Brazil BNDES sells stake in Vale for $2 billion

Crushed iron ore is transported in railroad cars at Vale’s Brucutu mine in Barao de Cocais, Brazil. (Image by Ricardo Teles | Vale)

Brazil’s state-owned development bank BNDES has sold its stake in Vale (NYSE: VALE) to exit its position in various companies as part of a broader government divestment plan.

The sale of 188.5 million shares in VALE, gradually carried out by the bank’s equity arm BNDESPar this year, raised around 11 billion reais ($2 billion), the Brazil Journal reported.

The Rio de Janeiro-based miner, the world’s top iron ore producer, currently has a market capitalization of almost $93 billion.

The bank has been exiting its position in various companies as part of a broader government divestment plan

Over the past months, BNDES has been turning its focus and resources energies towards Brazil’s social and environmental development.

The lender carried out in November a block trade operation at the Sao Paulo’s stock exchange. The 2.5 billion reais transaction reduced BNDES’ stake in Vale to 2.4% of the miner’s voting shares.

In August, the bank had already raised 8.1 billion reais ($1.53 billion) by selling 135 million of the iron ore miner’s shares, also in a block trade operation. The deal axed the bank’s stake in the company to 3.7% from 6.3%.

BNDES has also tried to divest its stake in state-run oil giant Petrobras, but those plans were put on the back burner after the company lost almost a fifth (71 billion reais or $13bn) of its market value on President Jair Bolsonaro’s move to appoint a new chief executive on Monday.

The President’s plan to appoint General Joaquim Silva e Luna, who served alongside Bolsonaro decades ago under Brazil’s military dictatorship, came as a blow to the oil producer.

Petrobras — officially Petróleo Brasileiro SA — had spent the past few years working to regain investors’ trust and selling billions of dollars of assets following an overspending binge under prior administrations that nearly drove the company bankrupt.

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