Another part of Portuguese electricity company may be privatized this year, says Finance Minister

10 October 2007

Luxembourg, 10 Oct – The Portuguese finance minister said Tuesday in Luxembourg that the Portuguese government may speed up the sale of part of the stake the government still owns in power company EDP – Energias de Portugal, in order to fulfil the target of netting 950 million euros from privatizations this year.

Fernando Teixeira dos Santos, who was speaking at the start of a meeting of European Union Finance Ministers, said that EDP was on the government’s privatization program and the fulfilling the budgeted target could make it necessary to carry out the privatization by the end of the year.

Weekly newspaper Expresso reported, in its October 5 edition, that the finance ministry was preparing “the privatization of 4 percent of EDP in case Mozambique does not pay the US$700 million that it owes for the change in the shareholder structure of the Cahora Bassa Hydroelectric Dam(HCB).”

“The figure is not part of the 950 million euros that the Government expects to net from privatizations, but it could be enough to make new operations unnecessary,” said the paper, adding that, “at the moment, there are 605 million euros to go, which is a figure not far from the amount that could arrive from Maputo at any moment.”

In Luxembourg, Teixeira dos Santos also said that the possible privatization of a 4 percent tranche of EDP was not related to the payment for Cahora Bassa. (macauhub)