$2.8 billion worth:
The New York-based bank’s asset management division last week paid 31 cents on the dollar, or about $865 million, for bonds issued by state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela SA in 2014, which mature in 2022, according to five people familiar with the transaction. The price represents a 31% discount on the trading Venezuelan securities maturing the same year.
The investment comes as Mr. Maduro’s detractors lobby hard to block Western financial institutions from doing transactions that support the cash-strapped government, which has been accused by the U.S. and other countries of widespread rights abuses.
Apparently GS is betting that a change in government would double the bonds’ value.
Good luck with that.
This move is peanuts in GS’s $40 billion emerging markets amount out of the $1.3 trillion the asset management branch manages, but Frank Muci at Caracas Chronicles calls it Meth Finance: “It’s like ripping out the electric wiring from the walls of your own house to sell the copper and get your next crystal meth fix.”
The Wall Street Journal’s Kejal Vyas and Anatoly Kurmanaev report that Venezuela’s Central Bank struck a financing deal so bad last week it makes PDVSA’s swap and Fintech’s repo look harmless by comparison.
The government raised $865 million cash by selling $2.8 billion in previously untapped PDVSA bonds held by the Central Bank. The central bank got just 31 cents on the dollar for the bonds from Goldman Sachs’s asset management arm.
. . .
in return for $865 million now, the government committed to dishing out a total of $3.65 billion through 2022, split between $2.8 billion in principal and $756 million in interest. It’s unbelievable. The government now has to fork up the $865 million three times over by 2022 to make good on the $2.8 billion in bonds —and has to pay a crippling $756 million interest on top of that.
The deal has an “internal rate of return” of 48%. That means this is equivalent to taking out a loan at 48% interest… in dollars!
As long as someone is willing to be part of the debt pyramid scheme, it’ll continue. Let’s hope it’s not the U.S.
Previously, the plan by Venezuela and Syria to circumvent Western sanctions on the Middle Eastern nation and ship its crude oil to Aruba to refine it and then market it internationally, including in the U.S., didn’t work.
As you may recall, Caracas, Syria and Iran had secret flights without passport controls, flight manifests and other documents for years among the three countries. It’s unclear whether the flights ceased. Venezuela continued to issue official passports and visas to Syrians and Iranians.
Still, some of the money ends up in Miami,
Controversial Venezuelan tax collector enjoys luxury life in Miami. Numerous ex-officials of the Venezuela’s socialist government have set up businesses and residences in the United States, despite repeatedly blaming Washington for the country’s current political and economic crisis. Ten years ago Jose Cedillo played a major role in targeting opposition TV stations.
— Ben Cohen (@BenCohenOpinion) May 29, 2017