(Bloomberg) -- Mexico plans to maintain Petroleos Mexicanos’ profit-sharing tax rate next year, even as the Finance Ministry seeks to use a variety of tools to help the beleaguered state driller strengthen its finances and pay down $105 billion in debt.
“There’s no single way to support Pemex, we usually use a mix of financial and fiscal tools,” Deputy Finance Minister Gabriel Yorio said during a press conference Monday. He reiterated the government’s support of the oil company. “That’s all the information I can give you at this time.”
Yorio said the profit-sharing duty will not be cut again this year, or in 2024 and coming years. Last year it was slashed to 40%, from 54% in 2021.
Pemex bonds rallied Friday after President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said the government was working on a plan to support the company that could include transferring debt to the sovereign. Some observers jumped to read plans for more ambitious support for Pemex than has been seen in the past, including absorbing Pemex’s debt. But others think Lopez Obrador is set to offer the same smaller cash injections from the government seen in the past.
Read more: Mexico’s AMLO Pledges Pemex Financing that Sparks Bond Rally
Bloomberg reported last week that Pemex could issue up to $2 billion in bonds to pay its maturing debt. The company has about $10 billion in amortizations due this year and will hold a series of investor calls this week that could precede an announcement of an issuance.
Marco Oviedo, an economic consultant and former finance ministry official, said he doubted Lopez Obrador would try to explicitly transfer Pemex debt to Mexico, due to the legal hurdles and the risk that Mexico could lose its investment grade. He expects the government to use the same playbook of the past of transferring funds from the government, then making cuts in other parts of the budget to fund the move.
“The market will allow Pemex to issue at better terms after the government gives them the money,” Oviedo said.
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