Venezuela: Government plans debt binge
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Venezuela: Government plans debt binge

The Venezuelan authorities plan to issue about $17.8 billion-worth of bonds in the second half of 2009, according to a report issued by Barclays Capital. The bonds will be split, with $8 billion issued in the external market and $9.8 billion sold domestically.

If this issuance materializes, Venezuela’s total indebtedness will increase to $98.7 billion, 30.7% of GDP, by the end of the year. This is up from $64.7 billion, 20.1% of GDP, at the end of 2008.

"The onset of the international crisis and the fall in oil prices heralded a change in the executive’s debt strategy, deciding that one of the pillars of its anti-crisis measures was to increase levels of indebtedness," says Alejandro Grisanti, a senior research analyst at Barclays Capital.

At the end of June the government raised $4 billion from China, $1.2 billion from Japan and $3 billion from PDVSA, the state oil company. These measures meant that Venezuela increased its indebtedness by 18.6% over the first half of 2009. The debt from Japan and China will be repaid in oil.

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