"We are interested in refinancing our debt if a good deal can be negotiated, but we're not going to publicly reveal the conditions we´re seeking," energy minister and PdV chief executive Eulogio Del Pino said yesterday.
He did not indicate how much debt the firm wants to refinance and how quickly it hopes to reach a deal. But PdV, wholly owned by the Venezuelan government, is widely perceived as a high-risk bet in part because most of its revenue is routinely funneled to non-oil social programs.
Financial sector executives say PdV is seeking to refinance around $9bn of bond debt that matures in 2016 and 2017.The company is working with its longtime financial advisor Lazard on brokering a refinancing deal with bondholders. The refinancing effort is part of a strategy to restructure the company's finances and slash operating costs by at least 30pc in 2016, Del Pino said earlier this month.
Venezuela's government and PdV have combined scheduled debt payments of over $10bn in 2016 and another $10bn in 2017, with PdV accounting for some 50pc of the debt coming due in each year. PdV´s next major obligation is more than $1bn due in October 2016.
One option would involve swapping bonds that mature in 2016-17 for new bonds that mature from 2019, but the interest rate would have to be considerable to reach a deal. Investors could also demand that PdV open an offshore escrow account into which some oil export proceeds would be deposited to cover interest and principal payments on the new bonds. Putting up gold reserves as collateral is another option that could appeal to investors.
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