Brazil’s Petrobras board supports rules for political appointments


A logo of Brazil's state-run Petrobras oil company is seen at their headquarters in Rio de Janeiro

A logo of Brazil’s state-run Petrobras oil company is seen at their headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil October 16, 2019. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes Acquire Licensing Rights

RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 23 (Reuters) – Brazilian state-run oil company Petrobras (PETR4.SA) said on Monday that its board voted to change its bylaws, and two people with knowledge of the matter said the move would pave the way for politicians to occupy top positions at the company.

The change, which is subject to shareholder approval, would reverse 2016 rules adopted when Brazil passed a law to curb political appointments at state firms following a huge corruption probe centered around Petrobras.

Brazil’s Supreme Court has yet to rule on that law’s constitutionality, but an injunction issued by one of the court’s judges in March lifted a restriction on the appointment of politicians who recently held office to positions as directors or board members.

In a statement on Monday, Petrobras told investors the bylaw change seeks to address the injunction, and that the firm will only restrict appointments if a law expressly calls for it.

Petrobras shares closed more than 6% lower on Monday in Sao Paulo.

One of the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the change would allow politicians to participate in the “day-to-day running of the company.”

After markets closed, Petrobras issued a second statement, saying the change is “simply to keep Petrobras’ bylaws updated.”

Reporting by Marta Nogueira; Writing by Fabio Teixeira; Editing by Richard Chang and Bill Berkrot

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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