Brazil announces that it aims to reduce electricity bills with funds from Eletrobras

Lula da Silva approves payment by Brazil's Petrobras of 50% in retained dividends

The Brazilian president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, on Friday, gave his approval to the state oil company Petrobras distributing 50% of the additional dividends it withheld in March, local newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reported.

Petrobras' board voted last month to set aside US$8.43 billion in additional dividends to pay in the future, taking investors by surprise as they expected around half of the funds to be disbursed by then.

Lula made the decision with the understanding that it would not affect the oil giant's investment plans, Folha said, citing sources familiar with the matter.

The next Petrobras shareholders meeting will be held on April 25.

Petrobras did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Earlier on Friday, O Globo newspaper reported that discussions were underway a payment of up to 100% of the total withheld, which boosted Petrobras shares by more than 1.5%.