Expatica news

Portugal sells 40% of electric grid to China, Oman firms

Bailed out Portugal said Thursday it will sell a 40 percent stake in the national electricity grid for 592 million euros ($775 million) to Chinese and Omani groups as part of its austerity programme.

China State Grid will pay 387 million euros for a 25 percent stake in REN and Omani Oil 205 million euros for 15 percent, treasury secretary Maria Albuquerque said after a cabinet meeting.

She said the price paid was 150 million euros more than the market value of the national grid as of Wednesday.

In December, the government sold China Three Gorges Corp. a 21.35 percent state in Energias de Portugal (EDP) for 2.7 billion euros as the debt-stricken country sells assets to bolster state coffers.

Portugal was bailed out in May last year through a 78 billion euro debt rescue from the EU and International Monetary Fund who required in return that the government cut spending and hike taxes to stabilise the public finances.

The programme also envisages that the government will raise some 5.0 billion euros through state asset sales so as to bring down a debt mountain equal to more than the economy was worth last year.