Luis Nassif predicts.
Over the next few days, a fresh mega-scandal will be revealed involving Postalis, the pension fund of the postal service (Correios) — another unnveving sign of the disaster that spreads throughout Brazil when state-owned firms are used to underwrite political deals.
Postalis acquired R$ 150 million in the debentures of Construtora Mudar, a firm operated by a Rio venture capitalist named Augusto Martinez. As a guarantee, it received lands worth a mere R$ 7 million.
Thanks to a partnership with the SBT program Domingo Legal, Mudar exploded in the junk bond market: In two years it grew from R$ 150 million to R$ 400 million from projects launches and issued the debenture. Not long after, Martinez disappeared leaving 3,000 borrowers waiting to receive their apartments.
This was not the first scam perpetrated on Postalis by its former CEO, Alexej Predtechensky, aka the “Russian”, who received his post as a result of his relationship with former Mines & Energy ministerm Edison Lobão, with its ties to the Sarney group.
Postalis invested in all the latest issues in the financial markets, in the bonds of BVA, Banco Cruzeiro do Sul and Oboe.
Most of the thieving took place through the Sovereign investment fund, managed by a certain Atlântica Investimento –- belonging to an audacious Brazilian operating in Miami.
The managers of Postalis – Alexej and the financial officer Ricardo Oliveira Azevedo – were given the freedom to invest up to R$ 120 million without consulting anyone.
Atlântica alone lost R$ 371 million (before adjustment), or more than R$ 600 million (adjusted). The fund was established to invest in Brazilian foreign debt, but its funds were diverted into a private corporation, probably tied to Fabrizio and The Russian.
The Russian operated with impunity in Postalis for six years. He only left the firm in 2011, when his fraudulent dealings came to light.
His farewell was attended by a number of authorities, including Correios ex-CEO Wagner Pinheiro. In his farewell address, Alexej said that managing Postalis was a highlight of his professional career, and that he fought with all the means available to him so that Postalis would be “adequate to the modernity defined by Brazilian law.”
Correios chief executive, Wagner Pinheiro, … during the FHC (Cardoso) government, played an important part in preventing Banco Opportunity from causing even further damage to the pension funds.
As president of the sponsoring entity, Pinheiros praised The Russian’s administration, in which “over the last ten years, there has been an enormous change in the management of pension funds … a near-revolution in supplemental insurance” in Brazil.
The spurious pact with the PMDB led to another significant fund, Real Grandeza, being handed over to the incredible federal deputy Eduardo Cunha. Happily, the union reacted in a timely manner and had him removed.
Real Grandeza is the retirement fund of Furnas, the pension fund of the state-controlled electricity generator which is part of the Eletrobrás system.
80,000 Postalis stakeholders may share the destiny of Aerus, the toothless union of airport workers bled dry by successive boards of directors.
Filed under: Brazil