Mexico’s Fatted Pig Ready For Slaughter

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office in December vowing to regenerate state-owned energy company Pemex and put the brakes on international investment to provide the public a more impressive cut of the country’s essential oil prosperity. 8 billionrefinery, refurbishing existing refineries and reversing a steady decrease in crude creation.

The problem is that such expensive programs – for the world’s most indebted essential oil company – have alarmed credit-rating agencies, that are threatening to downgrade Pemex bonds to “junk” status. A downgrade could cripple the president’s striking energy agenda, together with his programs to use new essential oil income to help fund public welfare programs. It could also imperil Mexico’s sovereign creditworthiness. 106 billion in financial debt, Pemex would likely see borrowing costs soar as many investors dump its bonds. 8.8 billion in one calendar year. Mexico’s options are limited.

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2.5 billion with debt refinancing, and the extension of a preexisting credit line with three banking institutions. The announcement, trumpeted by Lopez Obrador and other top officials, do little to encourage doubters. Aaron Gifford, an emerging market analyst with asset manager T. Rowe Price Associates, a significant holder of Pemex bonds.

Lopez Obrador’s election halted a liberalization of the energy market that experienced for the very first time given international and private essential oil firms the to develop fields on their own and in joint endeavors with Pemex. Week Last, the president announced Pemex would build the new refinery – prepared for his home state of Tabasco – because private-sector contractors cannot meet his suggested budget or three-year timeline.

Rating agency Moody’s on Monday attacked the refinery decision, saying it would probably take longer and may cost 50% more than planned. Moody’s said in a declaration. The government intends to begin building the refinery next month and finish by May 2022. Lopez Obrador also wants to overhaul the firm’s six existing refineries, that are accident-prone, operate at 40% capacity and have hemorrhaged money for years.

Some skillfully developed say Pemex’s funds won’t support the president’s programs. The brand-new refinery shall have to be canceled to avoid a downgrade, said one former Pemex professional, speaking on condition of anonymity and echoing the views of others. Another previous Pemex executive informed Reuters the state-owned firm should be trying to raise more money by partnering “constantly” with private, essential oil companies.

Lopez Obrador has generally been skeptical of private energy investment – especially from foreign firms – even while promising to increase Pemex’s creation and refining capacity. He contends he can save the company money through a crackdown on corruption and energy theft, and increase output by tapping areas with easily recoverable essential oil. Some cabinet members, however, have acknowledged that Mexico could use outside investment to help revive its oil production.

Energy Minister Rocio Nahle informed a gathering of mainly international oil professionals in an April 30 talk. Still, Nahle urged rating firms to be “responsible” in evaluating Pemex’s personal debt. She argued the company is meeting its obligations to pick up the tabs for what she characterized as previous mismanagement. Angle said Pemex had started turning around operations and stopped taking on more personal debt under the new government.