Brazil’s Petrobras delayed its third quarter results for the third time in two months as board members reportedly try to determine the size of graft related write downs.
Board members at the state owned company have not agreed on the size of the write downs but are planning to avoid debt markets until various probes into corruption at the company are complete, Bloomberg said Monday.
Brazil’s national accounting agency said Petrobras may have overpaid by as much as $1.2 billion in transactions that were under investigation for possible kickbacks.
Petrobras said it will curb investments and review its fuel price strategy for 2015 so it can avoid issuing more debt and “assure positive cash flow.”
The third quarter results were initially delayed in early November after PricewaterhouseCooper refused to sign off on any accounts tied to transportation chief and politician Sergio Machado.
Machado, head of Petrobras transport arm Transpetro, was placed on unpaid leave on November 3 and will not return to his post until January 2015 at the earliest.
Earlier this year, former downstream executive Paulo Roberto Costa was arrested on corruption charges and later admitted to taking a $636,000 bribe tied to the company’s 2006 purchase of a Texas refinery.
Costa alleges executives were skimming as much as 3 percent off the price of contracts and giving the money to political organizations, including campaigns run by Machado.
Machado has denied any wrongdoing.
Last Friday, Brazilian prosecutors charged 36 suspects with corruption for allegedly overbilling Petrobras and using the money to bribe politicians.
Petrobras ordered an independent investigation the alleged corruption schemes and said it will release the results of its probe as soon as they are ready.
Brazil’s market regulator CVM could level fines against Petrobras for the extended delay of its third quarter results.
The delay could also have a hefty financial impact with some analysts warning the company could lose its investment grade rating.
In late November, Petrobras was served with a subpoena for unspecified documents by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Committee.
The SEC has not commented on the subpoena.