UPDATE 2-Mexico finance minister says ready to support Pemex

miércoles 27 de enero de 2016 18:27 GYT
 

(Adds comments on pensions, quote)

MEXICO CITY Jan 27 (Reuters) - Mexico's finance minister on Wednesday said the government is considering injecting more capital into state-owned oil company Pemex, though any decision is not "imminent" and will depend on oil prices and the company's situation.

Crude oil prices have fallen more than 70 percent since 2014, battering Pemex's balance sheet.

"The federal government, as the 100 percent owner of Pemex, naturally cannot be indifferent to this situation, and we are ready to support it (the firm)," Luis Videgaray told reporters, adding that no concrete decisions have been made yet.

The government is also working with the firm to analyze specific cases where taxes may inhibit Pemex from making investments, Videgaray said in response to a question about whether Mexico could lower Pemex's tax burden.

Deputy finance minister Miguel Messmacher said the government may let Pemex take on more debt, according to an interview with the Bloomberg news service, without specifying a specific amount.

The government transferred 50 billion pesos ($2.7 billion) to the firm last month, though Videgaray said this amount was tied to Pemex's pension liability.

Pemex's new pension scheme, agreed with its union in November, allows the company to pass part of its nearly $90 billion unfunded liability to the government.

Videgaray said the government will make any decisions about further support once it sees how oil prices develop, and how Pemex responds. ($1 = 18.4655 Mexican pesos) (Reporting by Alexandra Alper, writing by Anna Yukhananov; Editing by Bernard Orr and Jonathan Oatis)