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Uncertainty in pricing policy and fear of intervention explain fears about Petrobras’ leadership in Lula’s government

Nominated for the post of president, Jean Paul Prates promised to end the policy of international equality, but gave no details of the guidelines to be adopted.

ALLISON SALES/FUTURA PRESS/ESTADÃO CONTENTView of Petrobras headquarters in Rio de Janeiro (RJ)
Petrobras recorded a drop of more than 6% in shares in the first days of 2023

Even before the senator Jean Paul Prates (PT-RJ) to be officially appointed to take command of Petrobras, a measure formalized this Friday, the 13th, the state-owned company began the year 2023 surrounded by fears of the intervention of the federal government in the management of the company and the uncertainties caused, in particular, by the guidelines that would be adopted to change the price policy of fuel, one given that tariffs have a direct impact on inflation. Oil, for example, affects the costs of public transport and other production chains due to the transport of goods. Gasoline and ethanol, for example, weigh heavily on drivers’ pockets. On the other hand, the financial market also reacted to the president’s decision Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to exclude the oil company from the list of state companies to be privatized. In the first days of the year, shares of Petrobras fell by more than 6% – on January 2, for example, a day after a measure taken by the president, shares of Petrobras ON (PETR3) and Petrobras PN (PETR4) ended. day with losses of 6.67% and 6.45% respectively.

For the master in economics and executive law at the Brazilian Association of Independent and Free Fuel Retailers (Abrilivre), Rodrigo Zingales, Lula’s third government should consider, in a pragmatic way, what would be the advantages and disadvantages of privatizing Petrobras or keeping it under the control of the Union. “We have to put aside ideologies or physiologies and think about what would be best for Brazil. From a pragmatic perspective, the government should ask itself what would be the advantages and disadvantages of privatizing Petrobras or keeping it under the control of the Federal Union. In other words, what is effectively intended with privatization: to increase national production; bring greater competition to the domestic market and, therefore, lower domestic prices; increasing the productive efficiency of the company; increasing shareholder profits; and facilitate the state”, he said on the website of New pan.

Regarding the impact of price increases on the lives of the Brazilian population, Zingales argues that maintaining the exemption from federal taxes until the stabilization of international prices and the dollar exchange rate. On January 1, Lula drafted a provisional measure (MP) that extended the benefit for gasoline until the end of February and for oil until the end of 2023. The decision represented the first defeat of the finance minister. Fernando Haddadwho, before taking office, had argued that the then Minister of Economy, Paulo Guedeswithdrew from the extension of the measure, the validity of which would end on December 31, 2022. With the extension of the exception, the President of the Republic followed the advice of the governing wing, which declared behind the scenes that the increase in the price of fuel would bring unnecessary. wear to the newly appointed government.

“Increasing the price of fuel certainly generates popular discontent, due to all the harmful effects on competition explained above. To avoid this attrition, the new government should, in the very short term, maintain the federal tax exemption until there is a stabilization of international prices and the dollar exchange rate; ask governors to maintain ICMS tax rates on fuels at 18% or 17%; and, furthermore, the review of Petrobras’ pricing and investment policy in order to set prices based on costs and with reasonable profit margins compatible with those of competing sectors, as well as increasing production capacity and gasoline supply. and oil in the country. the market. Thinking about the short and medium term, the Lula government should evaluate ways of: regulating, through the ANP law or rule, the franchise contracts concluded between flag distributors and service stations, in order to force these distributors to have a price and defined or defined. deductions based on objective, isonomic and transparent criteria; to regulate, through the ANP law or rule, the separation of primary and secondary distribution bases, aiming at the entry of new distributors and the growth of smaller ones to increase competition in this sector; and implement policies aimed at installing new refineries in the national market or increasing the production of ethanol with water, biodiesel and other energy sources that replace oil, based on subsidies, cheaper lines of credit or tax relief,” he added. .

This Friday, the 13th, the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) officially appointed Senator Jean Paul Prates (PT-RN) as president and member of the Board of Directors of Petrobras. “The Minister of Mines and Energy, Alexandre Silveira, sent this Thursday (12/01)
official letter addressed to Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) confirming the appointment of Mr. Jean-Paul Terra Prates to hold the positions of President and member of the Board of Directors of the company. The name of the candidate was approved by the Civil Chamber of the Presidency of the Republic,
as provided in art. 22, point II, of Decree no. 8.945, dated 27.12.2016″, the full announcement states.

Confirmation of the PT candidate’s name is an important step, as the company’s governance model to validate the selection only kicks in once the nomination officially arrives. In addition to his work as a parliamentarian, Prates is a partner in companies in the oil and gas sector. However, Petrobras is willing to overcome these obstacles. The main problem is the state law, which sets a number of rules for people who will take up management positions in Brazilian public companies. website of New pan heard from people connected to the top of Petrobras, who said there is an attempt to speed up Prate’s entry into the presidency, in the same way that happened with the former president. Caio Paes de Andrade, which benefited from the resignation of the former executive director. Andrade was approved as director and chairman even before the official announcement by the general meeting of shareholders.

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