Brazil's BNDES raised $1.5 billion with sale of Vale shares: source

A sign at the main entrance of the Brazilian National Development Bank (BNDES) building is seen in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil January 8, 2019. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes

RIO (Reuters) - Brazil's state-controlled development bank BNDES raised 8.1 billion reais ($1.53 billion) by selling 135 million shares in miner Vale SA VALE3.SA in an auction on Tuesday morning, a source familiar with the matter said.

After this sale, BNDES has reduced its stake in the company to 3.7% from 6.3%, the source added.

The move by BNDES comes as the state-controlled lender has been divesting shares in companies recently as part of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro’s strategy to reduce government stakes in companies.

Last week, BNDES agreed to sell its stake in power company AES Tiete Energia SA TIET11.SA to the firm's controlling shareholder AES Corp AES.N.

Shares in Vale were down 0.3% in afternoon trading at 60.09 reais.

Reporting by Rodrigo Viga; Writing by Carolina Mandl; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Nick Zieminski