Brazil's Petrobras to be led by privatization advocate

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil's president-elect is appointing a pro-market reformer to lead the state oil company Petrobras.

The government's Agencia Brasil on Monday confirmed the appointment of Roberto Castello Branco, a former director of mining company Vale.

Castello Branco has advocated privatizing Petrobras, which would be unpopular in sectors that depend on subsidized pricing.

Fuel prices set by Petrobras were at the center of a major trucking strike earlier this year that brought Latin America's largest nation to a halt.

Castello Branco was a board member of Petrobras in 2015 and 2016. He is currently a professor at Fundacao Getulio Vargas, a university and business-focused think tank.

Castello Branco is a long-time friend of Paulo Guedes, expected to oversee widespread privatizations as the next finance minister.

Bolsonaro's administration takes over Jan. 1.