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UPDATE 1-Venezuela misses $30 mln interest payment to CAF, enters grace period -sources
June 8, 2017 / 11:07 PM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 1-Venezuela misses $30 mln interest payment to CAF, enters grace period -sources

(Adds context, details on CAF financing to Venezuela)

By Corina Pons and Eyanir Chinea

CARACAS, June 8 (Reuters) - Venezuela has missed a $30 million interest payment to Latin American development bank CAF, two legislative sources said on Thursday, adding that this activates a 30-day grace period to make the payment.

The OPEC member is struggling to service its heavy debt burden as its state-led socialist economy unravels under low oil prices, with bond yields among the highest of any emerging market country because of investor concerns of default.

President Nicolas Maduro insists his government will meet all debt obligations and dismisses talk of default as conspiracy by political adversaries.

The sources, who asked not to be identified, did not know which loans were associated with the interest payments in question. It was not immediately evident whether failure to make the payment within the grace period would immediately leave Venezuela in default.

A CAF source who asked not to be identified said Venezuela has missed interest payment deadlines in the past but always ended up paying.

Caracas-based CAF, which is owned by 19 countries primarily in Latin America and the Caribbean and 13 private banks in the region, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Venezuela’s Information Ministry, which handles media inquiries for the Finance Ministry, did not respond to an email request for comment.

Venezuela received $1.9 billion in disbursements from CAF between 2012 and 2016, according to its 2016 annual report.

CAF in 2016 approved $541 million in operations for Venezuela including $400 million for urban development, $40 million for potable water systems, and a renewal of a $101 million credit line to state development bank Bandes, the annual report said.

Opposition leaders have for months pushed major banks not to provide new financing to Maduro’s government.

Julio Borges, leader of the opposition-controlled Congress, last week excoriated Goldman Sachs and Japanese investment bank Nomura for buying a combined total of $2.9 billion in bonds issued by state oil company PDVSA. (Reporting by Corino Pons and Eyanir Chinea; Additional reporting by Diego Ore and Brian Ellsworth; editing by Grant McCool)

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