Fitch Ratings has maintained the debt rating of Petrobras and of its wholly owned subsidiary PifCo (Petrobras International Finance Co.) at the following levels: BBB in foreign currency, BBB+ in local currency, and AAA on the domestic scale, with a stable perspective and confirming the Investment Grade.
According to Fitch's report, the assessment is based on Petrobras' leading position in the domestic market, on its experience in offshore and deepwater exploration, and on the fact that the new discoveries made in the pre-salt region put the company under the limelight in the global oil and gas industry. Fitch also acknowledges the benefits brought-on by Petrobras' management practices in the past few years, with a vision aimed at the market, and by the significant improvements the Company made to its corporate governance with increased transparency.
Fitch believes that Petrobras’ main liquidity indices will be impacted by its greater level of indebtedness, particularly in 2009 and 2010, which will make funding the higher level of investments announced for the 2009-2013 period feasible, but that this will not compromise the Company's ratings. Additionally, it emphasizes that the investments made in Exploration and Production are likely to lead to a significant increase in production and reserves in the upcoming yeas, allowing the analyzed indices to fall back to their historic levels as of 2011.
The assessment is aligned to Petrobras' commitment to maintain its capital structure at levels that are compatible with a solid investment grade, considering the execution of its Business Plan will lead to a significant increase in the company's oil and natural gas production, which is expected to top out at 3.6 million barrels of oil equivalent (boed) in 2013 and 5.7 million boed in 2020.
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