PDVSA Says Total Debt Increased at Slower Pace Last Year

Petroleos de Venezuela SA, the state oil company, said that its total debt rose at a slower pace last year after it curtailed dollar-bond sales.

Indebtedness at PDVSA, as the company is known, climbed 15 percent to $40 billion after it sold $3 billion in dollar bonds in May to the South American country’s central bank and raised 12.2 billion bolivars ($2.8 billion) throughout the year in local debt, according to a report on the company’s website today.

PDVSA’s debt soared 40 percent in 2011 when it issued $10 billion of dollar bonds. The oil company’s benchmark securities due in 2017 returned 42 percent last year as yields plunged 6.26 percentage points to 8.74 percent on bets that President Hugo Chavez’s worsening health would lead to a new government.

The Caracas-based company obtained a credit line from the China Development Bank Corporation in February 2012 for $500 million to be used for oil services, of which $271 million had been used at the end of the year, according to the report.

PDVSA also signed a credit line of $1 billion with Credit Suisse AG for the expansion of the Puerto La Cruz refinery, of which $478 million had been used by the end of 2012.

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