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Venezuela likely to go bankrupt in a day?

Venezuela is likely to be declared as bankrupt nation, which could start a global financial crisis, as the Latin American country has not made any debt payment to many entities including Indian oil and gas major ONGC.

November 12, 2017 / 02:03 PM IST

Venezuela is likely to be declared as bankrupt nation, which could start a global financial crisis, as the Latin American country has not made any debt payment to many entities including Indian oil and gas major ONGC.

The financial crisis would be amounting to USD 60 billion as Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro announced last week that the country was going to restructure bonds worth around USD 60 billion, Sunday Express reported. A large amount of these bonds are held by PDVSA.

The derivatives' participant body ISDA will meet on November 13 to determine whether the debt-laden country has reached a stage for defaulting.

Venezuela’s state-owned oil firm PDVSA has not made a payment to ONGC since April. Over and above that, PDVSA also owes USD 540 million as a backlog of dividends to ONGC for an investment the Indian company had made on an energy project in Venezuela.

ONGC Videsh, which is the foreign investment vertical of ONGC, told Reuters that PDVSA had fallen behind on the payments. However, it still seemed to be giving Maduro a benefit of doubt as it said: “They have assured that they are working on it (the due payments). In due course it will be settled and follow-on steps will be undertaken.”

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Amid internal political catastrophe, Venezuela still has India lending it a hand; the ONGC underlined in its email to Reuters that it shared a “good relationship” with PDVSA.

PDVSA has not only delayed this, but other payments for oil services and supplies as well, says Reuters.

The country was formerly using a public sector bank in Russia and another Indian energy company as mediators for making debt payments.

However, bankruptcy is still on the cards as the OPEC member’s economy has collapsed since global oil prices plunged in 2014 and it has been suffering since. Venezuela’s economy dependent on oil and ropes in above 90 percent of export revenue from oil.

Venezuela has often used oil to repay debt; it owes billions of dollars to both Russia and China and is paying both with oil.

As per the Sunday Express, International banks have either stopped or severely cut credit available to PDVSA .

PDVSA also failed to make a USD 1.1 billion payment due last Friday.

Siobhan Morden, Head of Latin American bond strategy at Nomura, told the Express, "There has been no official communication on the payment delays. It is really odd that funds haven’t been received with sufficient time to process if the funds were sent last week as officials indicated."

As per Bloomberg, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) will review an appeal to determine if a default stage has emerged due to the lack of payments

The Express report says ISDA is meeting on November 13 for a bond restructuring meeting.  But US investors are not at all confident about the outcome of the meeting.

Russia can still save Venezuela as the two nations are expected to sign a debt restructuring deal on November 15 with a term of around 10 years where payments will rising gradually, a source told the newspaper.

But Venezuela will have to pay Russia back with a large bulk of money before the end of 2017 for the agreement to come into effect, the source told the newspaper.
first published: Nov 12, 2017 01:43 pm

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