Foreign investors shy to take part in Brazil concession auctions - report

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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Brazilian banks and fund managers are struggling to convince large foreign investors to participate in the next round of public service concession auctions announced by the government in September.

Local daily Folha de S.Paulo reported that it spoke with six major banks and four funds that finance infrastructure projects in Brazil and other countries under the condition that they would remain anonymous.

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The banks and funds said they were in talks to bring in 60bn reais (US$18.8bn) in investments for the country, but they have so far only secured 10bn reais.

One of these financial institutions, which manages 100bn reais in infrastructure projects around the world, declined to raise capital for a fund created especially for new auctions in Brazil.

Law firms that advise investors have also reported the same difficulties. They said that interest in discussing investments in Brazil had returned after the impeachment of former President Dilma Rousseff, but only a few have closed deals.

President Michel Temer's concessions plan, called Crescer, was released a month ago, but so far there has been no notice of any upcoming auctions. When a notice is made public, it will be open for 100 days before an auction is officially scheduled.

Before any auctions are considered, the government wants to resolve a pending issue that could affect future investments. Several concessions handled by Rousseff's administration suffered financial problems and banks are due around 5bn reais in arrears on loans from companies managing these concessions.

The government is preparing a provisional measure allowing the renegotiation of contracts or the opening of new bidding processes. As some companies that could benefit from this measure are under investigation in the Lava Jato corruption probe, this could be seen as negative by the market.