April 30, 2020 / 11:11 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Brazil announces new measures to boost lending, liquidity

(Adds details of measures, byline)

By Jamie McGeever

BRASILIA, April 30 (Reuters) - Brazil’s National Monetary Council on Thursday announced extra measures to boost credit flow and liquidity in the financial system, the latest steps to soften the economic blow from the coronavirus pandemic.

The CMN, Brazil’s highest economic policy body that includes the economy minister and central bank president, said the measures include reducing capital requirements for small banks and temporarily waiving some requirements for rural credit operations.

Though relatively small, the moves will add to the 1.2 trillion reais ($220 billion) worth of measures the central bank has already taken to boost market liquidity.

That is the equivalent of 16.7% of gross domestic product, according to the central bank.

The latest measures also include raising the limit on non-bank institutions’ foreign exchange operations to $300,000 from $100,000. This will affect 80 institutions.

According to the central bank, over 13% of Brazilian export foreign exchange operations last year ranged from $100,000 to $300,000, while transactions of that magnitude accounted for more than 9% of imports.

Consumer finance firms will now be allowed to issue bank deposit certificates to raise funds, the central bank said on Thursday. (Reporting by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Sandra Maler and Richard Chang)

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