Petrobras plans to address results delay, graft allegations

lunes 17 de noviembre de 2014 02:00 GYT

By Jeb Blount

RIO DE JANEIRO Nov 17 (Reuters) - Brazil's embattled state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA will address on Monday its failure to release its audited third-quarter financial results due to a widening corruption scandal that has caused its shares to fall

The company will speak with investors and analysts and then meet with reporters starting at 11 a.m. (1300 GMT). On Thursday, the company announced it would delay earnings, which under Brazilian regulatory deadlines had to be released before the weekend.

Petrobras also said it hired private law firms to investigate allegations of money laundering.

On Friday, Brazilian federal police arrested a former top executive of Petrobras and senior leaders of powerful Brazilian construction and engineering companies as part of what they call "Operation Car Wash," a sweeping probe into money-laundering, bribery and campaign-finance-related graft.

Petrobras' preferred shares, the company's most-traded class of stock, fell 3 percent on Friday and are down 18 percent this year.

The scandal has also rocked President Dilma Rousseff's recently reelected government since prosecutors say millions of dollars of misappropriated money was funneled to her Workers' Party and other politicians.

Rousseff was the chairwoman of the Petrobras board of directors for seven years through 2010, when much of the alleged corruption took place. While she has denied any role in the wrongdoing and is not facing charges, the scandal could further weaken her government at a time when it is also facing a slowing economy and falling investor confidence.

Analysts and traders warn that potential corruption-related write-downs could lead to Petrobras being stripped of its investment-grade credit rating.   Continuación...