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Oil warrants discrepancy puts Venezuela's credit at risk

By Miguel Octavio | The Devil's Excrement

31.01.05 | The problem of whether Venezuela will or will not have to pay over the oil warrants issued in 1990 with the PAR bonds and DCB’s is beginning to percolate the international markets even if some analysts say there is nothing to worry about yet. From today’s El Universal digest on the issue:

- Jan Dehn from Credit Suisse First Boston says he suspects it will be difficult for people to verify the necessary data of whether Venezuelan has to pay or not. “Clearly, given the doubts that surround the levels of production of PDVSA and the generalized lack of transparency, the inherent conflict of interest in the Government’s position undermines its credibility”

- Roger Scher, General Director of Fitch ratings notes that concerns “over the ability of the bureaucracy in the area of debt management and about the systems that are applied to insure that the correct calculations are made”

- Benito Berber, HSBC: “Any impact on the sovereign credit rating is very low.. Our position is that it is not having an influence on credit right now”

So, will Venezuela be able to issue foreign debt as required by the 2005 budget anytime soon?

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