Crise na Petrobrás: repercussões internacionais – Companhia endividada e análise do FT (Boletim nº 6 – 02/02/2015)

Duas notas – uma no La Nación de Buenos Aires e outra no Financial Times de Londres – refletem o ambiente crítico que continua permeando o noticiário da mídia externa a respeito do que acontece na maior empresa brasileira. Veja abaixo os textos na íntegra.

Petrobras ya es la petrolera más endeudada y menos rentable del mundo (La Nación – Buenos Aires – 22/01/2015)

Debido a un escándalo de corrupción, la firma enfrenta fuertes problemas de liquidez; sus acciones opern en Nueva York a un nivel mínimo que no se veía en más de once años

Las acciones Petrobras se derrumban en torno a U$S 6,40 en la Bolsa de Nueva York a causa de una crisis de liquidez generada por un escándalo masivo de corrupción. El nivel al que operan los papeles de la petrolera brasileña es el más bajo desde comienzos del 2003.

La empresa informó hoy a sus accionistas que planea vender activos, reducir inversiones y probablemente postergar el pago de dividendos para enfrentar una crisis de liquidez generada por un caso de pagos ilícitos.El nuevo plan de inversión de Petrobras para el 2015-2019 será “más selectivo” y seguirá enfocado en controlar los niveles de deuda, dijo la presidenta ejecutiva, Maria das Graças Silva Foster, a inversores y reporteros durante la presentación de las ganancias del tercer trimestre de la compañía.Petrobras publicó el miércoles sus resultados trimestrales no auditados tras un largo retraso, decepcionando aún más a los inversores debido a que las cifras no incluyeron las amortizaciones por el impacto financiero del escándalo de corrupción de miles de millones de dólares.

La empresa obtuvo un beneficio neto de 3087 millones de reales (unos 1190 millones de dólares) entre julio y septiembre de 2014, una cifra un 38% inferior a la del trimestre anterior. En el acumulado de enero a septiembre de 2014, la ganancia neta fue de 13.439 millones de reales (alrededor de 5190 millones de dólares), un 22% menos que en los primeros nueve meses de 2013.

La petrolera más endeudada y menos rentable del mundo no ha logrado recaudar capital en los mercados internacionales al tiempo que enfrenta dificultades para publicar comunicados financieros que reflejen por completo las amortizaciones vinculadas al escándalo.

En tanto, la compañía planea obtener 3000 millones de dólares de ventas de activos en el 2015, mientras reduce sus planes de exploración al “mínimo necesario” este año, dijo Foster. (Reuters).

Financial Times: A Petrobrás representa o melhor e o pior do Brasil

O periódico britânico The Financial Times, em texto com o sugestivo título “Limpando a bagunça na Petrobras”, diz que as denúncias da Operação Lava-Jato ameaçam tanto a economia brasileira quanto o governo. “A Petrobras é grande demais para fracassar. Mas também é corrupta demais para continuar como está”, argumenta. Em relação ao que categoriza como indulgência da presidente Dilma para com a atual administração corporativa, afirma que o tempo para isso já passou.

Mopping up after the mess at Petrobras – Corruption at the state-owned oil company brings chaos to Brazil (January 30, 2015)

Petrobras represents the best and worst of Brazil. Its technical competence is renowned and it has vast deep sea reserves. Such were the lures that drew investors to the world’s largest equity offering a few years ago when it raised $70bn on international capital markets.

But the state-controlled oil company is also awash with corruption. A skimming operation, known locally as “car wash”, that trousered 3 per cent of construction contracts over the past decade to pad the pockets of Brazil’s governing coalition has forced the delay of results, prompted a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation and locked the company out of capital markets.

This has not only corporate implications for the most indebted major oil company, with $170bn of outstanding loans, according to Moody’s. It is systemic for the Brazilian economy and threatens to unseat its government. Petrobras is too big to fail. But it is also too corrupt to carry on as it is.

The sums implied are mind-boggling. One lower tier executive alone has offered to repay $100m. Indeed, some estimate that as much as $20bn may have been stolen, mislaid or wasted in white elephant projects that were so poorly conceived that even Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez refused to co-invest. But nobody knows the exact number. That is why auditors PwC refused to sign off the accounts in the third quarter last year. Petrobras has been forced to slam the brakes on one of the largest capex programmes — $221bn over five years. And this when Brazil’s recession-bound economy desperately needs to improve its international investor profile as the “Bric” story has collapsed. The scandal is ricocheting into the rest of the economy. First, Brazil’s construction sector has been implicated, threatening mass cancellation of contracts and business collapses. This comes amid an austerity programme that seeks to sweat the macroeconomic excesses of the past 10 years that have been exposed by the commodity collapse and the halving of oil prices.

True, the government could step in with financial support. But that would imperil its wobbly investment grade rating, potentially increasing the cost of capital for Brazilian business as a whole. Blame ultimately lies with the ruling Worker’s party and its lust for power. The stolen money was allegedly used to sweeten coalition partners, finance Dilma Rousseff’s two presidential campaigns and congressional elections too.

True, political corruption is not new. Brazil’s system has always encouraged such graft and Petrobras has always been a tempting source. Ms Rousseff’s followers supposedly disdained milking it for personal enrichment. But under the Worker’s party, the scale of theft has gone up.

Hopefully the SEC investigation will provide a stick to beat the worst practices out of Petrobras. The scandal’s exposure suggests Brazil’s weak institutions do have weight. Car wash follows the mensalão scandal, another political vote-buying exercise that led to several high-profile convictions of senior politicians — a first for Brazil. With Petrobras, however, the response must be quicker and firmer. Ms Rousseff must give her full backing to the investigation and allow it to run its course. So far the scandal has lapped around her. There have been no accusations that she was directly involved although, as Petrobras’s chairman for much of the time in question, she needs to explain what she knew and when she knew it. But car wash is likely to claim the heads of the chief executive and the board. Ms Rousseff is defending them. The time for such indulgence is long past.

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