Brazil's Neoenergia requests $313 million loan to cover COVID-19 losses

FILE PHOTO: The facade of Neoenergia NEOE3.SA energy company headquarters is pictured in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil July 24, 2019. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian power holding company Neoenergia SA NEOE3.SA has requested a 1.664 billion-real ($313.12 million) loan for its four distributors as part of a government effort to support utility companies amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The so-called “Conta-Covid” operation, which was launched through a presidential decree on May 18, aims to boost power distributors’ liquidity and involves several banks led by Brazilian Development Bank BNDES.

Neoenergia, which is 52.5% controlled by a unit of Spain's Iberdrola SA IBE.MC, said its four energy distributors, Coelba, Elektro, Celpe and Cosern, have joined the Conta-Covid.

Of the total amount, Coelba accounts for 499.6 million reais, while Celpe requested 454.7 million reais, Cosern CSRN5.SA aims for 95.5 million reais and Elektro 614.3 million reais.

Reporting by Gabriela Mello; Editing by Dan Grebler