Petrobras Asset-Sale Report Spurs World’s Best Gain for Ibovespa

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A report saying Petroleo Brasileiro SA is weighing the sale of less profitable plants sparked the biggest rally in the world for the Ibovespa.

Shares of the oil producer at the center of Brazil’s largest graft probe jumped to a month high after Reuters said the company is considering selling some biofuel assets, according to people familiar with the matter. Petrobras has already shown those plants to potential buyers, the report said.

The most-indebted global oil company has struggled to reduce leverage and boost production in deep waters amid a slump in oil prices. Chief Executive Officer Aldemir Bendine, who in February replaced Maria das Gracas Silva Foster, is developing a business plan to reduce spending and retain an investment-grade credit rating.

“There’s a series of good news for Petrobras,” Fernando Goes, an analyst at brokerage Clear Corretora, said in a phone interview from Sao Paulo. “It’s great for investors that the company is making efforts to overcome its problems.”

The Ibovespa added 1.9 percent to 54,238.59 at the close of trading in Sao Paulo. Petrobras also joined a rally in crude, extending this year’s surge to 34 percent. The company has said that investments in oil and gas pre-salt production are economically viable with the commodity above $45.

Petrobras’ new business plan includes cutting costs and boosting productivity, newspaper Valor Economico reported, citing three people familiar with the situation. The proposal will be announced in July, it said.

Bookseller Saraiva SA Livreiros Editores rallied the most in 20 years after Abril Educacao SA agreed to buy its education business for 725 million reais ($236.7 million).

Banco Bradesco SA, Latin America’s second-biggest bank by market value, contributed the most to the Ibovespa’s gains. Chief Executive Officer Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi said the lender will make a final offer for HSBC Holdings Plc’s assets in Brazil next month, according to newspaper Valor Economico.

Trading volume of equities in Sao Paulo was 5.61 billion reais, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That compares with a daily average of 6.99 billion reais this year through Wednesday, according to the exchange.

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