Shares of Petrobras (NYSE:PBR)(BOVESPA:PETR4) were trading 0.23 percent down in New York on Monday afternoon in hopes that Brazil's state-run oil will emerge unscathed from one of the worst corruption scandals, rocking Brazil over the past few months.
A multi-billion dollar money laundering and bribery investigation has forced Petrobras to delay its 2014 audited results on various occasions. It now appears as if the results for the fourth quarter of 2014 and 2014 financial year, reviewed by independent auditors will be released on Wednesday, April 22 according to Brazil’s finance minister Joaquim Levy.
While Petrobras’s shares were just slightly down in New York, they were up 0.77 percent in Brazil’s BOVESPA index on expectations that while scandal tarnished, the company’s results will be favorable and reflective of the company’s ongoing overhaul.
The potential emission of alkylaton at Petrobras’s 100,000 bpd subsidiary, Pasadena Refining System, in Texas on Sunday appears not to have affected the company’s shares.
On Friday, Petrobras also said it obtained a series of loans from Brazilian banks such as Banco do Brasil and Bradesco among others, amounting to US$18.66 billion. Along with other operational changes, the funds will enable the company to the meet all obligations for the year.
The intertwining of politics and business of the Petrobras scandal, however, serves as a reminder of Brazil’s dark decade of the eighties when business and political interests were too closely aligned, functioning on the wrong side of the Law.
Yesterday, the treasurer of Brazilian President Dilma Roussef’s own Workers’ Party (PT), Joao Vaccari Neto resigned from his post after being arrested as part of the Petrobras bribery investigation. Vaccari had already been arrested for the first time on 5 February and formally indicted on 16 March.
According to the indictment Vaccari - called into question by a number of other suspects – is believed to have demanded bribes amounting to US$1.2 million to support Roussef’s 2014 presidential election effort.
Nevertheless, that amount is just a drop in the oil barrel; indeed, over the past ten years, the Brazilian federal police has uncovered a vast network of corruption centered on Petrobras, which is said to have diverted some US$ 4 billion of public and private funds. Notably, some Petrobras managers are accused of receiving bribes from major construction companies in return for the award of new plant construction contracts.
In March, hundreds of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets shouting "Out Dilma!" Demanding the resignation or impeachment of the President of Brazil which, although not directly involved in the investigation, has seen her approval collapse after winning a second presidential term four months ago.