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Brazil’s Petrobras board approves Bolsonaro’s election as president – AFR

The board of Brazilian oil giant Petrobras on Monday confirmed the election of President Jair Bolsonaro to head the state-controlled company.

Caio Paes de Andrade will become the company’s fourth president in less than four years. His mandate is scheduled to run until April 2023, but his predecessor Jose Mauro Coelho only lasted 40 days.

Coelho was supposed to remain in office pending the appointment of his successor, but resigned last week after sharp criticism from Bolsonaro over another hike in fuel prices.

The two previous Petrobras presidents, Joaquim Silva e Luna and Roberto Castello Branco, also left the post after harsh criticism of Bolsonaro.

Bolsonaro, who is up for re-election later this year, has repeatedly tried in vain to change Petrobras’ pricing policy, which is linked to the international market.

Soaring fuel prices hurt Bolsonaro’s popularity with the election just three months away.

“Today Caio (Paes de Andrade) takes over Petrobras, we will have a new dynamic in fuels in Brazil. Everything is analyzed on the basis of the law … without interfering in anything,” Bolsonaro said at a ceremony in Brazil on Monday.

The new appointment was welcomed by markets, with Petrobras shares up 6.75 percent at the close on the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange.

Paes de Andrade has been a civil servant since Bolsonaro came to power, first at the state technology and information company Sepro, then at the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

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