Venezuela govt says debt refinancing underway as S&P cites selective default

Ratings Agencies Cave: Venezuela Defaulted, Selectively

Ratings Agencies Cave: Venezuela Defaulted, Selectively

Standard & Poor's declares a "selective default" when a country has failed to pay one or more of its financial obligations when it came due. His appointment as negotiator by president Nicolas Maduro was perhaps an attempt to blame the United States for the default and boost local popularity, according to Ray Zucaro of RVX Asset Management, which invests in Venezuelan debt, on Bloomberg Television.

Venezuela's total external debt, which also includes loans from countries like Russian Federation and China, is thought to be as much as $140bn.

Beijing and Moscow have emerged as Venezuela's most reliable sources of funding, with China owed $28 billion and Russian Federation $8 billion.

Caracas has less than $10 billion left in hard currency reserves, but must make $1.4 billion in debt payments before year-end, and another $8 billion next year.

Venezuela has been in a recession since Maduro succeeded the late president Hugo Chavez in 2013.

Caracas added that it has "punctually" paid $73.35 billion for debt services in the last 36 months, and hoped that the Monday's meeting will help reiterate its willingness to comply with its commitments.

About 70 percent of Venezuelan bondholders are North American, according to government figures.

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Venezuela's government said its plan to refinance some $60 billion in bonds was successfully underway, while a rating agency declared the nation in selective default over missed coupon payments.

Previously it had Venezuela in junk bond status.

The sanctions also impose a ban on U.S. entities buying any new Venezuelan debt issues, complicating the government's debt restructuring plan.

A committee of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) is weighing whether holders of PDVSA debt with default insurance - credit default swaps - can collect payment.

The agency said it acted after a 30-day grace period had passed on payments on two bonds.

A committee of 15 financial firms met in NY "to discuss whether a Failure to Pay Credit Event had occurred" with respect to PDVSA, but ended up postponing a decision until Tuesday.

Now, as U.S. sanctions cut deeper into what's left of the economy, it's increasingly unclear how Venezuela will support itself.

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