Business Notes:FINANCE: Kicking Down The Debt

Kicking Down The Debt

Brazil's foreign creditors usually demand payments in a hard currency, such as U.S. dollars. But Philips, the giant Dutch electronics firm, had a different idea. The company cashed in $4 million worth of Brazilian loans for 1.5 billion Brazilian cruzados to buy a tangible asset: soccer star Romario Farias. The 22-year-old player, who led Brazil's team to a silver medal in the Olympics, has signed a three-year, $900,000 contract to play for PSV Eindhoven, a Dutch team sponsored by Philips. Frustrated Brazilian fans are wondering: Will their country try to solve its debt crisis by exporting its best athletes?

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