Brazilian government using alternative means to start privatisation process

Author: John Crabb | Published: 5 Mar 2020

In lieu of a more traditional selloff, the Brazilian administration is selling off a number of publicly-held assets in the country as it looks to move towards the ultimate goal of full privatisation.

Rather than attempt to win the congressional approval required to sell off important assets such as Petrobras, Electrobras or state-owned banks Banco de Brasil and Caixa Econômica Federal, the government has surreptitiously been offloading subsidiaries.

The privatisation process was a key part of President Bolsonaro’s election campaign. "They are going to be successful in privatising a range of assets, but there are different structures and processes depending on the asset," said Thomaz Favarro, analyst for global risk analysis at Control Risks.

A state-owned company like Petrobras can sell its pipelines without congressional approval. Privatisation of major infrastructure projects does not require congressional approval – unlike major state-owned companies. If Banco de Brasil wants to sell its...