S&P Raises Outlook for 9 Brazilian Electric Utilities

Nine Brazilian electric utilities, including Cia. Energetica de Sao Paulo and Eletropaulo Metropolitana SA, had their national scale rating outlooks boosted to positive by Standard & Poor’s.

S&P also said today in a statement it raised the rating of AES Sul Distribuidora Gaucha de Energia SA to brA from brA-.

Brazilian utilities are protected against inflation and higher costs by annual rate reviews designed to cover financing, expansion and maintenance charges. In the past 12 months, the 16 utilities on the Sao Paulo stock exchange’s electricity index gained 14 percent, less than the 16 percent decline by the Bovespa index of the exchange’s 64 most-traded stocks.

“The ratings actions are based on the stability of the business fundamentals in this sector and expected stable or improving financial performance,” S&P said. The outlook for improved “performance through 2009,” was made “despite the global recession.”

The other utilities that had their outlook upgraded to positive are Ampla Energia e Servicos SA, Cia. Brasiliana de Energia, Cia. Eletricidade do Estado da Bahia, Cia. Energetica de Pernambuco, Cia. Energetica do Rio Grande do Norte, Itapebi Geracao de Energia SA and Neoenergia SA.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeb Blount in Rio de Janeiro at jblount@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jessica Brice in Sao Paulo at jbrice1@bloomberg.net

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