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Finance Minister Mailson da Nobrega announced Tuesday that Brazil has reached an agreement with foreign private banks for the rescheduling of $67 billion of its $123 billion foreign debt.

The rescheduling package is the largest ever negotiated by a developing country and covers new and rescheduled loans, da Nobrega said. He also described the deal as the "best ever" negotiated by a developing country.The finance minister also said about 600 foreign lending banks still had to agree on their own share of the new deal whose details could be disclosed in New York as early as Wednesday. No details were immediately available.

"This is the best ever accord that any Third World country has concluded," da Nobrega told a news conference.

Brazil last year discontinued servicing its huge debt because of declining trade revenues. But exports sharply increased this year, allowing Brazil to pledge the resumption of interest payments as part of the new deal with its foreign lenders.

Brazil has the largest foreign debt of the developing world and owes about $123 billion to foreign banks and governments and to international institutions.

Although the terms of the agreement were not disclosed, officials said that medium- and long-term loans amounting to about $62 billion will be rescheduled while new financing will amount to $5.2 billion, allowing the Latin American country to meet its most immediate interest payment commitments.

According to the new agreement, interest will be 0.8125 percent over LIBOR, the London Inter-Bank Offer Rate governing most international lending transactions, they said.

The new financing will cover credits, debt-equity swaps, bonds and exit bonds, they added.

The rescheduling involves repayment periods of 12 years with a five-year grace period for the new financing and 20 years with an eight-year grace period for rescheduled loans.