Petrobras pricing policy unchanged, minister says

By Jake Spring and Lisandra Paraguassu BRASILIA (Reuters) - Petroleo Brasileiro SA's market-based diesel pricing policy remains unchanged, Brazil's mines and energy minister told reporters on Tuesday, despite a cancelled price hike on Friday that spooked investors. President Jair Bolsonaro's call last week to the chief executive of Petrobras, as the firm is known, led the company to call off a sharp diesel price increase and revived investor fears about political influence on the company, hammering its share price. The episode underscored the leverage of truckers in Brazil, which relies overwhelmingly on road freight to get agricultural exports to port and keep its economy humming

Reuters April 17, 2019 04:05:56 IST
Petrobras pricing policy unchanged, minister says

Petrobras pricing policy unchanged minister says

By Jake Spring and Lisandra Paraguassu

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Petroleo Brasileiro SA's market-based diesel pricing policy remains unchanged, Brazil's mines and energy minister told reporters on Tuesday, despite a cancelled price hike on Friday that spooked investors.

President Jair Bolsonaro's call last week to the chief executive of Petrobras, as the firm is known, led the company to call off a sharp diesel price increase and revived investor fears about political influence on the company, hammering its share price.

The episode underscored the leverage of truckers in Brazil, which relies overwhelmingly on road freight to get agricultural exports to port and keep its economy humming.

Speaking at an event in the capital city, Minister Bento Albuquerque characterized the cancellation of the price hike at the behest of Bolsonaro as a "communication error." Bolsonaro did not appear to be well-informed of what was happening, he said.

Bolsonaro's office said it would have no comment on Albuquerque's remarks.

On Friday, the president's spokesman said that in principle Bolsonaro believed there should be no political interference at Petrobras, but he wanted a meeting on the matter given the possible effects of the price change.

A trucker strike over high diesel prices last year paralysed Brazil's economy for weeks, led to the departure of the then-CEO at Petrobras and handicapped an already unpopular government.

Bolsonaro, who took power in January, was one of the most prominent politicians to throw his weight behind truckers' complaints last year and has been sensitive to their demands.

At a news conference earlier on Tuesday, presidential Chief of Staff Onyx Lorenzoni and Infrastructure Minister Tarcisio Freitas pledged 500 million reais ($129 million) of loans from a state bank for independent truckers on Tuesday and announced other measures designed to avoid a threatened strike, but remained silent on their underlying complaint about fuel prices.

Preferred shares of Petrobras closed up 2.8 percent in afternoon trade, though those gains occurred before the minister's comments.

($1 = 3.89 reais)

(Reporting by Ricardo Brito; Writing and additional reporting by Gram Slattery; Editing by Dan Grebler)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Oil rises 2% as OPEC complies with production cuts
Business

Oil rises 2% as OPEC complies with production cuts

By Jessica Resnick-Ault NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices strengthened on Wednesday, as OPEC and its allies were seen complying with a pact to cut oil supply in September, even as concerns loomed that recovery in fuel demand will be stalled by soaring global coronavirus cases. Early in the day crude was boosted by a bullish stock market. Even as equities whipsawed on pandemic worries, oil stayed higher, buoyed by expectations that OPEC could staunch a supply glut

Tesla's back-to-back price cuts bring sticker on U.S. Model S below $70,000
Business

Tesla's back-to-back price cuts bring sticker on U.S. Model S below $70,000

By Tina Bellon and C Nivedita (Reuters) - Tesla Inc will further cut the price of its Model S "Long Range" sedan in the United States to $69,420, the electric carmaker's chief executive, Elon Musk, announced in a tweet https://bit.ly/2H0JCP0 on Wednesday. The anticipated drop marks the second time this week Tesla has cut the price for the high-end sedan, following a 4% cut of the Model S's price in the United States on Tuesday to $71,990.

Trump cites teenaged son's bout with coronavirus in calling for schools to reopen
World

Trump cites teenaged son's bout with coronavirus in calling for schools to reopen

By Jeff Mason DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) - Under siege over his handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump on Wednesday cited what he said was his son's mild bout of the virus as a reason why American schools should reopen as soon as possible. Trump made the comment about his son, Barron, as the president swept into Iowa on a mission to shore up support in battleground states that he won in 2016 but is in danger of losing to Democrat Joe Biden barely three weeks before the election. First lady Melania Trump announced in a statement earlier in the day that the virus that struck both her and her husband had also infected their 14-year-old son