Top Stories
Top Stories

UPDATE 1-Brazil Supreme Court tilts toward Petrobras asset sales without Congress

Congress@ (Updates to reflect additional votes, adds context)

BRASILIA, June 6 (Reuters) - The first seven votes by Brazil's Supreme Court justices split narrowly in favor of letting state-run firms divest subsidiaries without congressional approval on Thursday afternoon, which would let the nation's state oil company proceed with announced asset sales.

With four justices still to vote, three said the divestment of state-run firms and subsidiaries required congressional authorization and four said such approval was not required. The remaining four justices are set to cast their votes on Thursday.

The decision could have a huge impact on Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, as the state-run oil company is executing a plan to divest $27 billion of non-core assets by 2023, including an $8.6 billion pipeline sale to Engie SA .

It would also have an impact on other state-run firms such as power company Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA, or Eletrobras, which is also eyeing divestments.

Plans to privatize state firms are central to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's economic proposals. Economy Minister Paulo Guedes has said the government could raise some 1 trillion reais ($258 billion) through privatizations.

($1 = 3.88 reais) (Reporting by Ricardo Brito Writing by Gram Slattery Editing by Bernadette Baum and Marguerita Choy)