CARACAS, Venezuela, Wednesday November 15, 2017 – There are troubling signs that Venezuela’s economic crisis is worsening, with international credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) revealing that the country had failed to pay its foreign debts and would also miss upcoming payments in the next three months.
According to S&P, the Nicholas Maduro administration failed to make US$200 million in coupon payments on its global bonds due in 2019 and 2024 within a 30-day grace period.
S&P further reported that Venezuela was also overdue on four other bond payments worth a total of US$420 million, but noted that the grace period has not yet expired on those payments.
The grim news came as the government said it was working to refinance some US$60 billion in bonds at a meeting of creditors on Monday.
That meeting involved more than 100 bondholders from Venezuela, the United States, Panama, Britain, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Japan and Argentina.
A government statement issued after the talks said “the process of refinancing Venezuela’s foreign debt began with resounding success.
“The start of this refinancing of our debt ratifies our full intention to comply, as we have always done, with all our obligations,” it added.
However, creditors who attended the meeting told journalists that talks which lasted for about 25 minutes had ended without the government making any concrete proposals.
S&P said it lowered Venezuela’s long-term foreign currency rating to ‘SD’ (selective default) and cut its long- and short-term foreign currency sovereign credit ratings to ‘SD/D’ from ‘CC/C.
“There is a one-in-two chance that Venezuela could default again within the next three months,” S&P said.