Friday, November 29, 2013

Fuels rise today, but Petrobras problem continues

The increase in prices of petrol and diesel should be announced today, after the meeting of the Board of Directors of Petrobras, according to official sources. The rising prices at the pump should be between 5% and 6% for gas and about 10% for diesel. The refineries would be a little bigger.
The decision improves, but does not solve the problem of Petrobras ' box. The discussion about a possible correction formula of two fuels prices, more automatic and pre-set periodicity, goes on to a solution of this matter is for next year.
The day before yesterday the Minister of finance, Guido Mantega, and the President of Petrobras, Grace Foster, gathered in Brasilia to deal with it. President Dilma Rousseff met yesterday with Mantega, Minister of planning, Miriam Belchior, Minister Chief of staff, Gleisi Hoffmann. Treasury Secretary Arno Augustin, who attended the meeting, did not inform the content of the conversations.
Information of the Planalto Palace indicated that the meeting yesterday was not increasing gasoline and diesel and would be restricted to a Board meeting to discuss the budget fiscal data from the end of the year.
The announcement of the proposal for a new readjustment formula that would remove the uncertainties and the discretion about the company's prices, created a discomfort within the Government, which has been going on for a month.
Petrobras made public the discussion that was being made in the Board of Directors about the adoption of a formula of fuel prices correction, when bad results announced for the third quarter, with 39% profit drop in the third quarter of the year compared to same period in 2012.
According to official sources, this was the way that the direction of the company found to preserve state, you need to reset your box to sustain the investment plan foreseen for the next years. In addition, if protected from any legal questions of their minority shareholders, since the price adjustment is the prerogative of the Board of Executive Directors of the State.
The Finance Minister, Guido Mantega, who is President of the Board of Directors, I don't like that attitude. The evaluation was that the President and the Board of Directors of Petrobras wanted to force the adoption of a formula for readjustment, putting the Government in an uncomfortable situation, with the knife on the neck.
At first, the strategy worked for free. But uncertainty surrounding the formula and the postponement of the meeting of the Board of Directors, initially scheduled for November 22, have led to falls in the price of the shares of Petrobras.
There is no intention from the Government to adopt the formula immediately. A sign of this is that Mantega had the support of President Dilma Rousseff against the State's proposal to use as a reference the price in dollar as parameter for future adjustments. The Government fears transfers of those rates for inflation and indexation of other sectors of the economy.
Since the beginning of the week, shares of Petrobras oscillate strongly awaiting a final policy positioning adjustment. On Tuesday, the roles of exchange traded oil plummeted with the story of the "Folha de s. Paulo" stating that the President Dilma Rousseff resisted authorizing the fuel adjustment formula. On the same day, the Finance Minister, said that a "methodology" for eventual gas adjustment needed to be made with caution.
Valor Econômico - 29/11/2013
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