July 18, 2019 / 11:13 PM / 5 months ago

UPDATE 1-Brazil ministries to present Eletrobras privatization plan in next two weeks

(Adds minister comments, quote, background)

BRASILIA, July 18 (Reuters) - Brazil’s Mines and Energy Ministry and Economy Ministry will present a plan to privatize state-owned utility Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA in the next two weeks to President Jair Bolsonaro, an official said on Thursday.

Mines and Energy Minister Bento Albuquerque told reporters in a briefing that after Bolsonaro agrees to the plan to privatize Eletrobras, as the company is known, it will be sent to Congress in August for consideration with the aim of having it approved by year’s end.

The Brazilian government has been working to privatize Eletrobras since the administration of ex-President Michel Temer, who stepped down Jan. 1, as part of a larger effort to sell off government assets.

Bolsonaro has redoubled a government-wide push to privatize assets as part of an attempt to restore faltering government finances to health. The government previously predicted revenues of 12 billion reais ($3.23 billion) from the sale of the company.

“These are simulations that were done with diverse conditions. So if it’s 12 or if it’s 16, will depend a lot on the plan and the market expectations,” Albuquerque said.

The government is seeking to privatize Eletrobras by diluting its stake so that it no longer has control of the company, Albuquerque said.

That would make it less likely that key units like Cia Hidrelétrica de São Francisco SA and Furnas Centrais Elétricas SA, two key Eletrobras units that have some of the state’s most prized generation assets, would be sold to strategic investors.

$1 = 3.7187 reais Reporting by Jake Spring; Editing by Christian Plumb and Leslie Adler

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