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CSN targeting over US$900M of asset sales in 2018

Cia. Siderúrgica Nacional, or CSN, is looking to conclude asset sales of 2 billion to 3 billion Brazilian reais, or between US$600 million and US$901 million, this year to slash its debt, Reuters reported March 27, citing CEO Benjamin Steinbruch.

The executive did not go into detail on potential assets that could be off-loaded, but sources said that the company could sell its interest in rival steelmaker Usiminas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais SA.

In February, director Luis Fernando Martinez said that CSN may opt to sell off its assets to further shed debt, but is not under pressure to do so as iron ore prices appreciated and it reached a deal with major creditor Banco do Brazil SA to outline the main terms of extending debt maturities.

Steinibruch predicted that revenues would rise 20% this year and for its debt-to-EBITDA ratio to be at 3.5x by 2019.

The company will also seek to improve its earnings by raising steel prices in Brazil, the Reuters report cited Martinez as saying, adding the steelmaker will raise prices by 7.5% in June. During the first quarter, CSN’s average prices will increase by between 6% and 10%.

The Brazilian steelmaker swung to a profit of 111.2 million reais for full-year 2017, from a loss of 853.1 million reais in 2016.

As of March 27, US$1 was equivalent to 3.33 Brazilian reais.