WITH the government under pressure to have Metro Line 2 up and running in time for the Catholic world youth forum, and the visit of Pope Francis in early 2019, with an expected influx of 400,000 visitors there is growing concern about Odebrecht’s financial deterioration and whether it can raise enough money to finish the project.
The company has been fined some $2 billion by the governments of Brazil, Switzerland and the United States to resolve a criminal case in which it admitted to paying bribes totaling $788 million in a dozen countries, including Panama.
It has also pledged to make restitution to the countries where it paid those bribes including Panama, Per and the Dominican Republic. All three countries are currently investigating those alleged to have received bribes.
The company has sought to sell assets valued at $3.8 billion, but there is a concern that this may not be enough to raise the capital it needs to continue to operate.
This warning was reflected in an analysis released Monday Feb,6 by Bloomberg analysts.
In the report, spokespersons for the construction company said the holding company is not working on the assumption that any unit would have to seek protection from bankruptcy.
Across the region, including Panama, Odebrecht faces the challenge of finding banks that finance projects it is working on.. This includes the expansion of the Metro, which is 33 percent complete.
Last year, the consortium of banks financing the project, led by Citibank, dropped out.
The government has said they expect Odebrecht to present a new financing structure between March and April reports La Prensa.