CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuela's state oil company reportedly is delaying $404 million in bond payments in an apparent sign that the oil giant's financial woes are worsening amid the slump in petroleum prices.
A JPMorgan analysts' note said Monday that the oil company PDVSA is taking advantage of a grace period to delay payments on 2021, 2024 and 2035 bonds.
The terms of the bonds permit PDVSA to put off payment for 30 days before being considered in default. Analysts do not expect the company to default, but the delay highlights cash flow problems and raises the specter of non-payment.
PDVSA is the lifeblood of Venezuela's faltering economy, which is beset by high inflation and shortages of basic goods. Oil is virtually the country's only source of export revenue.