget hole that could run to over 34 billion dollars this year. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHARLES STANLEY CHIEF GLOBAL ECONOMIST, JEREMY BATSTONE-CARR, SAYING: "Investors take the view that he's making the right noises ... Now, of course, we have to see the colour of Mr Temer's money, and we might see some uncertainty." And especially for Brazil's poor who fear a decade of Rousseff's left-leaning policies are at an end. Temer's appointment of an all-white, all-male administration seen in danger of widening Brazil's social divides. (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) BRAZILIAN PROTESTER, MARIA BOPP, SAYING: "Temer's government is illegitimate, patriarchal, machista and does not represent us. Women will take to the streets every day. Strength to Dilma." After leaving his job as chief economist at Itau Unibanco, Goldfajn's task will be to try to ease back from record high interest rates - and to boost slumping credit demand. Without that, Brazil's economy could suffer - as its banks. Goldman Sachs saying that this year, they could face their largest decline in profits in a decade and a half.

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Brazil names new central bank chief

Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - 01:40