China Mobile, Chinese bank circle Brazil's Oi

Regulator Anatel shares information on possible investors in troubled telco

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Talk of Chinese interest in Brazil's Oi resurfaced this week, with regulator Anatel naming China Mobile and the China Development Bank as possible investors in the beleaguered telco.

Anatel president Juarez Quadros told journalists that China Mobile has expressed interest in Oi, Brazilian financial publication Valor Economico reported.

The regulator indicated that China Mobile is the second Chinese company to come forward for Oi, after domestic rival China Telecom.

Earlier this month Reuters reported that China Telecom could be willing to spend as much as US$6 billion to secure a majority stake in Oi.

China Mobile has also previously been linked with Oi. Brazil's Exame in September claimed that China Mobile had held talks with Anatel on the subject. It did not cite the regulator directly though, gleaning its information from unnamed sources.

Quadros told the press that while Anatel is privy to information around potential investment in Oi, its role is not to make judgement in the matter.

He also named the China Development Bank as a possible investor in the telco, noting that it is one of Oi's creditors.

Oi filed for bankruptcy protection in June last year and is still working to set out a recovery plan acceptable both to shareholders and creditors.

That process was thrown into further doubt last week when Oi chief executive Marco Schroeder resigned, reportedly due to a disagreement with the board over the restructuring. His departure came after just 17 months in the role and just over a month after the telco's finance chief also stepped down.