Houston Chronicle

Sell-off picks up after Petrobras CEO fired

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A sell-off in Brazil’s state-controlled oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA picked up on Monday after a group of analysts downgraded the stock within 24 hours, following the government’s decision to replace the company’s chief executive officer.

Bradesco BBI, BTG Pactual, Credit Suisse, JPMorgan, Nau Securities, Santander, Scotiabank and XP Investimen­tos cut their ratings on the shares after Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Friday decided to fire the oil company’s CEO following a spat over hikes in fuel prices and moved to appoint Joaquim Silva e Luna, a former army general, as a replacemen­t.

Shares in Petrobras tumbled in Sao Paulo, erasing about $18.8 billion in market value in the past two sessions. The company’s American Depositary Receipts fell 21 percent in New York.

Investors fear a potential shift away from market-friendly policies. The oil company’s discount to global peers is expected to widen and the sale of its refineries could also face delays, analysts said.

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