Privatization of Petrobras is not ruled out, says Guedes

The Minister of Economics Paulo Guedes sent an alert to the president of Petrobras, Roberto Castello Branco, in an event in Rio de Janeiro. In a speech, Guedes joked and pointed out that the privatization of Petrobras is not ruled out by President Jair Bolsonaro.

“We will privatize post Office, Eletrobras, and do not doubt that we will privatize bigger things, see, Castello?”, said Guedes, addressing the president of Petrobras, Roberto Castello Branco.

“Privatizations will accelerate,” the minister continued. “Out front, you, Castello Branco, can do something surprising,” added the minister, speaking again directed to the president of the oil company.

After the lecture, the Minister commented on the Declaration on Privatization of Petrobras pointing out that President Jair Bolsonaro is increasingly wanting to privatize the state.

“The President (Jair Bolsonaro) is increasingly connected in this privatizations agenda. Two days ago, he made a joke with Salim Mattar (Special secretary of Denationalization), in front of me, and said that he was asleep, that he had to sell one a week, asked what he was doing in the government. ‘ Why didn’t you shut Valec down? And the Post office, when will you sell? Let’s run, let’s privatize ‘, “explained Guedes.

Asked whether then in fact Petrobras would be privatized, the minister replied: “I (Guedes), during the campaign, always said that I wanted to privatize everything. My duty is to recollect the union’s finances. And I’m convinced that state-owned companies have exhausted their funding cycle. They were losing their investment capacity and were lagging behind, “Guedes said.

“In the case of Petrobras, it almost broke down. The Electrobras almost broke. They were destroyed by previous governments. Petrobras, its recovery, against the US $600, 700 billion exploration in the pre-salt, it does not have this investment capacity. To grow, we need very strong private investment, which is not compatible with those monopolies that the state had, “added the minister.

But then, when asked if he would privatize a part of Petrobras or her altogether, Paulo Guedes pointed out that he was just speculating. “That for now is a joke, a speculation. I spoke (to the Castello Branco) is alert, because at the speed that the President (Jair Bolsonaro) is going, by the press that is giving Salim, I think already, already arrives at Petrobras, “explained the minister.

Paulo Guedes attended the closing of the 19th seminar on natural gas, which took place at the Convention Center Sul América, in the city of New, Rio de Janeiro. He spoke for about 50 minutes.

On July 24, Petrobras raised R $8.6 billion with the sale of shares of BR Distribuidora. With this, the subsidiary of gas stations began to have more private capital than state.
The sale was another chapter of Petrobras ‘ Disinvestments. The Government of Jair Bolsonaro, with Paulo Guedes in front of the Ministry of Economics, has been accelerating this process of selling assets.

Earlier this week, Wilson Ferreira Junior, president of Eletrobras, confirmed that the privatization of electricity was settled with President Jair Bolsonaro in early August. The PSL politician gave a positive signal for the Union to leave control of the company.

The expectation is that the privatization process is carried out until February, according to the president of Eletrobras. The Minister of Mines and Energy, Bento Albuquerque, made the announcement to the CVM (Securities and Exchange Commission) last week.

In early August, Jair Bolsonaro, in an event in São Paulo, said that “we will privatize the post office”. The president attended a Congress of Fenabrave (entity representing vehicle dealerships). In April, the president had already said he had authorised studies to privatize the state.

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