Venezuela govt says debt refinancing underway as S&P cites selective default


He insisted, however, the OPEC nation would continue to service its debts.

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.

S&P says Venezuela is also overdue on four other bond payments worth a total of $420m but that the grace period has not yet expired on those payments.

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.

S&P said it had lowered Venezuela's long-term foreign currency rating to "SD", and cut its long- and short-term foreign currency sovereign credit ratings on the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to "SD/D" from 'CC/C.

In the past, despite the hardships its people suffer, Venezuela has used its foreign reserves to make bond payments.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has indicated that his country was negotiating with its two allies.

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Ratings on those bonds also will be lowered to "D", of default, if not paid on time, it said.

Vice-president El Aissami blamed U.S. sanctions for delays to Venezuela's debt repayments.

There's still hope for restructuring with only some issues in peril.

The agency said it acted after a 30-day grace period had passed on payments on two bonds.

A committee of 15 financial firms met in NY "to discuss whether a Failure to Pay Credit Event had occurred" with respect to PDVSA, but ended up postponing a decision until Tuesday. Nevertheless, his options are very limited.

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.