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BNDES suspends advertising spending amid review of expenses

New Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social President Joaquim Levy has decided to freeze about 61 million Brazilian reais in planned advertising spending amid a review of expenses at the state-run bank, Reuters reported.

"This [advertising budget] has to be reassessed," the executive told the newswire. "We want to see if the bank's target for advertising money is being met."

Levy, a former Brazilian finance minister who recently took the helm at BNDES under Brazil's new government, did not provide a timeframe for the review's completion.

New Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has criticized public banks in the country, including BNDES, for what he sees as excessive spending on advertising.

As of Jan. 14, US$1 was equivalent to 3.71 Brazilian reais.