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Brazil's Embattled Development Bank

Less than half of the $7 billion that Brazil's development bank committed since 2009 has been disbursed. As it withdraws from foreign projects, BNDES is beset by scandal.
December 9, 2016, 10am PST | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Nick Starichenko

Through development bank BNDES, it was hoped, Brazilian engineering firms would muscle into the international market. Now, after bribery allegations surfaced and the bank suspended foreign financing, half-built projects have accumulated in Venezuela, Africa, and the Caribbean.

David Biller writes, "Brazil's development bank, once a rival to the World Bank by both the size of its loan portfolio and disbursements, retreats following accusations of gross overreach and questionable spending. Of the $7 billion that BNDES committed to 25 construction projects abroad since 2009, only $2.3 billion has been disbursed."

To a nation already suffering on the world stage after President Dilma Rousseff's impeachment, the BNDES fisaco is another blow. "In its wake, the bank's withdrawal behind Brazil's borders has left a trail of unfinished projects from Latin America to as far away as Africa, as well as frustrated foreign leaders."

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Published on Thursday, December 1, 2016 in Bloomberg
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