RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - The National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) began the process of selling its common shares of Petrobras (with voting rights) on Thursday, December 12th. Should the bank sell all these shares in the market, it may raise up to R$24 billion (US$6 billion), based on current quotations, equivalent to six percent of the total capital of the oil company.

With the sale announcement, Petrobras shares led the Ibovespa to slump. Ordinary shares retreated 4.7 percent to R$31.33. Preferred shares (without voting rights) fell 3.2 percent to R$29 . . .

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