December 17, 2018 / 8:09 PM / a year ago

Telefonica Brasil expects telecom law to be approved in 2019

SAO PAULO, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Telefonica Brasil SA , Brazil’s largest wireless carrier, expects a bill to overhaul the country’s telecommunications regulation to be approved next year, its future chief executive said on Monday.

Christian Gebara, who was tipped last week to take over the company on Jan. 1, said he will broadly maintain the company’s current strategy and had a positive outlook for 2019, including the passage of the bill and a rebounding economy.

The telecommunications sector overhaul was pushed as part of President Michel Temer’s reform agenda and aimed to modernize the law, removing demands of capital expenditures in areas such as public telephones in the streets. It has failed to reach a vote in Congress before he will step down on Jan. 1.

Gebara said that the company is considering diversifying further into new financial products, saying it is analyzing offering microcredit, or lending small amounts of money. The company already offers insurance on mobile handsets in partnership with the Brazilian unit of Switzerland’s Zurich Insurance Group AG and is considering also selling auto insurance, he added.

Reporting by Gabriela Mello; writing by Jake Spring; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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