In a recent transaction, Moody's Investors Service assigned a Baa1 rating to Petrobras International Finance Co.'s $450 million notes, instigating controversy over a rating that some market sources feel is slightly inflated.

Brazil-based Petrobras is the country's largest company, with revenues reaching $27 billion and totaling nearly $39 billion in assets. As a result, many sources say the state-controlled entity is linked too closely to the government to be rated so much higher than Brazil's B1 sovereign foreign currency rating from Moody's.

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