(Adds details, context, trader quote)
By Alexandra Ulmer
CARACAS May 17 Venezuelan state oil company
PDVSA has deposited funds for the payment of interest on 2024
and 2026 bonds, the company's president told Reuters on
Wednesday, after investors reported a delay in some $285 million
due early this week.
"The money for interests that were due on Monday and Tuesday
has been deposited," Eulogio Del Pino said.
Three bondholders told Reuters earlier on Wednesday that
they still had not received payment. It was not immediately
clear what caused the delay.
Investors have been concerned for years that cash-strapped
Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA, may ultimately be unable to
meet its hefty debt obligations due to a deep recession at home
and lower oil prices. As a result, Venezuela bonds trade at
Socialist President Nicolas Maduro says the OPEC country
will meet all its debt commitments and calls default talk a
right-wing conspiracy against him. He has also accused global
banks of leading a "financial blockade" that has left Venezuela
with few financing options amid the oil market downturn.
Still, investors were largely confident that PDVSA would pay
this week, after the company made over $2 billion in bond
payments last month.
"We've been told that payments will become effective between
Thursday and Monday," a local trader said. Another trader said
he was "not at all" worried about the delay.
PDVSA also has to pay around $254 million in interest on
2021 and 2035 bonds on Wednesday.
(Additional reporting by Corina Pons; Writing by Alexandra
Ulmer; Editing by Tom Brown)