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Venezuela Authorizes Local Debt Issue of 76 Billion Bolivars

Venezuela’s government will issue 75.9 billion bolivars ($17.7 billion) of local bonds for debt refinancing, restructuring and public spending, according to the Official Gazette distributed today.

The local bonds have maturities through 2025, according to the gazette. The government will start the year selling 1.4 billion bolivars in local bonds and 700 million bolivars in treasury notes per week, the Finance Ministry said in a statement posted on its web site today.

Venezuela will maintain its preference for issuing local over foreign debt this year, Finance Minister Jorge Giordani said Dec. 27.

The South American country increased its local debt to 246.78 billion bolivars ($57.4 billion) as of Sept. 30 from 154.1 billion at the end of 2011, according to the Finance Ministry.

Venezuela hasn’t offered bonds denominated in dollars since 2011, when it issued a total of $7.2 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. State-owned Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA, South America’s largest oil producer, last sold dollar-denominated debt in May.

Venezuela has about $38 billion in dollar bonds outstanding while PDVSA has $32.5 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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