Will Petrobras’ New CEO Let Politics Get in the Way?
Corporate Services Partner Peter Baumgaertner was interviewed by the Energy Advisor, a publication of The Dialogue's Latin America Advisor, about former Brazilian Defense Minister Joaquim Silva e Luna taking over as CEO of state oil company Petrobras. The move came amid heightened tensions over Petrobras’ hiking of gasoline prices as President Jair Bolsonaro sought to avoid a truckers’ strike, which in the past has paralyzed the country’s economy for weeks. The interview discusses what Luna’s appointment means for Petrobras’ direction, and what can be expected of the new chief executive.
"General Luna’s appointment signals a more pragmatic direction for the oil company, with an obvious shift from pro-market to interventionist policies. Formerly, Petrobras CEOs were market-driven advocates who believed fuel prices should track global fuel markets," said Mr. Baumgaertner. "Luna’s direction may also include fiscal tax policies such as the gradual elimination of national taxes on diesel to keep consumer costs at manageable levels. The pivot to interventionism is a blow to the pro-business approach that Bolsonaro has pushed."