Brazil Has No Plans to Privatize Petrobras, CEO Says
BRASILIA, July 18 (Reuters) - The Brazilian government has no plans to privatize state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA and is still deciding whether to sell its controlling share in several units to shore up its finances, the company's Chief Executive Officer Pedro Parente said in an interview with a local newspaper published on Monday.
Parente, who took over the leadership of the debt-laden company in May, told Folha de S.Paulo that management continues to study the best option to sell part of its fuel distribution unit BR Distribuidora SA.
When asked if the company could be privatized, Parente said: "In no way. I want to leave my opinion very clear, I don't believe Brazilian society is mature enough to even discuss privatization."
Parente acknowledged that Petrobras, as the company is known, still has $14 billion in assets to sell this year after delays in its divestment program, but he said management will stick to that sale target for the year.
He said the company is analyzing partnerships in several of its businesses, including units planned for divestment, to reduce risks and the need for capital injection.
"The big discussion at this moment is whether to maintain control or share control," Parente said in the interview.
Parente said he is in favor of national content requirements but based on products that local industry is able to make competitively.
(Reporting by Alonso Soto Editing by W Simon)
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