January 4, 2017 / 1:21 AM / a year ago

Venezuela confirms $5 billion bond issue

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela confirmed on Tuesday a new $5 billion issue of dollar-denominated bonds maturing in 2036, but gave no more explanation for the unorthodox nature of its first sovereign issue since 2011.

A street vendor holds a coin of 50 bolivar for a photo, in downtown Caracas, Venezuela December 29, 2016. REUTERS/Marco Bello

State-run Banco de Venezuela bought the notes in local currency at a heavily subsidized exchange rate of 10 bolivars per dollar, according to a source familiar with the deal on Monday.

That would mean no net increase in hard currency for state coffers even as the OPEC nation struggles with triple-digit inflation, Soviet-style product shortages and low oil prices.

A one-sentence Finance Ministry statement confirmed the Dec. 29 issue, with a coupon of 6.50 percent, without offering further context. (Statement: bit.ly/2hQ846s)

Two bond traders, who had seen preliminary details of the issue, said the operation was underwritten by China’s Haitong Securities.

Reporting by Deisy Buitrago; Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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