August 21, 2019 / 7:41 PM / a month ago

Brazil's Bolsonaro wants to privatize Petrobras by end of his term: report

FILE PHOTO: Brazil's state-run Petrobras oil company headquarters is pictured in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil May 27, 2019. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - The economic team of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro wants to privatize state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA before the end of his term in 2022, Brazilian newspaper Valor Economico reported on its website on Wednesday, citing anonymous sources.

The report also cites a speech by Economy Minister Paulo Guedes at an event hosted by Valor. “There are big guys thinking they won’t be privatized, but we will get there,” Guedes is reported as saying.

Guedes also said the government plans to announce next year a new round of companies to be privatized, according to the newspaper.

Shares of the oil company, known as Petrobras, spiked after the report and were up 7.5% on Wednesday afternoon in Sao Paulo. Petrobras and the Economy Ministry did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

Although Petrobras has been selling assets including large subsidiaries, such as its fuel distribution unit Petrobras Distribuidora SA and the large natural gas pipeline networks NTS and TAG, the government would need Congressional approval to sell the fuel company.

The board of a government privatization committee known as PPI met on Wednesday to include new companies in a list of potential privatizations. Among them is the company that controls the postal service, Reuters reported on Tuesday, and power company Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA, known as Eletrobras .

Government officials are expected to speak about the privatizations at a news conference later on Wednesday.

Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Leslie Adler

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