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Best managed Latam companies 2009: Petrobras makes the most of a special situation

The partly state-owned Brazilian oil company sees no conflict between profitability, state ownership and social responsibility, according to its chief financial officer, Almir Barbassa. Jason Mitchell reports.

DOES A LARGE slice of state ownership – and the required rigours that come with reporting to government and taxpayers as shareholders – make for better corporate managers?

It goes against the accepted wisdom of capitalism. But as governments around the world take equity stakes in struggling banks and other corporations, it is a question worth asking. One company in Brazil provides an interesting answer.

The Brazilian state owns 55.7% of Petrobras’s common shares – which have voting rights – and the rest of the stock is traded on Brazilian stock exchange Bovespa.

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