On the 26th June 2019, Law #13,448/2019 was enacted that deals with the management, organization, decisionmaking process and social control of regulatory agencies. Back in the late 1990s, Brazil adopted the political decision to create independent regulatory agencies for several economic segments, such as (acronyms in parentheses): telecommunications (ANATEL), energy (ANEEL), private health plans (ANS) and civil aviation (ANAC). 

The main objective of this new law is to enhance the independence and transparency of the regulatory agencies, as well the effi ciency of their respective processes and the technical quality of their decisions. 

This is another step toward the goal of providing investors with more certainty in their investments in Brazil in industries related to these agencies and also providing more certainty to consumers of services rendered by companies whose economic activities are regulated by the agencies. 

On the 17th June 2019, Law #13,842/2019 amended the Brazilian Aeronautical Code (Law #7,565/1986) lifting the restriction on foreign shareholding in Brazilian companies providing public air transportation services. Foreign investors can now hold up to 100% of the voting capital of Brazilian airline companies.

Moreover, after an agreement with the Brazilian competition authority — the Administrative Council for Economic Defense — the state-owned oil and gas company Petrobras will sell eight refining units and associated logistics infrastructure. The sale will be made in two phases. In the first phase, Petrobras will sell the following refineries and corresponding logistics assets: RNEST in Pernambuco, RLAM in Bahia, REPAR in Parana and REFAP in Rio Grande do Sul.

As I have mentioned in past articles, Brazil knows that improving infrastructure is of the essence for its economic growth and such improvement certainly depends on foreign capital. By taking the aforementioned measures, Brazil is being consistent with its political decision to create an atmosphere for infrastructure improvement.

Foreign investors, including sovereign funds from the MENA region (in this case, possibly through Musharakah structures abroad), may be interested in taking part in this process of Brazil opening its markets.

With regards to the Halal industry in Brazil, Iran is the third-largest buyer of Brazilian beef (after China and Hong Kong). Due to the sanctions imposed on Iran which, among others, make it more difficult for Iran to have access to the foreign currency international market, Brazilian exporters are expecting a decrease in the export of Halal beef to Iran. In the particular case of mediumsized exporters, they have not signed any new export contracts in the last couple of months.

Este artigo foi publicado no Islamic Finance News, no dia 10 de julho de 2019.

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