The former executive manager of Human Resources (HR) at Petrobras, Claudio Costa, filed a petition with the Brazilian Securities and Exchange Commission (CVM), the Office of the Comptroller General (CGU) and the State Ombudsman’s Office, clarifying the operation of the sale of its shares in company, made in February. The negotiation resulted in the executive’s resignation, announced last Monday.
Costa had held the position at the state-owned company since January 2019, when he was invited by Roberto Castello Branco, president of the state-owned company. He also held the position of advisor to Transpetro, a subsidiary of the state-owned company.
In an interview with GLOBO, Costa recalled that on January 19, he asked his bank manager to sell his 2,800 shares of the state-owned company when the paper reached a price of R $ 30 on the Stock Exchange (B3).
On February 18, the preferred paper (PN) opened at R $ 30.38, reached R $ 30.92, but ended at R $ 29.27. It was on that day that Petrobras announced, close to the opening of the trading session, a readjustment in fuel prices, which displeased President Jair Bolsonaro, resulting in the appointment of General Joaquim Silva and Luna to assume the command of the state-owned company.
But, before that, Petrobras’ PN stock reached R $ 30.09 at the end of February 5 trading session. Asked about the quotation, Claudio explained that the bank was unable to sell the paper. Therefore, the sale took place on February 18.
However, due to the disclosure of the 4th quarter of 2020, on February 24, the trading of Petrobras shares by controlling shareholders, directors, members of the Board of Directors, of the Fiscal Council and of any bodies with technical or advisory functions.
By law, the ban involves the 15 days prior to the release of the result.
– When I received the statement of the sale of the shares on February 18, I communicated to the company’s Investor Relations department. I sent all the evidence. And I do not participate in the meetings related to the financial results of the state-owned company – said Costa, recalling that the company’s shares were acquired in the middle of last year and that there was a gain of about R $ 25 thousand with the operation.
‘There was no illegality’
He counters criticism that he has committed the crime of “insider trading” when someone trades on the basis of insider information. In the note released by the state company on the day of the resignation, Petrobras classified the episode as punctual and said that the resignation was without cause.
As he took care of controversial issues such as the company’s health plans, he recalled that many started to explore the episode to “attack” his reputation:
“I am convinced that there was no illegality on my part. Many are exploiting this episode to attack my reputation. My focus is to work on clarifying the facts. For this reason, I filed a petition with CGU and the Petrobas ombudsman so that everyone is aware of what actually happened “.
And at CVM, the objective is to provide clarification if the municipality decides to open a case on the case.
Part of administrative process at CVM
Within the top echelon of Petrobras, the assessment is that Costa made a mistake in selling the shares in the period that this type of operation is prohibited. The executive assesses, on the other hand, that there was an error in the governance process of the state-owned company, since the decision to resign was made 40 days after he informed about the sale of the shares.
“There was a procedural error in Investor Relations and governance. They give poor advice to the company’s president due to the volume of actions and processes and so many things that are happening at Petrobras. I believe that he did not stop to evaluate this due care. fact and ended up running over the whole process “, said Costa.
CVM said that this issue was included in an administrative proceeding that has been underway since March and that it is looking for other indications of possible insider trading.
Petrobras declined to comment.
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