Petrobras close to selling 36% stake worth $892 mn in Braskem

Petrobras, Brazil's biggest oil company, is close to selling its stake worth 3.65 billion reais ($892 million) in Brazilian petrochemical company Braskem SA, Reuters yesterday reported, citing a Petrobras source.

Petrobras has received interest from major international chemical companies for its 36-per cent stake in Braskem's total capital, the report said.

Petrobras holds 47-per cent of Braskem's common shares and 21.8 per cent of its non-voting preferred stock.

Petrobras had last year decided to sell $15.1 billion of assets by the end of 2016 in order to fund expansion and pay off its massive debts.

The state-led company is currently the world's third most-indebted non-financial company with debt of around $127 billion.

Petrobras, formally known as Petroleo Brasileiro SA, sold the 6.85 per cent bonds due in June 2015 at 81.07 per cent of face value to yield 8.45 per cent.

The discount helped Petrobras raise about $2.03 billion from the sale.

Amidst charges of corruption and questionable accounting practices, a Petrobras default was looming and it was threatening to become a systemic risk to Brazil itself, which could potentially have sent the currency tumbling in value.

The Rio de Janeiro-based company has already been rated junk by the three major credit rating companies.