Investors ask trade group if Venezuela sovereign debt is in default

Investors ask trade group if Venezuela sovereign debt is in default

Venezuela is buried under a $150 billion foreign debt mountain, including $28 billion owed to its biggest creditor China and another $8 billion to Russian Federation.

The ratings agency said the South American nation had failed to make $200m (£153m) in repayments on its foreign debt.

S&P's verdict came after the Venezuelan government met with global creditors in Caracas but offered no concrete plan for restructuring its $150 billion debt. This was because the country failed to make a coupon payment on two of their bonds within the 30-day grace period.

While placing those latter two ratings on CreditWatch, S&P added that it saw a one-in-two chance Venezuela night default again within the coming three months.

Separately, the Luxembourg Stock Exchange said it was halting trading of Venezuela's 2019 and 2024 bonds due to an "event of default".

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"We have lowered two issue ratings to "D" (default), and we lowered the long-term foreign currency sovereign credit rating to "SD" (selective default)", the agency said, adding that $420 million in payments on four other bonds were also overdue, but still within the grace period.

The Venezuelan government said Monday that the country has successfully begun the process of refinancing its foreign debt during a meeting earlier in the day in Caracas with bondholders from various countries.

Mr Aissami, who has been accused of drug trafficking by the United States, is himself on the list of Venezuelan individuals sanctioned by the U.S. treasury department.

"We also believe the Venezuelan government and people have the ability to handle the debt issue of their country", Geng said.

The US called an informal meeting of the UN Security Council, where US Ambassador Nikki Haley slammed Venezuela as an "increasingly violent narco-state" that poses a threat to world security.

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