Petrobras Posts $1b Q3 Loss

Petrobras Posts $1b  Q3 LossPetrobras Posts $1b  Q3 Loss

Brazil's scandal-plagued state oil giant Petrobras announced third-quarter losses of about $1 billion on Thursday, mainly due to the sharp devaluation of the Brazilian currency. Petrobras, mired in a hugely damaging scandal involving bribes and high-level political payoffs, posted losses of 3.76 billion reais ($1.01 billion) in the quarter, compared with a loss of 5.3 billion reais a year earlier, AFP reported. The huge corruption case has cost Petrobras more than $2 billion and shaken Brazil's political establishment to the core. The third-quarter loss was much steeper than analysts expected, underlining the grave uncertainty surrounding Petrobras. The company widely missed market expectations for a loss of about 800 million reais. Police have revealed that Brazil's major construction companies formed a cartel to divvy up Petrobras contracts—overcharging it by 1-3%—in exchange for bribes paid to executives at the company, politicians and political parties. Net sales, or total sales minus sales taxes, fell 6.9% to 82.2 billion reais compared with 88.4 billion a year earlier. Brazil, the world's seventh-largest economy, is struggling with an economic recession, high inflation and rising unemployment.