Brazilian oil producer Petrobras’s stock and bonds slumped after President Jair Bolsonaro abruptly announced plans to replace Petrobras’ CEO Roberto Castello Branco with Joaquim Silva e Luna, following recent protests over fuel prices. Petrobras has a policy to set petrol and diesel prices in line with the international market. The decision came less than a day after Bolsonaro publicly criticized and warned Castello Branco for raising fuel prices. FT reports that it is likely to ‘raise concerns among international investors’ and could provoke questions around privatizations of other state-owned enterprises or shareholdings. The Brazilian state owns 36.8% of Petrobras, but 50.5% of voting rights. Two years ago, Castello Branco vowed to keep Petrobras free from political interference, telling the Financial Times that “we don’t want to return to this past”. Claudio Porto, founder of Macroplan said, “The removal of Castello Branco will have a great impact on the company’s value and on its medium and long-term credibility…The prognosis is a very prolonged downward bias.” Petrobras 6.75% 2050s dropped 2.9 cents on the dollar to 113.49, yielding 5.78%.
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