Venezuelan Officials Offer Few Details During Debt Restructuring Talks -- Update

By Anatoly Kurmanaev and Julie Wernau Features Dow Jones Newswires

Venezuelan officials provided few details about how they would move forward with a planned debt restructuring during a brief meeting with bondholders at the presidential palace Monday afternoon, according to people who said they attended it.

Continue Reading Below

The hastily convened meeting comes on the government's deadline to pay almost $300 million of late interest payments, or risk putting the state-oil company, the lifeblood of its economy, in default. Last week, the government failed to make payment on time for a small bond issued by a state electrical company.

Most major investment funds skipped the Monday meeting with President Nicolás Maduro's restructuring commission, which included two officials blacklisted by the U.S. for alleged drug trafficking and corruption. None of the commission members have an economics or finance background.

On his weekly television show Sunday, Mr. Maduro said 414 investors had confirmed their participation for the meeting, which he said accounted for more than 90% of the country's creditors.

"Venezuela will never get to a default," Mr. Maduro said.

Vice President Tareck El Aissami, tapped to head the negotiations and sanctioned by the U.S. government, read a short statement about how U.S. sanctions had made it difficult for the government to pay its debts on time, without clarifying whether it would continue to make payments going forward, according to the people who said they attended.

Continue Reading Below

A spokesperson for the country's information ministry didn't respond to a request for comment.

Write to Anatoly Kurmanaev at Anatoly.kurmanaev@wsj.com and Julie Wernau at Julie.Wernau@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 13, 2017 18:27 ET (23:27 GMT)