UPDATE 1-Brazil Bolsonaro hints at change in Petrobras profit split

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May 16 (Reuters) – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro hinted on Monday that he could change the profit policy of state-owned Petrobras, cutting the percentage paid out to shareholders, as he seeks to rein in rising prices fuel ahead of the October elections in the country.

In a speech at an event in Sao Paulo, Bolsonaro said every oil company in the world has cut profit margins during this economic crisis, except for Petrobras.

Earlier, the president said “there is more to come on the oil issue” and the government is “looking for alternatives”.

“We will definitely engage with Petrobras on these issues as well. It is not possible for one oil company to have 30% profit while the others have at most 15%,” he said.

Bolsonaro last week sacked then-mines and energy minister Bento Albuquerque and replaced him with senior economy ministry official Adolfo Sachsida in another sign of unrest. politics about fuel price hikes by Petrobras.

Days earlier, on his weekly live show, Bolsonaro had urged the company not to raise fuel prices any further and compared its profits to a “rape” of the country.

(Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu editing by Chris Reese and Lisa Shumaker)