Brazil’s Bolsonaro taps general to head state-run oil giant

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Friday tapped a retired general to replace a market-friendly economist who has been CEO of state-run oil giant Petrobras since the beginning of 2019.

In picking former Defence Minister Joaquim Silva e Luna to take over from Roberto Castello Branco, Bolsonaro is seeking to appeal to truck drivers, who threatened to go on strike at the beginning of the month due to recent increases in fuel prices.

Bolsonaro had said in a live broadcast on Thursday that he would make changes at Petrobras, which is 50.26 per cent owned by Brazil’s government.

He also promised to end federal taxes on diesel fuel over the next two months.

If confirmed by Petrobras’ board, Luna would become the first military man to hold the position at the oil company since 1989.

Petrobras stocks fell 6.6 per cent at the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange on Friday as investors anticipated a change in the management of the oil giant.