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Pemex and the Finance Ministry met with investors in New York

Pemex explained that the visit to New York was to communicate the aims and strategic goals of the new administration

Pemex and the Finance Ministry met with investors in New York
Pemex's facilities in Veracruz - Photo: File Photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 14/01/2019 16:08 Reuters Mexico City Sheky Espejo Actualizada 16:08
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Yields on the debt of Mexican state-run oil company Pemex rose sharply this week after the company failed to lay out a clear plan to reduce debt and increase output during presentations in New York, analysts said.

Pemex faces the possibility of a credit ratings downgrade due to costly proposals by the new government, which include plans to build a new refinery and upgrade existing ones.

Half a dozen investors and analysts who either attended or were briefed on presentations in New York by the company’s new chief financial officer, Alberto Velázquez, said they were unconvinced by the plan to rescue Pemex.

Mexican financial assets slumped late last year after López Obrador canceled a partly-built airport. They have regained ground in recent weeks, in part due to relief about an austere budget announced by his economic team.

“It was a poor presentation and it is at a time when the market is increasingly sensitive about anything to do with Mexico,” Pablo Cisilino, a portfolio manager at Stone Harbor, told capital markets publication Refinitiv IFR.

The yield on Pemex’s 6.5% coupon dollar bond due January 2029 spiked on Thursday and Friday, closing 35 basis points higher on Friday, compared to Wednesday’s close, according to Refinitiv data.

In a statement, Pemex explained that the visit to New York was to communicate to the international financial community the aims and strategic goals of the new administration, which will allow to strengthen the finances and to improve the company's yield.

The statement added that Pemex is committed to having healthy finances, stabilizing and increasing their production through more investments to modernize its facilities, as part of a security and sustainability scheme.

Both Pemex and the government were expected to try to issue debt on international markets soon, and the two-day road show launched on Wednesday by Velázquez and officials from Mexico’s Finance Ministry was a bid to ease worries.

“It backfired,” said one New York analyst, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Pemex has seen crude output drop for more than a decade as its major fields age and it has struggled to replenish reserves.

Another New York-based economist who attended the presentation agreed it did not go well for Pemex and said that the situation was “worrisome.”

“They didn’t know how to answer clearly,” said the economist, who asked not to be named. “We’ll see how they do.”

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