Brazil could sell Sao Paulo and Rio airports, president tells paper

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazil's government will consider selling airports in Sao Paulo and Rio to help to reduce a large fiscal deficit next year, interim President Michel Temer told the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper on Sunday. The paper said that the previous government's objections to a potential sale of the Santos Dumont airport in Rio and Congonhas airport in Sao Paulo are not echoed by Temer, nor the government's economic team. "It is possible that we end up selling them... It would give us a good sum," Temer was quoted as saying. Congonhas is the second-largest airport in Sao Paulo behind Guarulhos, which has already been sold to private investors. Congonhas handles most domestic flights, including the busiest Sao Paulo-Rio route, which has Santos Dumont airport as its main destination. Brazil plans to sell several assets and award licenses for companies to build and operate infrastructure projects as it tries to revamp the economy and reduce a budget deficit estimated at 170 billion reais ($51.59 billion) this year. Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles wants to reduce the deficit to 139 billion reais next year and told the O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper on Sunday that the government will need 80 billion reais of spending cuts to reach that target. (Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by David Goodman)