Brazil pushes more privatizations

Brazil pushes more privatizations

Economy & Policy M&A Politics Telecoms Brazil

The Brazilian government has announced plans to privatize nine state-owned companies, including the postal service Correios and the telecommunications company Telebrás.

Onyx Lorenzoni, chief of staff for President Jair Bolsonaro, likened the asset sales to giving the government "liposuction" and said the program will attract investments from home and abroad, according to a statement from the president's office.

Other firms in the government's privatization plans include the asset manager Emgea, the fund guarantee agency ABGF, the IT services company Serpro and the social security data services firm Dataprev.

The government also intends to sell the Santos port authority Codesp, the food supply company Ceagesp in the state of São Paulo and the technology center Ceitec, the finance ministry said.

The Investment Partnership Program, or PPI, previously included four other state-held firms in its privatization plans — the national mint Casa de Moeda, the food supply company Ceasa Minas in Minas Gerais and the passenger rail companies CBTU and Trensurb.

The government did not say how it will conduct the sales, when it will start the bidding process or how much money it expects to raise from privatizations.

Salim Mattar, who heads the privatization program, said it could take the government two to three years to complete the sales, according to press reports.

The local business daily Valor Econômico reported that Bolsonaro wants to privatize the state-owned oil company Petrobras before the end of his term in 2022.

Petrobras has undertaken a $26.9bn asset sales program and already pocketed billions for stakes in the fuel distribution division BR Distribuidora and the natural gas pipelines TAG and NTS. But the Bolsonaro administration has to get permission from Congress to sell the company.

"There are some big people who think they're not going to be privatized, but they're going to go under the knife," Finance Minister Paulo Guedes told Congress on August 20, according to press reports.

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