| SAO PAULO, April 5
SAO PAULO, April 5 Brazil's largest city Sao
Paulo aims to kick off a 7 billion reais ($2.26 billion)
programme of privatizations and concessions this year with the
sale of tourism and events company Sao Paulo Turismo SA
, Mayor Joao Doria said.
Doria, a multimillionaire businessman who took office in
January, told Reuters he also plans to auction the public
cemetery service and ticketing for public transport as part of
the package of 55 projects.
"Where the state is not important, is not essential, we are
going to privatize or do concessions or Public-Private
Partnerships," Doria said in an interview late on Tuesday. "We
forecast around 7 billion reais as a reasonable base for the
return on these programmes."
Doria, a member of the business-friendly Brazilian Social
Democrat Party, won October's municipal elections, defeating the
incumbent mayor from the left-leaning Workers Party, which is
opposed to his privatizations plan.
Doria said he would create a Municipal Development Fund with
the money raised from the sales to invest in health, education,
housing and other services.
Details of the privatization and concessions could be
submitted this month to the municipal council, where Doria holds
Doria said Middle Eastern investors were interested and that
attracting Chinese investment was also a "top priority".
The municipal secretary in charge of the programme, Wilson
Poit, said he expected the sale of the Interlagos Formula One
track and a concession to operate the city's largest park,
Ibirapuera, to draw strong interest.
Entry to city parks will remain free, while private
operators will be able to charge for parking and will be allowed
to open new restaurants. Poit said funeral services would
remain free for the most disadvantaged.
He said the listed Sao Paulo Turismo (SPTuris), which is
97-percent controlled by the municipality, could be sold this
SPTuris controls the Anhembi complex including convention
and exhibition centres and the city's sambadrome, where annual
Carnival celebrations are held.
The auction to run the public transport ticketing system -
which had 15 million users last year - could occur in the first
quarter of 2018, Poit said.
He said the plastic card could be adapted for use as a
credit card or a records base for consumers, as long as privacy
laws were respected. In addition to the sale price for the
concession, the winning company could be charged a commission on
value-added services they bring to the card.
($1 = 3.0923 reais)
(Reporting by Daniel Flynn and Eduardo Simoes; editing by Grant