UPDATE 2-Petrobras cuts spending, raises asset sales goal in five-year plan
(Adds Petrobras comment from company meetings with press, analysts)
By Jeb Blount and Guillermo Parra-Bernal
RIO DE JANEIRO/SAO PAULO, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Brazil's state-led oil company Petrobras on Tuesday cut planned investments by 25 percent in a drive to reduce the largest debt burden among global petroleum producers and revive investor confidence battered by a corruption scandal.
Petrobras contributes about 10 percent of the nation's economic output and Brazil's government, the company's controlling shareholder, is counting on it to help pull the economy out of its worst recession in decades.
Petróleo Brasileiro SA, as Petrobras is formally known, pledged up to $74.1 billion in capital spending for the 2017-2021 period compared with a $98.4 billion target in the prior four-year 2015-2019 plan, according to a securities filing.
This program outlines Petrobras' smallest capital budget since 2006 and fell short of the $82.7 billion average forecast of eight analysts surveyed by Reuters.
Petrobras reaffirmed its goal of $15.1 billion in asset sales for the 2015-2016 period and plans to raise an additional $19.5 billion through divestments and partnerships between 2017 and 2018.
The company said it could sell as much as $40 billion of assets over the next 10 years.
Chief Executive Officer Pedro Parente is seeking to cut the company's $125 billion of debt, amassed after years of state-directed policies overstretched the company. Continuación...