Former Steel Executive Appointed Head of Brazil’s BNDES Bank

  • BNDES one of few sources of long-term lending in Brazil
  • Appointment follows criticism on lack of women in cabinet

Brazil’s Acting President Michel Temer has appointed Maria Silvia Bastos Marques, the former chief executive of steelmaker Cia. Siderurgica Nacional, to head up Brazil’s state development bank BNDES.

Marques, 59, has also served as CEO of Rio de Janeiro’s Olympic Company and finance secretary for the city’s government. Temer’s press office announced her appointment by text message, without providing additional details such as her start date.

Temer has moved quickly to form his administration after the Senate last week forced Dilma Rousseff to step aside and face an impeachment trial. He has selected seasoned politicians in an effort to shore up his base in Congress, as well as former Wall Street banker Henrique Meirelles as finance minister to revive investor confidence in a battered economy. Temer has come under criticism for his failure to appoint a single woman to his cabinet.

BNDES is one of the few sources of long-term lending in Brazil. In her first term in office, Rousseff relied heavily on the bank to provide subsidized loans to corporations. After her re-election in 2014, the bank started to raise its interest rates and cut back on some lending in an effort to cool inflation and rein in a widening budget deficit. Temer has placed the bank under the control of his budget ministry, run by his long-time political confidant Romero Juca.

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