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Mexico cuts Pemex taxes to cope with crisis

Mexico City — Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said his government will grant a tax cut worth 65 billion pesos ($2.6 billion) to state-controlled Pemex in order to cope with the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and the collapse of the international oil price.

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The move, announced Sunday, is part of a broader set of measures announced by the president to propel the economy during the crisis, which the government considers to be "transitory."

The president reiterated that Pemex, a monopoly until a reform opened the sector in 2013, remains a priority, and said he will present a long-awaited package of public-private investments for the energy sector later in the week worth $13.5 billion.

The investment package, which has been expected by the industry since the beginning of the year, is seen as essential to increase crude production and meet the government´s ambitious goal of pumping 2 million b/d of oil by the end of the year, from roughly 1.7 million b/d currently.

For 2020, Pemex´s tax burden will be 54% of its profits, down from 58% originally planned, according to a presentation by the Finance Ministry released Friday.

Oil revenues accounted to roughly 17% of all government revenues during 2019.

Pemex had an outstanding financial debt of over $100 billion at the end of 2019.