A day after Petrobras recorded losses of more than 20% in its shares due to the interference of the Jair Bolsonaro government, Vice President Hamilton Mourão minimized the company’s fall in market value.
“In the past 26 years Petrobras has taken eight falls, and [ela] volta. ‘Easy go, easy come’ [fácil vai, fácil vem]. That’s what will happen, just be very clear that the change of the president [da Petrobras] it does not mean the exchange in the price policy that is practiced “, declared the vice, when arriving at his office this Tuesday (23).
At the end of Monday’s trading session (22), Petrobras’ preferred shares (most traded) closed down 21.5%, reaching R $ 21.45. Ordinary shares (with voting rights) plunged 20.47%, closing at R $ 21.55.
The meltdown was the result of a loss of investor confidence with the replacement, decided by Palácio do Planalto, of the company’s president. Bolsonaro ordered the replacement of Roberto Castello Branco by General Joaquim Silva e Luna, a former defense minister who was in the direction of Itaipu Binacional.
The president decided to replace it in the midst of heavy pressure from truck drivers, a category close to bolsonarism that is unhappy with the recurrent readjustments in fuel prices.
On another front, Bolsonaro promised to zero federal taxes on diesel for two months.
Shortly after announcing the change in command at Petrobras, Bolsonaro also stated that he intends to “put his finger on electricity”.
The intervention in the state-owned company and the promises of new measures in strategic sectors undermined the main financial indicators in Brazil, which suffered a severe deterioration in the second.
Stocks, foreign exchange, country risk, future interest rates were affected, and there was a general review in the evaluations of banks, investment houses and risk rating agencies in relation to Petrobras and other state-owned companies.
To get an idea of the turmoil that took over the market, the volume of trading of Petrobras shares on the day was R $ 10.8 billion, a record. “The average daily volume is normally close to R $ 1.8 billion”, says Motta.
On the New York Stock Exchange, Petrobras’ ADRs (stock certificates traded in the United States) fell 21%, to US $ 7.94 each.
The Ibovespa, the country’s main stock index, fell 4.86% to 112,667.70 points, the lowest level since December 3.
It is not the first time that Mourão comments on the exchange at Petrobras, announced by Bolsonaro on Friday (19). The execution of the decision still needs to be confirmed by the company’s board of directors.
On Monday (22), the deputy argued that the change in command of the oil company is not an intervention by Bolsonaro.
He also defended the creation of a fund whose resources would be used to cushion increases in fuel prices.
“No, hey, it’s within the president’s job. Roberto’s term of office ended on March 20, it could be renewed or not, the decision is not to renew,” said Mourão.
“It is a matter of trust in the person who is there, as far as the president has put it,” he said, adding that, in his opinion, there may have been “a lack of communication between Roberto and the president”.