Venezuela’s Debt Limbo Has Wall Street Asking ‘Where's My Money?’

  • Grace periods expired on more than $1.5 billion of payments
  • Due dates on more than a dozen debt securities have passed

Venezuela Inches Closer to Dictatorship

As the New Year approaches, traders of Venezuelan debt remain in the dark on more than a dozen past-due bond payments.

They aren’t alone in the confusion amid conflicting information from the government and financial intermediaries. The country and its state oil company have blown through grace periods on more than $1.5 billion of debt payments, leading credit rating firms to downgrade a number of securities to default territory. But it’s a tricky business to figure out what has been paid and what hasn’t: In the span of two weeks, S&P Global Ratings lowered, then raised, then lowered once more its grade on Petroleos de Venezuela 2024 notes.

Here’s the latest breakdown of the bonds in flux:

BondCoupon Value (Millions of USD)Due DateGrace Period EndAnnouncements
VENZ 2019$96.70Oct. 13Nov. 12S&P declares selective default
Moody’s says technical default
Fitch cut to restricted default
Gov’t says it started payments
Euroclear said to not receive interest payment
VENZ 2024$103.00Oct. 13Nov. 12S&P declares selective default
Moody’s says technical default
Fitch cut to restricted default
Gov’t says it started payments
Euroclear said to not receive interest payment
PDVSA 2027$80.60Oct. 12Nov. 13S&P cuts to selective default
PDVSA says it made payment
Clearstream said to hold cash for payment
Interest payment said to reach some holders
VENZ 2025$61.20Oct. 21Nov. 20S&P declares default
Euroclear said to not receive interest payment
VENZ 2026$176.30Oct. 21Nov. 20S&P declares default
Euroclear said to not receive interest payment
PDVSA 2020$143.10Oct. 27Nov. 26Torino says some holders received principal payment
PDVSA says made principal payment
DTC said to tell traders it received interest payment
Reuters reports some holders in talks with lawyers
PDVSA 2022$90.00Oct. 28Nov. 27PDVSA says it began interest payments
Euroclear said to not receive interest payment
VENZ 2023$90.00Nov. 7Dec. 7Euroclear said to not receive interest payment
S&P cuts to default
VENZ 2028$92.50Nov. 7Dec. 7Euroclear said to not receive interest payment
S&P cuts to default
PDVSA 2026$135.00Nov. 15Dec. 15PDVSA says it began interest payments
S&P declares default
PDVSA 2024$150.00Nov. 16Dec. 16S&P raises rating to CC, saying it was "inadvertently lowered"
PDVSA says it began interest payments
S&P declares default
PDVSA 2021$107.70Nov. 17Dec. 17PDVSA says it began interest payments
S&P declares default
PDVSA 2035$146.30Nov. 17Dec. 17PDVSA says it began interest payments
VENZ 2018$35.00Dec. 1Dec. 31None

— With assistance by Katia Porzecanski, and Christine Jenkins

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