Venezuelan Vital Stats

Jun 1, 2006

CAF's $100 million bolivar bond issue in Venezuela brings some much-needed variety to local investors, and hopefully some vitality for the long-stale market as well.

Venezuela's domestic bond market is bursting with liquidity. Local investors, hemmed in by three years of exchange controls, have had little choice but to buy Venezuela's government bonds. At least that was the case until June, when the Andean Development Corporation (CAF), the Caracas-based development bank, issued a $100 million, five-year floating rate bond denominated in bolivars. Hugo Sarmiento, CAF's chief financial officer, hopes the sale will galvanize others to issue in Venezuela. "It is part of our broader mission to stimulate the domestic bond markets in our member countries," explains Sarmiento.

CAF's bolivar issue appears to have breathed new life into Venezuela's sickly bond market. Domingo Maza Zavala, a director at Venezuela's central bank, has since said that the country's national oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA), plans to issue bonds in...

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