Venezuela invites investors to discuss foreign debt

9 Sep 2017   Venezuela

Venezuela has invited international bondholders to negotiations over its foreign debt as the government in Caracas seeks to mitigate the impact of US sanctions and survive a deepening economic crisis. “In the next two weeks all holders of Venezuelan public debt that have been negatively affected by the decisions of Donald Trump and [head of the Venezuelan Parliament Julio Borges . . . are invited to several rounds of negotiations,” Nicolás Maduro, the country’s president, said. Almost three-quarters of the bondholders were from the US and Canada, Mr Maduro told the government-controlled constituent assembly on Thursday. Russia, a critical lender to the South American country, confirmed that it had been asked to help with a restructuring. Moscow has extended state loans as well as financial assistance from Rosneft, the Kremlin-controlled oil producer, to Venezuela’s state-owned PDVSA. “There was a request from our colleagues in Venezuela to carry out a restructuring,” Russian finance minister Anton Siluanov said. “There are difficulties in fulfilling the debt.” Mr Siluanov said discussions were taking place within the Paris Club of creditors and “on the other hand, we are directly engaged in bilateral contacts in order to work out a mechanism for restructuring the debt.” The Russian state is owed around $2.8bn by Venezuela. “I am confident that we will find acceptable solutions with Venezuela,” the minister told reporters.

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