The government's latest moves to aid Pemex have given the struggling firm fresh fiscal relief, but fall far short of mitigating risks for its new USD8+ bn refinery.
More tax cuts for Pemex are forthcoming but a federal rainy day fund will no longer be tapped. This is positive for Pemex bondholders, but the firm's structural woes are unlikely to go away without a big change in energy policy; as fiscal risk migrates from the firm to the government, this will buy Pemex time but also boost the odds of sovereign ratings downgrades.
On June 5, Fitch downgraded Mexico's sovereign rating by one notch to BBB, and as a result, downgraded Pemex by one notch to junk the following day. On June 6, Moody's - which rates Pemex one notch above junk - changed its credit outlook to negative.