Brazil hopes to sell assets worth $36 billion in 2020: official

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil hopes to sell assets worth 150 billion reais ($36.33 billion) in 2020, privatizations secretary Salim Mattar said on Tuesday, adding that the focus this year will be on selling subsidiaries of Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA ELET6.SA.

In a discussion with journalists, Mattar added that the sale of the country’s post office would most likely occur toward the end of 2021, as the government is still analyzing its options.

Under President Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s government has been seeking to reduce its corporate footprint to slim down, combat corruption and generate cash.

In 2019, the government raised 51.4 billion reais with privatizations and 54 billion reais through the sale of shares held by public-sector institutions.

Bolsonaro’s economic team plans to reduce the number of companies in which it has a controlling or minority stake to around 300, down from 624 at the end of 2019, Mattar said.

“We intend to sell 150 billion reais in government assets, being about 300 companies, and we are currently working on a nearly ready fast track that studies the correct time to enter Congress,” said Mattar.

He added that his team hopes to pass a bill aimed at accelerating congressional approvals for divestments. “The goal depends on the fast track passing,” said Mattar.

Reporting by Gabriel Ponte; editing by Jonathan Oatis