Jeffrey T. Lewis

 

SÃO PAULO--The preferred shares of Petróleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, fell 4.2% after the lower house of Brazil's Congress approved a bill that would make it easier to put political appointees in top positions.

Petrobras' preferred shares reached 22.35 reais ($4.18), and are down 18% from the end of last year through Tuesday's close. The benchmark Ibovespa stocks index was down 1% in early trading.

Brazil's Chamber of Deputies on Tuesday evening approved a bill that would reduce to 30 days from 36 months the quarantine period preventing people who had worked on political campaigns from going on to work in management in state-controlled companies such as Petrobras or Banco do Brasil SA.

Banco do Brasil shares were down 2.8% at 30.98 reais.

The bill still must be approved by the Senate and signed by the president to become law.

Petrobras has in the past been used by Brazilian governments for political ends, such as investing in sectors favored by administrations to boost economic growth or keeping fuel prices artificially low to help keep inflation under control.

A law approved in 2016 helps protect state companies from political meddling, and the current bill would weaken those protections.

 

Write to Jeffrey T. Lewis at jeffrey.lewis@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 14, 2022 09:00 ET (14:00 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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