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Brazilian lender BNDES sold a stake in Petrobras for $5.2 billion, Reuters reports, and plans to pay part of the proceeds as dividends to the Brazilian Treasury.
The sale followed a secondary offering of shares by Petrobras, announced in January. The offering, of almost 612 million shares, was expected to raise $4.62 billion (19.6 billion reias) for the oil major, with the development bank allowed to sell another 122.37 million shares worth some $920 million. This, according to the securities filing from January, could see BNDES raise up to $5.54 billion.
This is the biggest share sale that Petrobras has organized since 2010, Bloomberg noted in a report on the offering announcement, and the company is much more attractive for investors right now. The company broke its oil production record last year, pumping more than a billion barrels for the first time in its history.
Brazil’s crude oil production topped 3 million barrels per day for the first time ever in November 2019, the ANP reported last month, adding that total oil and gas production rose to 3.95 million barrels of oil equivalent daily - also a record-breaking figure.
Petrobras is also doing a lot better financially. It has divested from a lot of non-core operations, has stopped subsidising low prices at the pump, and has doubled cash from operations.
The company also recently agreed on a $9-billion payout from the Brazilian government that settled their dispute over the so-called transfer-of-rights area in the presalt zone that will finally allow Petrobras to proceed with developing the significant oil resources in that area.
“It’s a very different moment for Petrobras,” said a Brazilian asset manager as quoted by Bloomberg. “Back then, the market was willing to write the company a blank check to invest billions of dollars in what was essentially a crapshoot. Today, we know the pre-salt is profitable and that exploration costs are among the most competitive in the world. The company has unloaded debt, and more divestments are coming.”
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.