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The Chilean government has received offers from 17 financial services companies to manage the sale of its stakes in four water utilities, local paper El Mercurio reported.
The government is expected to make a decision by month-end. It is likely that more than one firm will be chosen, and factors such as experience in the sanitation sector, international distribution capacity and added value will be considered, according to the daily.
The government expects to collect US$1.6bn from the sale, and has said it may use 25% of the proceeds from the sale to fund the expansion of capital Santiago's metro system. The government is currently a majority shareholder in the system's operator, Metro.
The government could allocate another 25% to funding entrepreneurship programs, and at least 50% to additional Corfo investments, the report said.
The government had originally said that the sale of its share in the utilities would be used to fund efforts to rebuild infrastructure that was damaged by the earthquake that devastated central-southern parts of the country in February 2010.