Brazil's Rousseff replacing Petrobras CEO - source

Tue Feb 3, 2015 7:38pm EST
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By Luciana Otoni

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff will replace the chief executive and other senior managers at state-run oil company Petrobras this month in an effort to turn the page on a widening corruption scandal, a government source said on Tuesday.

Petrobras shares jumped more than 15 percent, their biggest one-day gain in 16 years, after a newspaper first reported that Rousseff intended to replace Petrobras CEO Maria das Graças Foster.

Presidential spokesman Thomas Traumann denied the report and later said after a meeting between Rousseff and Foster at the presidential palace that they had reached no conclusion about Foster's possible departure.

But the government source with knowledge of the matter said Rousseff had accepted Foster's offer to resign and would seek a replacement with experience in the oil industry. New senior management will come from within the company and elsewhere in the private sector, the source told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as Petrobras is formally known, declined to comment.

Investors bet on Tuesday that new leadership will help restore credibility to the scandal-tainted firm and ramp up production and boost profits, traders said.

Petrobras preferred shares, its most-traded class, jumped 15.5 percent in Sao Paulo to close at 10 reais.

It was the largest one-day jump since Jan. 15, 1999, also helped by a sharp rise in oil prices.   Continued...

Petrobras Chief Executive Maria das Gracas Silva Foster is seen arriving at the Brasilia international airport after meeting with President Dilma Rousseff February 3, 2015. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino