Joaquim Levy Said to Be Appointed as Brazil Finance Minister

Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff will appoint former Treasury Secretary Joaquim Levy as finance minister as early as Thursday, said a government official who was briefed on her plans.

Levy, head of Bradesco Asset Management Ltd., will replace Guido Mantega, who said he will step down for personal reasons. Rousseff will also confirm Alexandre Tombini as central bank chief, said the official, who asked not be named because the talks were private.

The Ibovespa led gains among major global equity indexes as investors speculate Rousseff will give Levy the autonomy to unwind policies that slowed growth, fueled inflation and widened the budget deficit, threatening Brazil’s investment grade status. The real also rallied, leading global currency gains.

“Levy is a name that pleases a lot of investors because he’s very conservative and a specialist in fiscal adjustments,” Fernando Goes, an analyst at brokerage firm Clear Corretora, said by phone from Sao Paulo. “His team would be able to fix the economy’s main problems at this point.”

The Sao Paulo stock exchange gauge climbed 1.1 percent to 56,045.21 at 12:50 p.m. in Sao Paulo as 53 of its 70 stocks advanced. The real rose 1 percent to 2.5211 per U.S. dollar, the biggest advance among 31 major currencies tracked by Bloomberg.

Economic Team

Rousseff postponed an announcement of her economic team last Friday to await the result of a vote in Congress on changes to the 2014 budget target, the official said. The joint budget committee approved the bill last night and it will be voted on the floor today.

The real posted its biggest weekly rally in a year on Nov. 21 as Folha de S.Paulo reported that Levy would run the Finance Ministry. Levy helped pave the way for Brazil’s investment grade credit rating in 2008 by reducing the nation’s debt as a percentage of gross domestic product under Rousseff’s predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. He was Treasury secretary from January 2003 to March 2006.

Former Deputy Finance Minister Nelson Barbosa will take over from Miriam Belchior at the Planning and Budget Ministry, the official said.

Rousseff won the Oct. 26 election with the narrowest margin of any president since at least 1945. She will start her second term on Jan. 1.

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