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Brazil Plans for $17 Billion In New Investments By 2017 End

Brazil’s state-owned Petrobras forecasts $17 billion in investments and $8 billion in asset liquidation over the course of 2017, according to a new corporate financial presentation posted online.

The presentation, which included results for the second quarter of 2017, planned for the refinance of $13 billion in debt, while creating $27 billion in new revenues.

Executives told Reuters that the company would not considering selling its debt in international markets.

Petrobras has been struggling, besides its ballooning debt, with the weak price environment and a corruption scandal involving senior politicians, which led to the removal of President Dilma Rousseff.

The nationalized company’s new management has taken a radical approach in cutting costs and boosting revenues over the past few weeks. Bolstered by higher oil prices, which led to Petrobras’ debt burden easing from $122 billion in 2015 to $116 billion by 2016, the company has slashed capital expenditures, voiced its intent of laying off 20 percent of its workforce and divesting almost $20 billion, concentrating on selling stakes in its Brazilian subsidiaries, as well as assets that are outside Brazil in adjacent countries.

Related: The Oil Market Is At A Major Turning Point

This year could also mark the return of dividend payouts—which would be the first time since 2014—if Petrobras ends 2017 in the black. Chief executive Pedro Parente said, as quoted by Reuters, that “We really are keen to start paying dividends as fast as we can.”

The troubled company reported a net profit of $1.417 billion for the first quarter of this year, up from a net loss of $318 million for the year-earlier period. The company attributed the positive performance to 72-percent higher exports, at 782,000 bpd, at higher prices, as well as to lower oil and gas import costs. The latter were a result of higher production of oil and gas at home, which led to a 40-percent decline in imports.

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By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

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