The Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) has expanded its financing criteria to include midcaps, instead of only small and medium companies (SMEs).

The bank has approved new conditions for its Linha BNDES Exim Pré-embarque (meant to support the domestic production of goods destined for global markets), allowing it to grant export loans to companies with a turnover of up to R$300mn (US$92mn).

Companies of this size will now be able to access BNDES financing at the bank’s long-term interest rate, currently 7.5%. The bank’s maximum participation has also been modified to reach 70% of total financing.

These changes are part of BNDES’ operational policy review, which aims to improve the way the bank’s resources are used, prioritising the Brazilian sectors and business segments most in need of financial support.

The review is taking place as BNDES is under scrutiny for funding the development of Cuba’s Mariel Port under Brazil’s former President Dilma Rousseff – a loan that has not appeared to benefit Brazilian exporters.

The bank appointed a new president, Maria Silvia Bastos Marques, in May 2016. She replaced Luciano Coutinho, who was at the head of BNDES when it approved the Mariel loan, and is also under investigation for his involvement with Petrobras as board member.