UPDATE 3-Petrobras says to speed up asset sales; bailout 'last resort'

viernes 15 de enero de 2016 16:34 GYT

* CFO says no government capitalization plan under study

* Brazil President Rouseff says does not rule out bailout

* Free cash could slip 40 pct to $15 bln by mid 2017 -CFO

* Petrobras shares fall 9.14 pct; close near 13-year low (Adds closing prices, 7th paragraph)

By Jeb Blount and Marta Nogueira

RIO DE JANEIRO Jan 15 (Reuters) - Brazil's Petroleo Brasileiro SA is confident it can sell $15 billion in assets by the end of the year to pay off debt and limit further cuts to its investments as oil prices tumble to 12-year lows, executives from the state-led oil company said on Friday.

While the financial challenges facing the embattled company are daunting, Chief Financial Officer Ivan Monteiro said Petrobras, as the company is known, would consider a government bailout only "as a last resort." No such request is currently under consideration, he added.

Monteiro met with reporters on Friday to explain Tuesday's announcement of a 25 percent cut in five-year capital spending to $98.4 billion.

Itau BBA oil and gas analyst Diego Mendes, who was part of a group that met with Petrobras officials earlier on Friday, said the executives provided "sound explanations" for Tuesday's cuts to capital spending and output.   Continuación...