From the Field
Petrobras privatisation under examination
RIO DE JANEIRO, October 11, 2018 – Presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro would not privatise NOC Petrobras in the short term if he wins Brazil’s general election at the end of the month, international media reported Wednesday.
In the medium term, once Petrobras’ management is adjusted and its performance improved, a privatisation scheme could be possible, Gustavo Bebianno, the president of the country’s Social Liberal Party, to which Bolsonaro belongs, told Reuters.
“The company needs to be revitalised,” Bebianno said. “We have to remove the people of the PT [Workers Party] and of the MDB [Brazilian Democratic Movement] from there, and then maybe we can think of privatisation further along.”
While on the campaign trail, Bolsonaro had expressed interest in using money from the privatisation of state-owned companies to address Brazil’s budget deficit. During a Wednesday interview with local television station Band TV, the candidate clarified his stance on the issue, saying he would only consider selling Petrobras’ refining operations and power company Eletrobras’ distribution operations.
The frontrunner took 46% of the vote on Sunday, but failed to meet the 50% threshold required to win the election. A second vote on just Bolsonaro and his main competitor, Fernando Haddad of the Workers Party, will occur on October 28.
- From the field