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PDVSA’s next $985 million debt payment – due Friday – has international investors guessing how Caracas will meet yet another financial deadline to prevent total default, according to reports emerging from the region.
The value of the bonds dropped 3 cents on the dollar to 81 cents on Thursday as skepticism over the source of the upcoming payment crept up. The value of other notes due for payment on November 2nd also tumbled.
If PDVSA is even one day late on these bond payments, creditors have the right to demand full payment then and there, since they were signed without a grace period in mind. Caracas is already behind on other interest payments that came with an official grace period.
“Fear is higher now because the deadline is approaching quickly,” Lutz Roehmeyer of Landesbank Berlin Investment GmbH told Bloomberg. “I am still confident that they find a creative way to pay.”
Venezuela has been in as similar situation of payment uncertainty in the recent past, with bond prices plummeting right before a big payment. For example, just before a big principal payment was due in April 2017 Venezuela received a $1 billion loan from Russia just one week before the due date.
Caracas is due for another $1.2 billion bond payment on November 2nd and, true to form, investors are uncertain if the fledgling government will be able to meet the tall order. But China and Russia have both been eager to help Venezuela in exchange for quick access to the South American country’s oil, as made clear during U.S. congressional testimonies on Wednesday.
"I would like to emphasize how both Russia and China, in the pursuit of their commercial and strategic interests in Venezuela, have provided capital, goods, services, and political backing that has indirectly enabled the populist regime to ignore and ultimately destroy the mechanisms of democratic accountability," Evan Ellis, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…