Venezuela blew past another two bond payments this past weekend, adding hundreds of millions of dollars to a growing pile of unpaid bills just days before the first of two can't-miss debt deadlines.
The beleaguered petrostate has now missed $586 million in payments tied to the debt of the government; state oil giant Petroleos de Venezuela, SA; and the utility Electricidad de Caracas, three investment firms focused on developing and frontier markets confirmed.
"I don't see how any person who's involved in Venezuelan debt can be anything except concerned, except for those who have credit default swaps," said Russ Dallen, managing partner at Caracas Capital Markets. Holders of the swaps benefit in the event of a debt default.
As of last Friday, Venezuela had racked up $349 million in unpaid bond interest. This weekend, it failed to make payments totaling $237 million due on another two sovereign bonds.
There is some consensus forming around the idea that Venezuela is squirreling away its pennies to make sure it is able to pay the $841 million in principal, plus interest, due on Friday on a bond issued by PDVSA, the state oil company. The collateral against the bond is Citgo, PDVSA's Houston-based refining and retail subsidiary.