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LatinNews Daily - 11 February 2021

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In brief: Brazil’s congress approves autonomy of central bank

* Brazil’s federal chamber of deputies has approved by 339 votes to 114 a bill which gives an autonomous status to the country’s central bank (BCB). The bill, which must now be sanctioned by President Jair Bolsonaro, defines the BCB’s main objective as “guaranteeing price stability”. Under the bank’s newly autonomous status, the BCB president will no longer be considered to have ministerial status but be nominated by the president of the republic for a fixed four-year term, which would not coincide with presidential terms (the bank’s eight directors will also be appointed for set mandates, and nominees must be approved by the senate). The BCB itself issued a statement yesterday noting that the approval of its autonomous status “is a change which will bring important benefits to the country in the medium and long terms”. According to the BCB, autonomy from the government will lend the institution more credibility, as well as help with reaching the objectives of low inflation, low interest rates, lower risks, and greater monetary and financial stability.