see which ones avenged and which became a promise

The capitalization of Eletrobras on the Stock Exchange can be considered the first major victory of the Jair Bolsonaro government (PL) in the field of privatization. The reduction of the public machine and control over state-owned companies was one of the main banners during the 2018 elections of the then candidate for the Palácio do Planalto and who would become his Minister of Economy, Paulo Guedes.

In the government plan presented to the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), Bolsonaro proposed “reducing the volume of debt by 20% through privatizations, concessions, sale of real estate properties of the Union and return of resources in official financial institutions that today are used without a clear benefit to the Brazilian population”.

Also according to the plan, “some state-owned companies will be extinct, others will be privatized and, in their minority, due to their strategic nature, they will be preserved.”

As soon as he assumed the presidency, Bolsonaro signaled his intention to privatize at least 17 state-owned companies, but Eletrobras was the only large state-owned company to be, in fact, transferred to the private sector, despite attempts on companies such as Correios.


Most of the government’s advances in the matter occurred through public concessions – when management becomes a private company, temporarily, but ownership remains with the government – and auctions, as in the cases of airports and highways passed to the initiative toilet.

Currently, according to data from the Ministry of Economy, there are 133 federal state-owned companies, divided between 47 directly controlled — 18 dependent on the Union and 29 non-dependent — and 86 subsidiaries.

Before Bolsonaro assumed the presidency, the number was 209 state-owned companies, according to data from the latest Bulletin of State-owned Companies.

This means that in almost three years of government, Bolsonaro managed to privatize 36% of Brazilian federal state-owned companies – most of them subsidiaries.

See below the projects that went forward:


Since 2019, the government has auctioned 34 airports, in addition to the concession of another 16. In the port sector, at least 35 terminals have been granted to the private sector. In addition, six railways and five highways also underwent the privatization process.

The Espírito Santo Docks Company (Codesa) was the first in the sector to be privatized in the country, auctioned off by the investment fund Shelf 119 Multiestratégia. The concession provides for the transfer of the company’s management for 35 years.

The government still aims at the total privatization of the Port of Santos (SP), the largest complex in Latin America and responsible for the entry and exit of about 29% of the country’s commercial transactions. The initial bid for the grant is expected to be R$ 1.38 billion.


In addition to the auctions in the infrastructure area, subsidiary companies, that is, subordinated to larger companies, such as Petrobras, Banco do Brasil and BNDES, for example, were sold. Here are some companies that have logged into the account of successful transactions:

  • Transportadora Associada de Gás SA (TAG)
  • BR Distributor
  • Liquigás Distribuidora S/A

The government also sold shares held in Petrobras, Banco do Brasil, Caixa Participações and BNDES Participações, as a way of raising funds through divestment in state-owned companies. Added together, the transactions generated R$ 227 billion to reduce the public debt, according to the Ministry of Economy.

In sight

Despite the short time left for the end of his term, Bolsonaro has plans to promote privatization in 2022 and 2023, which include large state-owned companies. However, in them, the government faces more resistance, because, unlike the subsidiaries, the privatization of the largest companies requires a green light from the National Congress. See the companies in the crosshairs:

Mail: The bill that provides for the sale of Correios was approved by the Chamber of Deputies in August 2021, but to this day the matter remains locked in the Senate. Currently, the private sector participates in the exploitation of services through franchises; however, prices follow the tables of the Empresa Brasileira de Correios e Telégrafos (ECT), which has a monopoly on several services.


Petrobras: the idea of ​​privatizing the state-owned company gained strength with the entry of Adolfo Sachsida in the Ministry of Mines and Energy, in May this year. Upon assuming the portfolio, Sachsida said that the issue will have priority in his management. The minister has already formalized the request for Petrobras to be included in the Investment Partnerships Program (PPI), responsible for the execution of partnerships and privatization contracts. The project, however, does not have an estimated time of completion.

EBC: was included in the National Privatization Plan (PND) on the same day as Eletrobras. Initially, the process was expected to be completed by the end of 2022, but it was postponed to 2023. Privatization is still under study. Other projects that were left for the next year and, therefore, depend on the results of the elections were those of Telebras, Dataprev and Serpro.

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About Yadunandan Singh

Born in 1992, Yadunandan approaches the world of video games thanks to two sacred monsters like Diablo and above all Sonic, strictly in the Sega Saturn version. Ranging between consoles and PCs, he is particularly fond of platform titles and RPGs, not disdaining all other genres and moving in the constant search for the perfect balance between narration and interactivity.

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