July 5, 2019


1. Chamber of Deputies approves basic rules for Pension Reform

Earlier today, a special committee from the Chamber of Deputies approved a new amendment to the Pension Reform after having previously requesting changes to the text. They discussed the amendment for over 16 hours. Members of Congress were hoping to vote on the new rules for retirement in Brazil on Tuesday, as the legislative power in Brazil will go into recess from July 18th. In order to be sent to the Senate, the new amendment text has to be approved in two votes at the Chamber of Deputies by at least 308 out of the 513 federal representatives. President Jair Bolsonaro’s proposal to ease the pension rules for the federal and highway police was dismissed. The administration’s economy team hoped the reform would save the government R$ 1 trillion in ten years, but for now R$ 987.5 billion will have to do. The new rules still include the minimum age for retirement as 65 years for men and 62 years for women. It also includes a transition period for people who are already employed. States and cities were left out of the reform, but this can still be changed by a vote in the plenary assembly.

Valor Econômico: Comissão aprova novo texto da reforma da Previdência
O Estado de S. Paulo: Comissão atende a ruralistas e tira R$ 84 bi da Previdência
Folha de S.Paulo: Comissão não cede a Bolsonaro e aprova texto da Previdência
O Globo: Texto-base da Previdência vai para votação na terça-feira

2. President criticizes populism and says “politics has changed”

On Wednesday, President Jair Bolsonaro said that the country no longer accepts politicians’ populism and that in his government “politics has changed”. According Bolsonaro, even though the three branches of government have not signed an agreement promising to defend the public interest, the “people” are considered to be far more important than any other institution. “You (the people) decide our destiny. It is to you – the Brazilian people – and to you alone that I owe absolute loyalty,” he said. The administration, the Legislative power and the Judicial power should have signed the “Pact for Brasil” on June 10th, but this did not go forward. Check out how the people view the first six months of Bolsonaro’s administration at Brasília Report.

Folha de S.Paulo: Presidente diz que a política mudou no Brasil

3. Selling BR could generate R$ 9.4 billion for Petrobras

Petrobras is hoping to make at least R$ 9.4 billion by selling 50% of its shares in BR Distribuidora, an oil distribution company. The new offer of shares will take place by the end of the month and is supported by a recent Federal Supreme Court ruling, which allowed for the privatization of state companies’ subsidiaries without the need for congressional approval.  Petrobras wants to focus on pre-salt oil exploration. BR is the largest oil distributor in the country, representing 27.4% of the national market and is responsible for 7,703,000 gas stations. In 2018, the company generated R$ 97.8 billion in revenue with profits of R$ 3.2 billion.

Folha de S.Paulo: Petrobras espera ganhar R$ 9,4 bi com venda de ações

4. Infrastructure Minister talks to US investors

Infrastructure Minister Tarcísio de Freitas had a series of meetings with potential investors in Washington DC (USA). He presented plans for privatizing airports, railroads, roads and ports between 2020 to 2022, which could generate R$ 180 billion in revenue for Brazil. This year alone, the infrastructure sector was responsible for R$ 5.75 billion in revenue through privatizations and auctions. During his trip, the minister also signed a cooperation agreement with the American government’s transport sector in order to study the American model of authorizing railroad construction.

Valor Econômico: Ministro assina acordo de cooperação com os EUA
Governo Federal: Ministro apresenta plano de concessões a investidores

5. Amazon deforestation increases by 88% in one year

Deforestation in the Brazilian portion of the Amazon rainforest reached 920.4 square kilometers in June, an 88% increase when compared to the same month in 2018. The National Institute for Space Research (INPE) published the data on Wednesday. According to the report, 97% of the deforested area is located in only four states: Pará, Amazonas, Mato Grosso and Rondônia. Last week, during the G20 summit, President Jair Bolsonaro faced criticism from Germany and France over deforestation in the Amazon. On Thursday, he mentioned the matter again and said he has flown over Europe twice and hasn’t seen 1 square kilometer of forests.

O Globo: Desmatamento cresce 88% na Amazônia Legal em um ano
O Estado de S. Paulo: ‘Não encontrei 1 km² de floresta na Europa’, diz Bolsonaro