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Brazil central bank chief calls for control over foreign capital investments

The outgoing president of the Banco Central do Brasil, Ilan Goldfajn, argued that President Jair Bolsonaro should sign a decree that would delegate the power to authorize the participation of foreign investment in the country's financial institutions to the central bank.

In an interview with Valor Económico published Jan. 3, the central bank president, who is set to be replaced by Banco Santander (Brasil) SA executive Roberto Campos Neto, argued that the measure would help facilitate foreign investments in the financial sector.

Current legislation requires foreign bank operations to be approved through presidential decrees, on a case by case basis, as well as a central bank screening process, according to the report.

The requirements for the approval of foreign investments are more strenuous than those for domestic ones, Goldfajn noted, arguing that such treatment was considered discriminatory by multilateral agencies like the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Goldfajn also urged Brazil's congress to draft legislation that would give the central bank the power to approve the appointments of public bank directors. Currently, the regulatory body only oversees such appointments at private banks.