July 16, 2019 / 6:38 PM / a month ago

Brazil development bank BNDES eyes sale of $27 billion in listed assets

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Brazilian National Development Bank (BNDES) is seen during a swearing-in ceremony of the bank's new president, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, January 8, 2019. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazilian development bank BNDES is looking to expedite the sale of nearly 100 billion reais ($26.6 billion) in listed assets, its new chief executive said on Tuesday during his inauguration.

CEO Gustavo Montezano also said the bank is working to pay back 126 billion reais in debt to Brazil’s government by the end of this year. Montezano replaces Joaquim Levy, who resigned in June amid public tensions with President Jair Bolsonaro.

BNDESPar, the bank’s holding company, has investments in equities, domestic bonds, private equity funds and partnerships in small companies, worth around 100 billion reais.

Its largest stakes are in state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4.SA), worth roughly 53 billion reais, and miner Vale SA (VALE3.SA), valued at 16.5 billion reais.

Its equity portfolio also includes shares in power company Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA (ELET6.SA), meatpacker JBS SA (JBSS3.SA) and pulpmaker Suzano SA (SUZB3.SA).

Montezano declined to elaborate on what BNDES plans to sell this year or a time frame for the divestitures. “I have not discussed specific assets”, he said, when asked if the bank planned to sell Vale shares.

But he added that Brazilian stocks have reached historic highs and currently, the Brazilian stock exchange is able to “absorb larger share offerings than usual.”

Montezano also said, “We may use the bank’s capital position which is enough to repay the treasury.” BNDES has a capital ratio of 30%, much higher than the 11% required in Brazil.

Reporting by Marcela Ayres; writing by Carolina Mandl and Tatiana Bautzer; editing by Chris Reese and Steve Orlofsky

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