Venezuela

Swedish oil refiner Nynas, which is owned by Venezuela’s state-run PDVSA and Finland’s Neste Oil, said on Tuesday it planned to reorganize its business in an attempt to disentangle itself from U.S. sanctions imposed on Venezuela, Reuters reported. Nynas said the proposed changes to its ownership structure, backed by both PDVSA and Neste Oil, were filed with the United States’ Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on January 17.

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We are a long way from the end-game in Venezuela’s debt resolution. In a recent twist, the United States Office of Foreign Asset Control precluded, for 90 days, the enforcement of a bond owed by the Venezuela oil company PDVSA, the Financial Times reported in a commentary. Payment of the bond is secured against PDVSA’s shares in its US subsidiary, the energy giant CITGO. The policy notion was to approximate the effective standstill faced by other bondholders whose legal and financial positions have been affected by US sanctions.

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The team advising Venezuelan National Assembly President Juan Guaido skipped a payment Monday on the nation’s only bonds not in default, setting up a legal showdown with creditors, Bloomberg News reported. Rather than pay the $913 million due on Petroleos de Venezuela’s 2020 notes, Guaido’s advisers say they will take legal action against investors to fight any efforts to seize the collateral on the bonds -- 50.1% of Citgo Holding Inc.’s shares. Their argument is that the debt is illegal because the opposition-led National Assembly never approved its issuance.

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Ashmore Group Plc and Venezuela’s government may be headed for a legal battle as a potential default on the state oil company’s 2020 bonds sets off a rush to lay claim to the nation’s most prized asset abroad, Bloomberg News reported. Ashmore, which owned about half the securities as of June 30, has urged Petroleos de Venezuela to make the $913 million payment on its 2020 notes due Oct. 28, yet the team advising National Assembly President Juan Guaido claims it doesn’t have the funds, three people familiar with the matter said.

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Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido said the Corporacion Andina de Fomento regional development bank is preparing to offer a $400 million line of credit to help “alleviate” Venezuela’s crisis, Bloomberg News reported. Guaido, who is recognized by more than 50 countries as the country’s rightful leader, said the money wouldn’t be handed to Nicolas Maduro’s regime, without providing details. CAF, as the lender is known, handed Venezuela a $500 million loan last year to help Maduro repay existing debt with the lender amid criticism by the opposition that it was illegal and fraudulent.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and Nicolas Maduro briefly discussed Caracas’ debt obligations to Russia last week during a visit to Moscow by the Venezuelan leader, the Kremlin said on Tuesday, without providing details, Reuters reported. Close ally Moscow has acted as a lender of last resort for Caracas, with the Russian government and oil giant Rosneft (ROSN.MM) providing at least $17 billion in loans and credit lines since 2006. In November 2017, Russia agreed to restructure Venezuela’s sovereign debt of $3.15 billion, with repayments over 10 years.

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Venezuela’s government is ready to resume negotiations with foreign investors on about $60 billion of defaulted debt, according to President Nicolas Maduro, Bloomberg News reported. The embattled leader said Vice President Delcy Rodriguez and Economy Vice President Tareck El Aissami, both sanctioned by the U.S., will lead talks with bondholders. While actions by the Treasury Department prevent Venezuela from paying its debt through traditional means, Maduro said his government has alternatives, including cryptocurrencies.

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Western Hemisphere nations voted Monday to employ a regional treaty to impose sanctions against embattled Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro, accusing his regime of criminal activity including drug trafficking and money laundering, The Wall Street Journal reported. In a meeting convened by the Organization of American States, 16 of the 19 states party to the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance, a 1947 pact known as the Rio Treaty, backed using the pact to collaborate on law-enforcement operations and economic sanctions against Mr. Maduro and his associates.

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Venezuela’s opposition-run congress said on Tuesday it will form a commission that will eventually renegotiate the country’s debt, much of which is in default, and protect the OPEC nation’s offshore assets from seizure by creditors, Reuters reported. President Nicolas Maduro’s government has defaulted on most of roughly $60 billion in foreign bonds issued by Venezuela and state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., or PDVSA, but has had minimal contact with creditors about addressing the situation. The measure follows U.S.

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With talks intensifying over Venezuela’s state oil giant potentially missing a payment in late October on the nation’s only bond not currently in default, Ashmore Group Plc has more at stake than anyone else, Bloomberg News reported. The London-based investment firm holds more than 51% of Petroleos de Venezuela’s 2020 notes, followed by BlackRock Inc. and T Rowe Price Group Inc., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Ashmore boosted its holdings last year as Nicolas Maduro’s government began defaulting on some $11 billion in debt.

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