S&P Global Ratings has declared Venezuela in selective default after it failed to make coupon payments on bonds due in 2019 and 2024 within a 30-day grace period. As Silvia Antonioli reports, it warned there was a strong chance the South American country would miss further payments within three months.
Venezuelans are fond of chocolate and President Nicolas Maduro might have hoped its creditors were too. Chocolate and little else was on offer at a meeting with investors holding some 60-billion-dollars in Venezuelan junk bonds But the gift failed to sweeten the lenders, who said Maduro gave no firm proposal to tackle the spiralling crisis in the short and confused meeting. Rating agency Standard & Poor's has already declared the nation in selective default over missed coupon payments. They warned that there is a strong chance that it will miss further payments too. SOUNDBITE (English) SENIOR FX STRATEGIST, RABOBANK, JANE FOLEY, SAYING: "Generally speaking the outlook for Venezuela looks incredibly bleak....The only hope that I think that most people will have is that some compromises are reached sooner rather than later in this what has become a really very significant mess." The government of the oil-dependant country says it intends to comply with its obligations and has a plan to refinance its debt pile. But U.S. sanctions on the Latin American country are making a refinancing highly unlikely at this point. although there may be a glimmer of hope. SOUNDBITE (English) SENIOR FX STRATEGIST, RABOBANK, JANE FOLEY, SAYING: "There are reports that Venezuela could see a restructuring with Russia perhaps that could be announced later on in the week. And there's also talk that they will be meeting with the opposition to try and put some restructuring program in place as well." For now many citizens are skipping meals and suffering from preventable diseases as triple-digit inflation and severe shortages deepen the Venezuelan meltdown.