Rio de Janeiro Gets Go-Ahead to Expand BNDES Olympics Financing

Rio de Janeiro obtained authorization for hundreds of millions of dollars in additional financing from state development bank BNDES for infrastructure related to the Olympics with just eight days before competitions kick off.

At Rio’s request, Brazil’s national monetary council increased the amount of financing by 800 million reais ($243 million), raising the limit to 5.4 billion reais. The financing will be used for works including the Transbrasil rapid-bus transit line, the VLT light rail, and areas outside the Olympic Park.

“Such works are at an advanced stage of execution, but there is currently a divergence between the physical and financial timelines,” the council said in a statement. “This occurred because some of them underwent an increase in scope and extension of execution periods.”

Rio’s Mayor Eduardo Paes has insisted the city’s finances are stable, unlike those of Rio state that last month declared a state of fiscal emergency that has threatened completion of the key subway line to transport Olympic spectators to the main area of competition. It is currently scheduled to open four days before the games begin, on Aug. 5.

Neither Rio’s City Hall nor BNDES immediately replied to emailed requests for comment to clarify the causes for additional financing.

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