New Petrobras president has a mission to take privatization forward

New Petrobras president has a mission to take privatization forward

Caio Mario Paes de Andrade, the new president of Petrobras, is close to Alfredo Sachsida, Minister of Mines and Energy, who asked for the company to be included in the government’s privatization plan.

A man trusted by Paulo Guedes and Alfredo Sachsida, recently sworn in as Minister of Mines and Energy, Caio Mario Paes de Andrade arrives at Petrobras with two important missions. Considered a skilled negotiator and a “legitimate representative of Guedes’ liberal vision”, in the words of sources close to the government, the company’s new president should carry forward the banner of privatization and a pricing policy more compatible with the government’s vision.

The former secretary of Debureaucratization, Management and Digital Government of the Ministry of Economy would have the task of avoiding “slips” (from the perspective of the hard core of the portfolio led by Guedes and the Planalto Palace) such as the almost 9% increase in diesel, practiced on the last day 9, after 60 days without readjustments. Although there is an understanding that international increases in the price of a barrel of oil need to be somehow passed on by Petrobras, there are questions about how and when this should be done. The topic is sensitive – last week, road freight increased by about 10% due to the adjustment of diesel, according to the Brazilian Association of Supply Centers (Abracen), with direct impacts on food prices.

In an election year, the concern is directed not only to the inflation, but also to the benefits enjoyed by the company that influences the lives of tens of millions of Brazilians — whose repercussions can spill over into the government. In this sense, the news of the payment of 13 million reais in bonus to the company’s board, announced in April. Andrade, entrepreneur in the technology sector and one of the creators of the investment fund WebForce, is seen as a manager who navigates well in the elaboration of measures such as cutting costs and privileges.

Privatization

Andrade would also have received the mission to carry out the plan to privatize Petrobras. Not that the government, the company and the market are betting that it will come out this year – it’s a process that takes time and demands, among other things, congressional approval. The intention is to leave everything on track for a possible second term of President Jair Bolsonaro, according to sources close to the Planalto. On the 13th, Alfredo Sachsida and Paulo Guedes officially requested the inclusion of Petrobras (and Pré-Sal Petróleo SA, PPSA) in the Investment Partnership Program (PPI) of the Ministry of Economy. With this, privatization studies can be started.

The next step, in the case of PPSA, a state-owned company linked to the Ministry of Mines and Energy that manages contracts for the sale of oil and natural gas, should be the formation of an inter-ministerial committee, with representatives from the Ministry of Economy and Mines and Energy, to evaluate the privatization of the company. Finally, it will be up to the PPI Council, as usual, to analyze the opinion presented and decide whether the process will continue. The sale of Petrobras, if it goes ahead, should go through a slightly more complex process, going through a vote in the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. In the opinion of Rodrigo Pacheco, president of the Senate, the topic should not be on the agenda this year.

Source: Exam

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