Brazil securities watchdog aims to sharpen focus on governance

miércoles 4 de marzo de 2015 14:07 GYT

RIO DE JANEIRO, March 4 (Reuters) - Brazil's securities industry watchdog, CVM, must sharpen its focus on corporate governance as well as detect and punish those breaking capital markets rules more quickly if it is to boost its credibility, a director on CVM's board said on Wednesday.

In his first speech as a CVM director, Pablo Renteria said the watchdog must fine-tune penalties, including updating the value of fines. CVM may also implement so-called leniency accords, in which defendants would have their penalties reduced in exchange for admitting wrongdoing and cooperating with the CVM, he said.

Improving corporate governance in Brazil "would allow us to take a leap of credibility," Renteria said. In recent years, investors have grown skeptical about transparency in Brazilian capital markets and the government's respect of minority shareholder rights.

Exchange operator BM&FBovespa SA is working on a corporate governance framework for state-controlled companies, Chief Executive Officer Edemir Pinto said last month. The plan aims to restore confidence after intervention by President Dilma Rousseff in state-run companies since 2011 triggered losses for investors.

Renteria, who worked at CVM between 2008 and 2013, is a member of the agency's five-seat voting board of directors. Another director, Ana Novaes, left in December and has yet to be replaced.

By the end of this year, the agency will have analyzed and ruled on all investigations opened before 2011, CVM President Leonardo Pereira said on Wednesday. He has been in charge of CVM since November 2012. (Reporting by Juliana Schincariol; Writing by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Peter Galloway)