Banker Aldemir Bendine Named As New Petrobras Chief

Aldemir Bendine, a leading banker, is the new chief executive of Brazil’s scandal-hit oil giant Petrobras.He was not among the names touted for the job and will be seen as a safe choice for President Dilma Rousseff.

She is worried about the impact the corruption case is having on both the country’s economy and on her government.

Speculation ahead of the announcement sent Petrobras shares down 8% in Sao Paulo on Friday.

Mr Bendine replaces Maria das Gracas Foster, who resigned as Petrobras chief executive on Wednesday, along with five of the company’s executives amid the fallout from a major corruption scandal.

It is alleged that contractors paid inflated prices for contracts with funds diverted to some Petrobras directors, and to the ruling Workers’ Party and some of its allies.

The Workers’ Party has dismissed the claims as lies and said that it only accepted legal donations.

Mr Bendine is a career banker who has been president of the state-run Banco do Brasil since 2009.

‘No improvement’

Ivan de Souza Monteiro, also from Banco do Brasil, was named as the new chief financial officer of Petrobras.

His appointment meant that the company would “remain largely bound to the government’s needs”, analysts at Bradesco wrote. “We see no major managerial improvement compared to the previous administration.”

Joao Augusto Castro Neves, an analyst at Eurasia Group, said Mr Bendine was “an improvement” over previous management because he would have a mandate to make changes.

However, he added that Mr Bendine would face scrutiny because he did not have a background in the oil industry.

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