Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

Fight between Vale’s chief and Brazil’s government

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on March 23, 2011

by Samantha Pearson for Financial Times – Beyond Brics, March 23rd, 2011.

Imagine this scenario: a government is trying to force out the chief executive of one of the world’s biggest listed miners and replace him with someone they like. Shareholders would normally run screaming.

But the market has taken a relatively laid-back approach to the fight that seems to be brewing between Roger Agnelli, Vale’s chief executive, and the Brazilian government. Even reports that Brazil wants to regain control over its natural resources and stop Vale from shipping huge chunks of the country over to China have not bothered some.

This is because most believe it’s a purely personal spat. Mr Agnelli has gained a reputation for his hot temper and got on the wrong side of one too many politicians, analysts say. His time is up.

He also may not be the indispensible Wall Street darling he’s sometimes painted as. Sure, Vale tripled profits last year to about $17bn but that was largely due to one of the biggest commodity booms in history (continue reading… )

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