U.S. Markets closed

Brazil's house speaker 'worried' about Eletrobras privatization

RIO DE JANEIRO, March 19 (Reuters) - The president of Brazil's lower house, Rodrigo Maia, said on Monday he was worried about the possibility of passing a bill to privatize state-run electricity firm Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA , known as Eletrobras. The government hopes to raise some 12.2 billion reais ($3.71 billion) from the privatization of Eletrobras.

Speaking at an event in Rio de Janeiro, Maia said Congress had faced political difficulties trying to set up a commission to deal with the company's privatization, which could portend difficulties in whipping up the votes needed to pass the program.

"I'm still optimistic, but worried, because I felt last week that the atmosphere to vote on privatization isn't so simple," he said.


($1 = 3.29 reais) (Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier Writing by Gram Slattery; Editing by Sandra Maler)