LatinNews Daily - 24 January 2023

In brief: Brazil’s BNDES seeks repayment from scandal-hit Americanas

* According to local press reports, Brazil’s state-owned development bank (BNDES) has begun the process of collecting debt from the major Brazilian retailer Americanas, which had filed for bankruptcy on 19 January after disclosing accounting inconsistencies amounting to approximately R$20bn (US$3.8bn). According to documents obtained by Brazilian daily O Globo, BNDES had loaned R$2.4bn to Americanas, for which it has now demanded repayment. The questionable accounting at Americanas has also shone a spotlight on three of Brazil’s best-known billionaires – the country’s richest man as ranked by Forbes, Jorge Paulo Lemann, Marcel Herrmann Telles, and Carlos Alberto Sicupira, who together own almost a third of the company. Yesterday, they released a statement which the media cited as saying that “we never had any knowledge and would never have tolerated any manoeuvres or accounting manipulation at the company”.

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