Brazil Court Ruling Casts Doubt over Petrobras Asset Sales

A Brazilian Supreme Court justice on Wednesday suspended a presidential decree establishing rules for Petroleo Brasileiro SA to sell upstream assets, casting a pall over the state-controlled oil company’s ambitious divestiture program, Reuters reported. Justice Marco Aurélio Mello granted an injunction in a lawsuit brought by the leftist Workers Party to the Supreme Court, suspending a decree signed by President Michel Temer in April, the justice told Reuters. Part of the asset divestment program of Petrobras, as the company is known, had already been suspended by another Supreme Court justice, Ricardo Lewandowski. The April presidential decree had reinforced an earlier agreement made between Petrobras and Brazil’s federal audit court, known as the TCU. That previous agreement was seen as a major step in allowing asset sales to go forward, after a number of lawsuits by labor unions significantly slowed and in some cases stymied divestitures. Read more.