The capitalization of electrobras (ELET6)a dream cherished by the market since the government of Michel Temerfinally got off the ground this year, under the presidency of Jair Bolsonaro. To get an idea of investor appetite, just remember that the demand for shares issued in the follow-on, in mid-year, around BRL 70 billion – for a placement that, in the end, stood at R$ 31 billion.
What was given by the market as a turning page, however, returned to concern, as former president Luiz Inácio Squid da Silva (PT) advanced in the polls of voting intentions for the elections that will have their first round this Sunday (02).
His public statements against privatizations, during the campaign, raised fears of a possible renationalization of Eletrobras. In a report sent to customers, the Bradesco BBI even outlined a scenario in which Petrobras (PETR4) would buy the electric one.
“In terms of energy transition, one of the initial ideas we heard includes a merger between Petrobras and the electrobrasrecently privatized, as well as the investment of Petrobras in offshore wind farms”, reads an excerpt from the report.
During an exclusive interview with Money Times, Guilherme Melloeconomist and one of the main advisers of the Squidadopted a “pragmatic” stance in relation to state-owned companies.
“There is no fetish for either the private or the public. The important thing is that the instrument works. if the electrobras work, have the investments, develop, promote the energy transition, great. This needs to be evaluated. THE electrobras and other state-owned companies need to be valued”, he says.
State-owned companies law
Another point of concern on the part of the market, Mello says he is not opposed to the State-owned companies lawapproved during the government To fear.
The law was considered an advance on the part of the market for the governance of state-owned companies and is cited by managers and analysts as a factor that supports the purchase recommendation for Petrobras and Bank of Brazil (BAAS3), for example.
“We have no problem with regulations that protect state-owned companies from this point of view and that require the training of unblemished, serious and technical staff. This is very important for state companies. It is a topic that does not concern us”, he says.
Here are some excerpts from the interview:
Money Times: Will the privatization of Eletrobras and the former BR Distribuidora, now Vibra, be reviewed? Are there any studies on this?
Guilherme Mello: Despite this dilution of Eletrobras’ capital in the hands of private shareholders, the federal government still has a relevant stake in Eletrobras.
Eletrobras, as well as other state-owned companies, are important instruments for making energy transitions towards a 100% clean and renewable energy matrix. In addition company is fundamental to guarantee the energy sovereignty of the country.
We believe that with this instrument, together with the participation of the Federal Government, it is possible to build policies to lead the transitions (to clean energy).
But it is clear that this needs to be evaluated over time: how are these investments working, if they have the necessary investment capacity.
There is no fetish for either the private or the public. The important thing is that the instrument works.
if the electrobras work, have the investments, develop, promote the energy transition, great. This needs to be evaluated. Oother state companies and Eletrobras itself need to be valued.
THE Petrobras, for example, plays a fundamental role in the study of new fuels and new energy sources. The company is a reference in this matter and is no longer in this government. This dooms the company.
The future is another source. THE Petrobras it cannot just be used to extract oil. She needs to think about her future as a companion. All oil companies are becoming energy companies, even private ones.
Money Times: In a recent speech, the former president classified Banco do Brasil’s profit as a private bank profit. What will the role of state-owned companies be in an eventual Lula government?
Guilherme Mello: If you take the Lula government, Petrobras made huge profits for several years and it became one of the biggest companies in the world during the Lula government. Before, it was a medium company.
It became a big company after the pre-salt. We arrived at the pre-salt layer not by chance. It was research, innovation, development.
There is no contradiction between a public company making a profit and distributing part of that profit and it investing, developing. Meet what is expected of a public company, which is its social function.
These companies need to make a profit and they need to reinvest. What was done now? Petrobras had a record profit, much higher than its international peers, due to the PPI (international price parity), which transferred all this price increase to the consumer.
What does Petrobras do with this profit? It distributes almost everything, instead of taking a part of that profit and making the investment.
You need to make an investment because the company’s future depends on it.
There is no company that survives if it does not invest, innovate, and improve the process. For the short-term shareholder, it’s good news because it pays dividends, it appreciates.
But for the long-term shareholder who is thinking about the company over time, this is a source of concern. If you are not investing, you are losing the ability to compete with other companies.
Money Times: How does the Lula government’s candidacy evaluate the State-Owned Companies Law? Can it also be reviewed?
Guilherme Mello: Regarding the governance of state-owned companies, we have commitments that are always judicious and technical in our choice.
We have no problem with regulations that protect state-owned companies from this point of view and that require the training of unblemished, serious and technical staff.
This is very important for state companies. It is a topic that does not concern us.
The market needs to know that state-owned companies in Lula’s government will play an important role not only for the country, but also for themselves, as companies. They will be well managed, healthy and able to make the investments.
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