Venezuela Foreign Reserves Fall to 12-Year Low as Payments Loom

  • International reserves fall to lowest level since May, 2003
  • Country must pay $4.5 billion on debt this month and next

Venezuela’s international reserves fell to a 12-year low of $15.3 billion as the South American country faces payments on its dollar debt totaling $4.5 billion in October and November.

Reserves fell $614 million on Oct. 16, the central bank said Monday on its website. That’s the lowest level since May 2003 and the biggest daily decline since June 3, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The country, which has seen dollar revenue decline with oil prices, and its state-owned oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela SA, have principal and interest payments of $1.5 billion due this month and another $3 billion in November, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The government will likely be able to pay its debt due this year, although there’s a 60 percent chance of default next year, Eurasia Group said Monday.

“While Eurasia Group continues to expect Venezuela to service its debt in 2015, a default is likely in 2016,” the consultancy said in an en e-mailed note to clients.

The central bank press department declined to comment on the reason for the decline.