(Bloomberg) -- Brazil’s government intends to make the mining giant Vale "private again" by pushing out pension funds of state-controlled companies, a senior official said on Wednesday. Shares rose.
"Vale is a state company. Pension funds controlled by the government control Vale," Privatization Secretary Salim Mattar said on Wednesday at an event in Brasilia. "We’re here to reprivatize Vale."
Vale’s shares, which had lost around 28 percent in the aftermath of last month’s dam break near Brumadinho, accelerated gains in morning trading following Mattar’s remarks. It wasn’t immediately clear how the government would get pension funds to sell their stake.
Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro’s administration expects to raise $20 billion this year alone through the sale of state-controlled companies. Privatizations of public assets are central to the government’s pro-business economic agenda which is aimed at slashing debt, boosting fiscal accounts and accelerating growth.
The January dam accident killed over a hundred people and put the miner’s operations under stricter government scrutiny. The company’s license to operate a separate dam at one of its largest mines was revoked by a Brazilian state regulator on Feb. 5.
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