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LatinNews Daily - 20 May 2021

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In brief: Brazil’s lower chamber moves on Eletrobras privatisation

* Brazil’s federal chamber of deputies has approved a decree which paves the way for the privatisation of the state-controlled energy firm, Eletrobras. The decree, which now goes to the senate and must be voted upon before it expires on 22 June, outlines a model for privatisation whereby new shares can be issued on the market, resulting in the Brazilian state losing its position as majority shareholder. However, the state would maintain a so-called ‘golden share’, giving it veto power. The project elicits criticism: while government-allied lawmakers assure that it will bring in R$25bn (US$4.7bn) to the state and help bring down the cost of energy, opposition deputies argue that Eletrobras’ privatisation will increase prices for consumers.