Expatica news

Portugal targets 7.0 bln euros in privatisations: PM

Portugal hopes to end its privatisation programme before the end of 2012 and raise seven billion euros ($9.75 billion), Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho told French daily Le Figaro on Monday.

The privatisations were a key element a 78-billion-euro bailiout agreed in May with the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

“We are in the process of cutting golden shares (veto power) which the state holds in public companies, then we will begin the process of privatising the energy sector before mid-November,” the prime minister said.

Privatisations have been a key creditor demand in the eurozone bailouts of Greece, Ireland and Portugal. Greece has so far failed to make much headway in its privatisation programme to the frustration of the EU and IMF.

Set for privatisation in Portugal are electric utility companies, gas and oil firms, TAP national airline, the Ana airport management service, the post office, a rail cargo company and the RTP televison and radio group.

“The whole process should be completed by the end of 2012 with objective of raising at least seven billion euros,” he said.

Coelho said that the target companies had received marked interest from European investors but also from Brazil, China and several Arab countries.

Coellho said that Brazilian president Dilma Roussef, former president Luiz Lula da Silva and officials from the Brazilian national develpment bank had each conveyed the interest of Brazilian investors regarding Portuguese state-run companies.