Portugal Sells Stake in Utility to China

Posted December 22nd, 2011 at 3:05 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Debt-ridden Portugal is selling the one-fifth stake it owns in its national utility to a Chinese energy company.

The Lisbon government said Thursday that China Three Gorges is paying $3.5 billion for Portugal's share in the national utility, Energias de Portugal. It is the first of a number of sales of public-owned assets the government plans to make in an effort to cut its debt.

Portugal secured a $102-billion international bailout earlier this year to avoid bankruptcy, but its finances remain precarious.

Three Gorges is one of numerous cash-rich Chinese companies that have invested in European countries during the continent's two-year governmental debt crisis. Lisbon said the Chinese company has promised to spend more money on the development of alternative forms of energy in Portugal, possibly pushing its overall investment to more than $10 billion.