By Leandro Manzoni
Investing.com – Petrobras shares are down on Wednesday morning at B3), with greater losses down than at the time of writing. The day before, the Senate and Chamber directors reinforced to the Supreme Federal Court (STF) the request that the ministers prevent the negotiation of eight Petrobras refineries until the privatization program of these units passes through the sieve of Congress. The request is a response to the decision of the President of the STF, Minister Luiz Fux, to postpone the judgment on the sale of Petrobras refineries, until then scheduled to be concluded next Friday (25).
At around 10:48 am, preferred shares (SA 🙂 were down 0.96% to R $ 20.60, the daily low, while common shares (SA 🙂 were down 0.52% to R $ 21.16, close to the minimum of R $ 21.11. The Ibovespa fell 0.18% to 97,122 points.
The slight rise in London and the discovery of hydrocarbons in a well in the Campos Basin did not prevent the fall. The Brent futures contract advanced 0.36% at $ 41.87 a barrel.
Understand the claim of Congress
Parliamentarians claim that the State Law does not allow Petrobras to dispose of assets under its direct control, only of subsidiaries. As refineries are part of the ‘parent company’, it would not be possible to sell them without the authorization of deputies and senators.
The first complaint by parliamentarians was filed in July. This Monday, the tables moved a little further, with the request for the state company to suspend the analysis of the proposals presented for the purchase of the Landulpho Alves Refinery (Rlam), in Bahia, and the Presidente Getúlio Vargas Refinery (Repar), in the Paraná, until the Supreme Court takes a position on the case.
On Monday, Petrobras announced that it will promote a new round of binding offers by Repar, after receiving two proposals with close values. But the state company also considered the offers received low and, regardless of the STF’s decision, does not rule out maintaining the refinery if the price does not reach the minimum value established internally by its technical area, according to two sources heard by Reuters linked to the negotiations.
Three ministers had taken a stand for granting an injunction to suspend privatizations until Congress took a stand on them. But, by a prominent request, Minister Fux removed the action from the virtual trial and there is still no set date for it to be resumed.
“Although we are concerned about the hurried pace at which Petrobras’ management has been trying to sell assets, avoiding Congressional oversight, we are confident that President Fux will soon return the issue to the agenda, allowing the STF to exercise its protective role of the prerogatives of the Legislative. The delay causes losses and legal uncertainty, but it is important that the ministers decide with confidence in a matter so significant for the balance of powers “, said Senator Jean Paul Prates (PT-RN), one of the parliamentarians who leads the movement to resist privatization.
The resistance of parliamentarians is added to that of unions of company employees. According to the law firm Garcez, representative of unions affiliated to the Single Federation of Oil Workers (FUP), the preliminary injunction can be granted by the rapporteur, Minister Edson Fachin, even after the prominent request from the president of the STF.
“What the current management of Petrobras and the government are doing is creating a way to circumvent the legal requirement, creating subsidiaries to sell these refineries without the approval of the Legislature, a fact that we denounced to parliamentarians during the oil workers strike in February”, said the general coordinator of FUP, Deyvid Bacelar.
XP Investimentos considers that the STF judgment is of great importance on the price of Petrobras shares, although “it sees a positive risk-return on shares without assuming the execution of the divestment plan”, according to estimates by analyst Gabriel Francisco in a released report this Wednesday morning. The broker maintains a Purchase recommendation, with a 12-month target price of R $ 30 for PETR4 and R $ 29 for PETR3.
Discovery of hydrocarbons
Petrobras identified the presence of hydrocarbons in a pioneer well in block CM-657, located in the Campos Basin pre-salt, the company said in a statement on Wednesday. The well belongs to a block in which Petrobras is the operator, with a 30% stake, and its partners are the North American ExxonMobil (NYSE :), with 40%, and the Norwegian Equinor, with 30%.
“The data from the well will be analyzed to better assess the potential and direct exploratory activities in the area,” said the Brazilian state-owned company.
Well 1-BRSA-1376D-RJS (Naru) is approximately 308 kilometers from the city of Rio de Janeiro, at a water depth of 2,892 meters, according to Petrobras. The block in which it is located was acquired by companies in the 15th Round of the National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP), in March 2018.
(With Estadão Content and Reuters)