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[BRASILIA] Brazil's Petrobras said on Friday it approved 18.6 billion reais (US$6.12 billion) in credit and sale operations to meet its financing needs as the state-run oil giant remains cut off from debt markets due to a widening corruption scandal.
Nearly 70 per cent of the new credit lines came from state-run lenders, which reflects the growing concern of the Brazilian government with the country's biggest company, Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as it is formally known.
Petrobras, the world's most indebted listed oil company, is under pressure to shore up its finances as revelations of a multi billion-dollar corruption scheme has cut access to international markets and forced it to shut down projects. "These operations coupled with others already implemented this year cover the company's financial needs for 2015," Petrobras said in a securities filing. "Petrobras will continue to evaluate other financing opportunities looking to anticipate part of its 2016 (financial) needs." Petrobras said on Monday it will release its third-quarter and full-year 2014 financial results after a board meeting on April 22 after a delay of five months. The failure to assess the size and extent of losses from the scandal has been the main reason for the delay, which if prolonged could lead investors to demand early repayment of the bonds.
Believed to hold some of the world's biggest oil reserves Petrobras is moving ahead with plans to sell US$13.7 billion worth of assets to shore up its finances.
Petrobras on Friday agreed with bank Standard Chartered PLC for the sale and leaseback of US$3 billion worth of oil platforms.
The Rio de Janeiro-based company approved a letter of credit for export with Banco do Brasil for 4.5 billion reais through its subsidiary BR Distribuidora.
The company also approved a standby credit limit of 2 billion reais with Caixa Economica Federal for up to 5 years, and also agreed to a pre-approved financing limit of 3 billion reais with Banco Bradesco SA.