Venezuelan State Energy Company Defaults: Reports

A Venezuelan state enterprise allegedly defaulted this week, after months of speculation the government in Caracas could struggle to make debt repayments.

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Venezuela's state electricity company Corpoelec has defaulted, according to reports. (Archive)
Venezuela's state electricity company Corpoelec has defaulted, according to reports. (Archive)
By Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
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Puebla, Mexico, November 10, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – A Venezuelan state enterprise allegedly defaulted this week, after months of speculation the government in Caracas could struggle to make debt repayments.

State-owned energy utility Corpoelec has allegedly defaulted on a bond interest payment worth more than US$650 million, according to Reuters. The news agency cited a statement from the bond’s trustee, Wilmington Trust.

“The issuer’s failure to pay interest on the notes when due on October 10, 2017 constitutes a default under the indenture,” Wilmington reportedly stated in notice posted on the Luxembourg stock exchange.

Wilmington didn’t provide further details, while Corpoelec has denied it has defaulted. The company stated it made the payment on November 8, a day before it was due.

President Nicolas Maduro had previously announced plans to restructure some of his government’s debt, with talks with investors set to take place on Monday.

If confirmed, the default won’t automatically trigger further defaults, and according to experts any lawsuit stemming from the payment failure would likely be directed at Corpoelec – not the government itself.

Maduro has long dismissed speculation his government could itself be facing default.

Venezuela’s government and state enterprises like PDVSA collectively owe around US$143 billion in foreign debt, according to financial thinktank Torino Capital. PDVSA alone has around US1.6 billion in debt payments due by the end of the year, and another US$9 billion on bond servicing set to fall in 2018.