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Brazilian Bank Boosts Lending

Brazil bank president Luciano Coutinho plans to ramp up bank's lending.

As Brazil seeks to resist the global recession and sustain growth this year, it is counting heavily on state-owned Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social to step up its lending. And Luciano Coutinho, the bank’s president, is more than happy to oblige. Visiting New York last month for an investment conference headlined by the president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Coutinho outlined his plan to ramp up the bank’s lending by 31 percent this year, to nearly 121 billion reals ($53 billion). The bank intends to expand lending to everyone from microcredit borrowers to industrial giants like oil company Petrobras. "We understand we should play a countercyclical role in terms of the supply of credit," he says, adding that he is confident his country can do the same for the global economy. "The Brazilian economy will be able to lead the recovery along with China and other large economies."