September 5, 2017 / 1:03 PM / a year ago

Brazil to cap each private stake in Eletrobras at 5 pct -minister

BRASILIA, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Private investors will each be allowed to buy up to 5 percent of the shares in Brazilian utility Centrais Elétricas Brasileiras SA, Planning Minister Dyogo Oliveira told newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo in an interview published on Tuesday.

The exact amount remains under discussion and will be defined by the government after a national holiday on Sept. 7, Oliveira said, according to the newspaper. The limit would apply to local and foreign investors alike.

The government announced last month that it would relinquish control of Eletrobras, as the power holding company is known, while retaining a strategic veto in the boldest privatization yet by a government struggling to close a record budget deficit.

Mines and Energy Minister Fernando Coelho Filho told Reuters at the time that the government would create rules to keep a single group from holding a large Eletrobras stake.

Eletrobras has struggled for years with high debt, operating inefficiencies and little room for investments. The company's valuation metrics are well below a list of seven peers tracked by Thomson Reuters.

A media representative for the Planning Ministry did not have an immediate comment on the Estado story. (Reporting by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Paul Simao)

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