May 2, 2019 / 10:05 PM / in 17 days

Brazil's Caixa plans to lure two more partners for insurance business: CEO

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazil’s state-owned lender Caixa Econômica Federal is seeking at least two additional partners for its insurance unit Caixa Seguridade before listing the company by September, Chief Executive Pedro Guimarães told Reuters on Thursday.

In August 2018, Caixa’s Seguridade and France’s CNP Assurances SA created a joint venture to sell life insurance products in the bank’s more than 4,000 branches. CNP agreed to pay 4.65 billion reais ($1.17 billion) for a 40 percent stake in the venture.

Now, Guimarães expects to lure other new partners for Caixa Seguridade, in areas such as home and auto insurance policies. The bank will invite investors for a bidding process next week.

Guimarães said the bank has yet to decide the stake it will sell in Caixa Seguridade in the initial public offering, if 30 percent, with the insurance unit remaining state-controlled, or effectively privatize it by selling 51 percent.

Caixa is also mulling strategic partnerships for its credit card and asset management businesses, as Reuters reported in March.

The bank intends to list its insurance unit as part of a plan to raise up to 40 billion reais ($10.08 billion) from the sale of assets it owns by 2020, including up to 3.5 billion reais ($882.39 million) from the sale of some buildings.

It plans to sells a 2.2 percent stake in Petroleo Brasileiro SA and list its lottery unit in 2019.

Guimarães added assets that Caixa plans to put on the block also include stakes in card processor Cielo SA and lender Banco Pan.

Guimaraes said he wants to proceed with the divestments even if Brazil’s pension reform negotiations take longer than expected.

Caixa’s CEO intends to use the proceeds to repay debts with the Brazilian Treasury. The bank posted a recurring net income of 12.7 billion reais in 2018, up 40.4 percent from the previous year.

Reporting by Aluisio Alves; Writing by Carolina Mandl; Editing by Phil Berlowitz

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