China grants US$15 billion in loans to Brazil in 2016

6 March 2017

Financial institutions in China in 2016 granted loans to Brazil of US$15 billion, a record which coincided with one of the most economically and politically turbulent years in Brazil, newspaper El País Brasil reported.

The Spanish newspaper, citing the annual report from the centre for Inter-American Dialogue, said that the 2016 loans added to those granted in 2015 meant that Brazil is the second largest debtor of Chinese banks in Latin America, surpassed only by Venezuela.

China granted loans worth US$21.2 billion to Latin America in 2016, more than the loans granted by the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank together, and 72% of that total was for Brazil.

Most of the funds were granted to Petrobras, a company that was at the centre of a corruption scandal and embezzlement of public funds to finance its growing debt, and the loans are being repaid by sending oil to China.

The study brings together the credits granted by the China Development Bank and Export Import Bank of China, two institutions that depend directly on the Council of State, and most of those funds are directed towards projects related to energy and infrastructure construction.

The report, which has been published since 2005, indicates that Brazil is not traditionally one of the major beneficiaries of these loans, with the exception of 2009 (the year that China became the country’s main trading partner), when Petrobras received a loan of US$10 billion.

In total, over the last 11 years Brazil has accumulated US$36.8 billion in loans granted by China, with the increase recorded in the past two years putting the country behind Venezuela (62.2 billion dollars) alone, with Ecuador in third with US$17.4 billion. (macauhub)