UPDATE 2-Petrobras received bids for fuels unit in recent days -CEO

viernes 17 de junio de 2016 01:02 GYT

* CEO Parente does not name fuel-unit bidders

* Chief executive says not discussed Braskem stake sale

* Parente vows corruption probe to continue (Recasts to focus on fuels unit bids, divestment plan, Petrobras scandal)

BRASILIA, June 16 (Reuters) - The new chief executive of Petroleo Brasileiro SA on Thursday said the state-run oil company has received offers to buy a stake in its fuels-retailing unit BR Distribuidora SA in recent days, boosting plans to raise cash and cut debt.

Pedro Parente did not say who made the offers or how much of the unit was being sold. He made the remarks to the GloboNews 24-hour cable network in his first TV interview since taking office June 1.

Parente has said that Petrobras, as the company is known, must speed up a $14 billion divestment plan to shed fields, distribution systems, hydrocarbon processing units, power plants and other operations that offer lower returns than its core offshore oil and gas production business.

Without the sales, he said, Petrobras will make little progress cutting its $130 billion debt, the largest in the oil industry. Nor will it be able to afford development of new discoveries that are among the world's largest.

The government has earmarked royalties from those areas for health care and education and is counting on oil to boost industrial development.

Parente said he has not discussed the sale of its stake in Braskem SA, Latin America's biggest petrochemical company, an asset many believe to be on offer. Petrobras is Braskem's No. 2 shareholder.   Continuación...