“I believe in a certain period of the history of Brazil there will be direct elections for Petrobras’ president, and this person will nominate the president of the republic.”
This speech was how Lula expressed his hopes about Petrobras right after the discovery of the pre-salt oil in the Brazilian coast.
The optimism of the former president of the republic, who has always spoken on a familiar and not intellectual manner, was clear : “We are proud of Petrobras. If it were a woman, it would be the one that all mothers would like their sons to be married to. ”
Investments in Petrobras naturally followed Lula’s positive speeches, from R$16 bi in 2006 to R$76,4 bi in 2010. Debt also increased substantially, reaching R$ 117,9 bi in 2010.
However, the question Brazilians are not asking yet is : Who pays for all Petrobras debt ?
40% are paid by public banks : BNDES, R$ 36,3 bi; CEF, R$ 5,66 bi; BB, R$ 4,35 bi. Further, BNDES owns R$ 44 bi of Petrobras shares.
For this, Petrobras pays around 6% of interest rates, close to international standards. However, this loan capital comes from the national treasury, which in turn receives capital with interest rates of about 12%( !). This difference is paid by every Brazilian, rich or poor, who finance public debt through the payment of taxes.
This « Petrobras tax » is a hidden tribute, but a very real one and the nation of the future should watch closely the strategies of the petrol company.
The marriage is being very expensive, only time and the « black gold » will prove if the fiancée will become a good (and profitable) wife.