UPDATE 1-Braskem sees Brazil slowdown in 2014; investments flat
(Updates with outlook, earnings detail) SAO PAULO, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Braskem SA, Latin America's largest petrochemical company, sees its market in Brazil this year growing at half the pace of 2013, highlighting the importance of its overseas expansion. Braskem expects demand in Brazil for its plastic resins to expand 3 to 4 percent in 2014, down from 8 percent growth last year, the company said on Thursday as it reported a sharp drop in fourth-quarter profit. The plastics maker expects to invest 2.664 billion reais ($1.11 billion) in 2014, close to its 2.722 billion reais in capital spending in 2013. A quarter of capital spending is destined for the Ethylene XXI complex it is building in Mexico with Grupo Idesa, taking advantage of cheap natural gas and a domestic market highly depended on imported resins. Braskem laid out its plans in a Thursday securities filing reporting a fourth-quarter profit of 15 million reais ($6 million), down 95 percent from a year earlier due to a higher tax bill and the impact of discontinued units. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization fell 5 percent to 1.200 billion reais. ($1 = 2.41 Brazilian reais) (Reporting by Alberto Alerigi Jr. and Roberta Vilas Boas; Writing by Brad Haynes;editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid)
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