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Should Creditors Pay the Price for Dubious Bonds?

10 30 0
09.10.2019

DURHAM/GENEVA/CHAPEL HILL – In late October, Venezuela is likely to default on a $913 million payment on a key bond. Because the country has already defaulted on most of its debt, one might be tempted to regard another missed payment as no big deal. But this bond, issued by the national oil company Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), and referred to as PDVSA 2020, is backed by juicy collateral: a controlling stake in Venezuela’s economic crown jewel, United States-based refiner CITGO.

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    Ordinarily, unpaid bondholders could tell the bond trustee to seize the collateral. But, given its dubious provenance, the PDVSA 2020 is no ordinary bond. It was issued in 2016, when PDVSA was close to default. To buy time,........

    © Project Syndicate