(Recasts with PDVSA saying payments made)
CARACAS Nov 21 Venezuela's state oil company
PDVSA said on Monday it had made bond coupon payments due this
month on its 2021, 2024 and 2035 bonds despite a JPMorgan report
"The information about a PDVSA default spread by the enemies
of the fatherland is totally false," PDVSA president and Oil
Minister Eulogio Del Pino said on Twitter.
Earlier, JPMorgan analysts said PDVSA had delayed $404
million in payments though they expected the company to make the
missing disbursements within a 30-day grace period.
"This highlights the cash difficulties and mismanagement of
PDVSA with regards to its liabilities," the analysts wrote.
But PDVSA, in a statement, said it had paid "punctually" its
obligations due this month for 2021, 2024 and 2026 papers, and
was also "in the process of executing" interest payments for the
"In this way, PDVSA honors its commitment ... ratifying the
financial solidity of Venezuelans' main industry," it said.
The JPMorgan report had noted that PDVSA did make a $135
million coupon payment on its 2026 bond, citing information
provided by paying agent Citi and settlement group Clearstream.
Citi did not immediately respond to request for comment.
Prior to PDVSA's response, Torino Capital had said the
reported delay appeared to be "a technical mistake" rather than
an indication of default.
It noted that payments were being made "through accounts not
conventionally used for these purposes" and that some PDVSA
management changes had occurred, both of which could have
contributed to a delay.
"Our tentative conclusion is thus that the delay in payments
likely reflects administrative and technical issues of the type
that the 30-day grace period is designed to handle," wrote its
chief economist Francisco Rodriguez in a note to clients.
"We do not believe it reflects a change in authorities'
willingness to service its international obligations."
PDVSA in October swapped $2.8 billion in bonds due in 2017
for new bonds maturing in 2020.
Venezuela bonds trade at distressed levels as a result of
investor concern that a steep recession and spiraling inflation
will leave it without resources to meet heavy commitments.
The country's sovereign bonds on average pay 26 percentage
points more than comparable U.S. Treasury Notes, according to
JPMorgan's Global Diversified Emerging Markets Bond Index.
Socialist President Nicolas Maduro says the country will
meet all its debt commitments and calls default talk a
right-wing conspiracy against him.
He has also accused global banks of leading a "financial
blockade" that has left Venezuela with few financing options
amid the oil market downturn.
(Reporting by Corina Pons and Eyanir Chinea; Writing by Brian
Ellsworth and Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Grant McCool and Mary