Escape of investors after Bolsonaro interference causes company to lose R $ 100 billion in market value; chaotic scenario and opportunity for long-term appreciation divide the opinion of analysts
The actions of Petrobras plunged on Monday, 22, with the flight of investors after the intervention of the president Jair Bolsonaro (without a party) in charge of the state-owned company. The sale of papers in view of the market’s distrust of the company’s interference has led the preferred (PETR4) and ordinary (PETR3) papers to melt more than 20%, and has made Petrobras’ market value fall by around R $ 100 billion since Thursday , 18, the day before the announcement, when it was valued at approximately R $ 384 billion. On Friday, Bolsonaro announced that he would appoint General Joaquim Silva e Luna, current general director of Itaipu Binacional, to the position held by Roberto Castello Branco. The chaotic scenario divides opinions in financial market. While some entities recommend the sale of shares in view of the risk generated by Bolsonaro’s movement, others see an opportunity for investors to buy stocks low with the prospect of new appreciation in the long run. Simone Pasianotto, chief economist at Reag Investimento, says that betting on the company now is a decision that varies according to the size of the risk one is willing to take. “It is an opportunity for those who have the stomach for price fluctuations and are already more accustomed to the environment of winning or losing from the Stock Exchange. Those who do not have this more aggressive profile, it is recommended not to buy now ”, he says. For those who have the papers in hand, the tip is to ponder the need of the moment. “If the investor is able to take the real gain and needs this resource in the short term, the recommendation is that he sells. But if he has a loss with the business, it is best to keep it in his portfolio and wait ”, he says.
In a statement released on Sunday, XP Investimentos stated that “there is no longer any way to defend” Petrobras and recommends investors to dispose of the papers. According to analysts Gabriel Francisco and Maria Maldonado, the shares should follow a downward bias in the face of so many doubts about the command of the state company. “The uncertainties for Petrobras’ fuel pricing policy imply a lesser correlation of shares in relation to oil prices going forward, given the risks that they will not be fully passed on to fuel prices. As a result, we expect a deterioration in results in the future, not only due to the lower refining margins, but also due to the risks that Petrobras must import fuel at a loss to avoid any risk of shortages in the local market ”, they state.
There are also those who prefer to remain neutral and wait for the situation to calm down before making a more thoughtful decision. Romero Oliveira, Variable Income Manager at Valor Investimentos, says the time is for caution and observation of the next steps of the federal government. “The new management can be a very bad thing, but it can also be that there is no such tragic effect. It depends on the signs that the federal government goes through, ”he says. “Imagine an outside investor seeing change in this way and still putting a general in charge of an oil company. The moment is one of uncertainty, it is not known how this performance will be, if there will be price changes and what is the magnitude ”, he says.
Despite Bolsonaro’s nomination, Silva and Luna’s appointment must be endorsed by Petrobras’ board of directors. According to the procedures, the exchange will take place only after March 20, when Castello Branco’s term of office ends. Reag’s Simone says that the company’s shares should remain at this pace of uncertainty for the next three months until investors have a more fixed position on Petrobras’ futures. “There will still be a lot of volatility until the market feels confident in this president,” he says. For Oliveira, from Valor, the apprehension of the market is not because of the general’s choice, but because of the way the situation was handled. “There is no judgment by General Silva and Luna, who can come up with a good management. But it is that there was no very clear reason for the change, and this uncertainty of interference and lack of autonomy creates discomfort for investors, ”he says.