UPDATE 1-Brazil mulls splitting Eletrobras into three -report
* Move seen as way to lower costs after rate cut
* Eletrobras plans statement on Friday
(Adds share performance)
RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 25 (Reuters) - The Brazilian government is studying a plan to split state-controlled utility Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA into three companies in an effort to reduce costs to compensate for steep revenue losses, O Globo newspaper reported on Friday.
Under the proposal, the assets of Eletrobras, as it is known, would be grouped into separate electricity generation, transmission and distribution companies, the paper said, citing an unnamed industry source.
Eletrobras plans to issue a statement on Friday about the Globo report following a meeting of its board of directors, the mines and energy ministry said in an emailed response to Reuters.
Rio de Janeiro-based Eletrobras is expected to lose 8.7 billion reais ($4.3 billion) of revenue a year after agreeing to a government plan to renew expiring hydroelectric dam concessions in exchange for electricity rate cuts of between 18 percent and 32 percent starting this month.
To make up for these losses, Eletrobras expects to cut operating costs and receive new revenue from giant hydroelectric dams being built in Brazil's Amazon region, the paper said.
Eletrobras preferred shares, the company's most-traded class of stock, have lost more than a quarter of their value since early September when the government unveiled the rate-cut plan.
Eletrobras' U.S.-traded shares rose 0.56 percent to $3.61 on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday. They lost 67 percent last year. Brazilian stock markets were closed for a Sao Paulo civic holiday.
If the split occurs, the new companies would probably absorb regional generation and transmission units responsible for about 36 percent of the electricity generation in the country, Globo reported.
Eletrobras said in December that it was studying measures to contain expenses and would release a cost-cutting plan to investors by the end of March.
($1 = 2.03 Brazilian reais)
(Reporting by Jeb Blount; Editing by Guillermo Parra-Bernal, Lisa Von Ahn and Phil Berlowitz)