Venezuela’s central bank sold $44 million of bonds due 2035 from Petroleos de Venezuela SA through its currency market known as Sitme today, the biggest one-day sale of the 9.75 percent bonds since they were issued.
The yield on the state oil company’s bonds rose 3 basis points, or 0.03 percentage point to 12.66 percent at 2:15 p.m. in Caracas, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The price fell 0.18 cent to 78.37 cents on the dollar.
Of the $3 billion of the PDVSA bonds maturing in 2035 sold to the central bank and state-run banks in May, $108.5 million of the securities have now been sold in Sitme to investors abroad, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. There was $57.9 million of bonds traded today in the central bank’s currency market.
“No one was expecting this much supply today,” Andres Caballero, a bond trader at BancTrust & Co. in Caracas, said in an e-mailed response to questions. “There has been appetite for this bond, but obviously the supply was larger than demand and that’s why it fell.”
PDVSA bonds were the most actively traded dollar-denominated corporate securities by dealers today as of 2:15 p.m., with 110 trades of $1 million or more of the state-oil company’s debt, according to Trace, the bond-price reporting system of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Of those 110 trades, 15 were of the PDVSA 2035 bonds.
The central bank and Venezuelan commercial banks trade government and PDVSA bonds in Sitme as a way to provide dollars to importers who can’t get foreign exchange at the official rate of 4.3 bolivars per dollar because of currency controls. Venezuelans pay for the bonds in bolivars at a fixed rate of 5.3 per dollar and receive foreign currency in return when the securities are sold to investors abroad.