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Utility auctions delayed

Analysts expect the privatisation of Brazil’s hydroelectricity generators Furnas, Chesf and Electronorte to be delayed to late 2001, although Brazil’s government has insisted the sale will be in 2000.

The key to the privatisation, plan as outlined by consultant Coopers & Lybrand, is the sale of Brazil’s generation assets. But only one power generating company formed from the former Eletrobras has been sold,, while most of the distribution utilities have already been privatised. The sale of generating assets has been stalled since 1998, a delay attributed partly to lack of political will and partly to improvements in Brazil’s public accounts.