Venezuela: PDVSA makes payments on $233 million debt

Venezuelan state-owned oil company PDVSA accounts for almost all of the country's revenue

Venezuela's state-owned oil firm PDVSA said Friday it has started to repay $233 million in interest on two bonds nearing default, days before the end of the 30-day grace period.

Writing on Twitter, the company announced "the transfer process was started to pay the interest on the PDVSA 8,5% 2020 Bonds and the PDVSA 6% 2022 Bonds."

The company also called on creditors to "trust" its "logistical, productive and financial capacity" -- adding it had "fulfilled all of its commitments, even with the offensive sabotage of imperialism and its national lackeys," referencing American sanctions.

"We confirm the solvency and soundness of our oil industry, in a fight against illegal sanctions," it added.

PVDSA's bonds represent 30 percent of Venezuela's external debt -- estimated to be around $150 billion.

The company was dealt a blow on November 16 when the New York-based International Swaps and Derivatives Association committee declared it in default following three missed payments -- a decision which could worsen Caracas's situation, despite a debt restructuring agreement with Russia.

That came after two major financial ratings agencies -- S&P Global Ratings and Fitch -- also declared both Venezuela and PDVSA in partial default.

Meanwhile, the Venezuelan government has not yet addressed its failure to make a $237 million interest payment on bonds due in 2025 and 2026, which should have been made on Tuesday.