(Adds intention to sell in one block, quote, background)
LISBON May 2 The Portuguese government gave the
go-ahead on Thursday for the privatisation of the insurance arm
of state-owned bank Caixa Geral de Depositos (CGD), to be
completed by the end of the year.
Caixa Seguros is Portugal's biggest insurer with a
30-percent market share, and its sale is part of a series of
privatisations demanded as a condition of the country's EU/IMF
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Luis Marques Guedes said all
four of CGD's insurance units would will be sold, preferrably in
a single block to a large investor or a bidding consortium.
"The government does not rule out a public offer on capital
markets," he added at a briefing.
Last year, CGD sold its healthcare unit for 86 million euros
Portugal has won praise from EU partners for the speed and
scale of its privatisation drive.
It has already met its bailout target to raise 5.5 billion
euros by the of 2013 after pocketing more than 6.4 billion euros
from selling stakes in power firms EDP and REN
, as well as in airport operator ANA last year.
Portugal is still expected to privatise the national postal
service CTT, flag carrier TAP, the cargo unit of the national
railway company Comboios de Portugal and parts of water utility
Aguas de Portugal.
($1 = 0.7580 euros)
(Reporting by Sergio Goncalves, Writing by Andrei Khalip and
Daniel Alvarenga; Editing by Mark Potter)