Brazil Said to Expect Up to 5 Billion Reais From Utility Sale

Brazil’s government expects the sale this year of the Goias state distributor Celg to raise as much as 5 billion reais ($1.6 billion), according to an official on President Dilma Rousseff’s economic team with direct knowledge of the discussions.

The Treasury would get 1.5 billion reais to 2 billion reais from the sale of Celg Distribuicao SA, with the remainder going to shareholders, the official said. Separately, Hong Kong-based China Mobile and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund have expressed interest in bidding for the planned auction of a 4G operating license.

The sales are part of the government’s plan to generate a budget surplus of 1.1 percent of gross domestic product this year, excluding interest payments, from a deficit of 0.6 percent last year. Other sources of revenue are to come from planned auctions for oil exploration and maritime ports in Santos and Belem this year.

AT&T is interested in establishing a foothold in Brazil and has meetings with government officials scheduled for this month, the official said. Any foreign investor would have to buy a local operator to be competitive in Brazil, he said. Brad Burns, an AT&T spokesman, declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg News.

Telecom Italia has been exploring a bid for Oi SA, after the smallest of Brazil’s phone operators said in August it was working on an acquisition of the Milan-based carrier’s stake in Tim Participacoes SA.

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