December 3, 2018 / 3:47 PM / 15 days ago

Brazil's incoming economy minister cancels Europe trip because of illness

Economist Paulo Guedes, future economy minister, is seen after a meeting with Brazil's President-elect Jair Bolsonaro at the transition government building in Brasilia, Brazil November 27, 2018. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil’s incoming Economy Minister Paulo Guedes has cancelled a European tour to present his plans for turning around Latin America’s biggest economy so he can follow a doctor’s orders to rest for a week because of a viral infection, a spokesman said.

Guedes was to speak with investors in London. He also planned to be in Madrid this week with incoming Justice Minister Sergio Moro for a panel hosted by writer Mario Vargas Llosa on the challenges facing governments in Latin America.

Guedes, a long-time investment banker, is the economic guru for far-right President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, who he helped win credibility with Brazil’s business class on his way to being elected in October.

Last week, Brazil’s federal police, who will be under the command of Moro’s justice ministry, began an investigation into Guedes for alleged fraud tied to pension funds at state-firms.

Police will look into whether Guedes mismanaged hundreds of millions of reais that public pension funds put in his investment vehicles starting in 2009.

Guedes lawyers say he did nothing wrong and the investigation will clear his name.

Reporting by Marcela Ayres; Writing by Brad Brooks; Editing by David Gregorio

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