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By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The oil giant Petrobras in Brazil has risen six positions and is now the fourth largest oil company in Latin America and the U.S. in terms of market value at US$49.29 billion, according to consultancy firm Economatica. The survey lists Exxon Mobil remaining as the largest company in the region, with a market value of US$360.9 billion at the beginning of August.

Petrobras headquarters located in Rio de Janeiro
Petrobras headquarters located in Rio de Janeiro, photo by Sibel Tinar.

“Petrobras is the second fastest growing company in market value in the year 2016 until August 2nd,” stated the consultancy in its press release noting that the company’s market value increased by US$23.35 billion, from US$25.9 billion at the end of 2015 to US$49.29 billion on August 2nd.

The consultancy, however, admits that part of the growth of Petrobras’ market value is due to the recent devaluation of the U.S. dollar. The US dollar has depreciated by more than 16.5 percent this year in relation to the Brazilian real.

The price of the preferred shares of Petrobras (PETR4) this year until August appreciated by 69.55 percent in terms of the Brazilian real and 103.78 percent in U.S. dollars. Petrobras’ common shares (PETR3) appreciated by 51.34 percent in reais and 81.89 percent in U.S. dollars.

The improvement in the company’s market value should be welcoming news to Petrobras officials, who since 2014 have been struggling to keep the state-owned giant afloat. Embroiled in one of Brazil’s largest corruption scandals, Petrobras’ net loss in 2015 totaled R$34.8 billion, the largest in the company’s history.

Last year, former Petrobras CEO announced a bold divestment plan, reducing by 25 percent (US$32 billion), its investments until 2019 to improve the company’s finances.

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