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14 November 2017, 07:00 | Opal Carroll
Venezuela begins refinancing its foreign debt
S&P says Venezuela is also overdue on four other bond payments worth a total of $420m but that the grace period has not yet expired on those payments.
The Venezuelan government said Monday that the country has successfully begun the process of refinancing its foreign debt during a meeting earlier in the day in Caracas with bondholders from various countries. S&P lowered two issues' ratings to "D" (default) and said there is a one in two chance that the government.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has indicated that his country was negotiating with its two allies. The country agreed on terms with Russian Federation for restructuring about $3 billion debt, but it still owes more than $50 billion on bonds held by other creditors.
In the past, despite the hardships its people suffer, Venezuela has used its foreign reserves to make bond payments.
"If any potential restructuring operation is completed, we would lower all of our foreign currency ratings on Venezuela to default and subsequently raise them to the "CCC" or "B" category".
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The Maduro government had said it would make a $1.2-billion payment on a PDVSA bond on November 2, but it was unclear if the funds ever reached creditors.
Instead, the head of the Venezuelan commission, Vice-President Tareck El Aissami, read a statement blaming sanctions imposed by the United States for Venezuela's difficulties in making the payments.
The US has designated vice president El Aissami himself a drug kingpin with whom US entities are barred from dealing.
Restrictions include a ban on U.S. entities buying any new Venezuela debt issues - usually a required step in any restructuring.
Under the sanctions, no U.S. citizen can do business with Venezuelan individuals on the list.
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