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Portugal sells 40 pct of grid operator REN to Chinese, Omani companies

(Xinhua)

08:50, February 23, 2012

LISBON, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Bailed-out Portugal on Wednesday sold a 40 percent stake in grid operator REN for 592 million euros (775 million U.S. dollars) to Chinese and Omani companies as part of Lisbon's austerity package.

According to contracts signed here Wednesday, China State Grid will hold a 25 percent stake in Portuguese national electricity transmission grid REN, while the Oman Oil Company will control another 15 percent.

A first tranche of 160 million euros have already been received by the Portuguese government. The rest of the payment will be made in three months.

Portuguese Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar said Wednesday's deal "shows that Portugal has very good business opportunities for investors from all around the world".

The privatization of REN, along with the selling of a 21-percent stake of EDP electric company, was included in the bailout program designed to stave off a Portuguese default.

"With these two deals we will have achieved 60 percent of the total amount that we intend to in the privatization program," said Gaspar.

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