Brazilian bank lends to Italian Fiat

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Brazil’s state-owned National Social and Economic Development Bank (BNDES) announced Wednesday that it had approved a loan of 600.5 million reals ($314.4 million) to Italian carmaker Fiat.

The investment will be used in the development of new models and new versions of old models, as well as in the improvement of industrial and technological processes, the bank said. The loan represents 50% of the total cost of these projects, estimated at 1.2 billion reals ($628 million).

National Social and Economic Development Bank said Brazil is Fiat’s largest market outside Italy. Fifteen percent of the company’s revenue is generated in the South American country, which hosts Fiat’s sole overseas development center. BNDES said the investment would enable Fiat to consider developing a brand-new model entirely in Brazil.

The Italian giant currently leads Brazil’s automobile sales, and employs about 31,300 workers in 15 plants in three states. (people.com.cn)

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