May 15, 2018 / 7:14 PM / 5 months ago

UPDATE 1-Brazil's CSN plans more asset sales of up to $1 bln this year -CEO

(Adds with details on asset sale plans, context)

By Alberto Alerigi

SAO PAULO, May 15 (Reuters) - Brazilian steelmaker Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (CSN) plans to sell up to 4 billion reais ($1 billion) in assets by the end of the year, in addition to an already announced $400 million U.S. sale, Chief Executive Officer Benjamin Steinbruch told analysts on Tuesday.

Steinbruch said the company is willing to sell assets such as a stake in rival steelmaker Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais, the Tecon port terminal in the state of Rio de Janeiro and its Portuguese subsidiary Lusosider Aços Planos SA.

A previous process to sell the port in 2016 ended with no agreement as CSN considered the bids too low.

Steinbruch also said on a conference call with analysts that CSN would sell mining assets which are not included in its subsidiary Congonhas Minérios SA.

Late on Monday, CSN announced the sale of its U.S. unit for $400 million.

The CEO, who is also a major shareholder in CSN, said the steelmaker gave 50 percent of its stake in Usiminas steel producer as collateral to state-controlled Banco do Brasil SA in its last refinancing agreement, which was signed in February.

CSN is in talks with state-owned Brazilian bank Caixa Economica Federal for another refinancing deal, Steinbruch said.

He said he wanted to sharply reduce the company’s leverage. In the first quarter, net debt was equivalent to 5.8 times its annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, a common gauge of operational profitability known as EBITDA. The CEO said he expects this ratio to fall to three times by the end of the year.

$1 = 3.6696 reais Writing by Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by Grant McCool

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