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Brazil's new finance minister says Eletrobras sale top priority

BRASILIA, April 12 (Reuters) - The privatization of Brazil's largest utility Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA, known as Eletrobras, is the government's top priority, Finance Minister Eduardo Guardia said on Thursday after the first meeting of a reshuffled cabinet.

Guardia said the government is drawing up a decree to sell Eletrobras, an operation it hopes will yield 12 billion reais ($3.5 billion), and the measure will be negotiated with Congress. He said he will present a proposal to simplify the PIS/COFINS payroll and social security taxes at the end of April.

($1 = 3.3862 reais) (Reporting by Anthony Boadle)