March 9, 2020 / 6:41 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Brazil will not hike fuels tax amid oil price drop -Bolsonaro

(Adds president’s comments in tweet)

By Lisandra Paraguassu

MIAMI, March 9 (Reuters) - Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said on Monday his government will not raise the CIDE tax on fuels to make up for lost revenue due to the drop in oil prices.

Bolsonaro said in tweet while visiting Florida that state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA will maintain its pricing policy without government interference, but that the trend will be for lower prices at the refineries.

Petrobras preferred shares plunged 28% in Monday trading through mid-afternoon, a major contributor to the 11% tumble in the Bovespa benchmark stock index in Sao Paulo.

Earlier, Mines and Energy Minister Bento Albuquerque told reporters the Brazilian government is not considering, for now, raising the CIDE fuel tax.

Accompanying Bolsonaro on his visit to Florida, Albuquerque said the government has looked at tools it can resort to in case of future abrupt changes, including the CIDE tax. But he added: “For now, the government will take no emergency measures.” (Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu, writing by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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