Brazil central bank board lowered the Selic rate to 4.25%, and intends to hold interest rates going forward after five consecutive rate cuts totalling 2.25 percentage points.The economy ministry expects gross domestic product to expand 2.4% in 2020. Annual inflation stood at 4.34% in mid-January, but the real’s performance, the second worst among emerging market currencies so far this year, could fuel price increases by making imports more expensive.
Brazil’s development bank BNDES sold on Wednesday $5.2 billion in common shares it owned in state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4.SA), the largest Petrobras offering in a decade. BNDES will send part of the profits to Brazil’s Treasury as dividends. The sale of Petrobras shares is the largest divestiture so far of the R$110 billion stock portfolio owned by the development bank.
Swedish truck and bus manufacturer Volvo announced an investment of R$ 1 billion ($237 million) in Brazil in the period between 2020 and 2023 for research and development of products and services, including construction of equipment and marine engines. Brazil was the second market of the group in the world in 2019 when heavy truck sales grew 58%, light heavy 55.5%, buses 73% and exports, mainly to Colombia and Chile, went up 77%.