By Laura Madden, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Non-financial businesses in Brazil recorded a combined financial loss of R$15.3 billion last year. That's R$11 billion more than the previous year's R$4 billion. In the second half of last year, the appreciation of the dollar against the real -- from R$1.562 to R$1.869 (up 19.65 percent) -- took companies by surprise.

This year, the government has acted to prevent the dollar from falling. Last week, the Ministry of Finance extended a tax from two years to three on foreign loans . . .

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