El Nuevo Herald: Maduro emite $8,000 millones en deuda a precios de liquidación en desesperada búsqueda de financiamiento

“Esos son precios de liquidación”, explicó Russ Dallen, socio de la firma de corretaje Caracas Capital Markets. “Es del tipo de operaciones que una persona realiza cuando sabe que al final no va a pagar las deudas, como cuando estás por declarar la bancarrota pero poco antes sales a comprar de todo, cargando hasta el máximo las tarjetas de crédito”.

Los bonos al portador, que en esencia permitirían a una persona transportar $5,000 millones anónimamente dentro de un maletín, son un instrumento actualmente muy pocas veces visto en los mercados financieros, tras haber sido descontinuados en Estados Unidos y otros países por convertirse en el instrumento perfecto para el lavado de dinero y la evasión fiscal.

La referencia mejor conocida sobre estos instrumentos quizás sea los bonos al portador Nakatomi, mencionados en la película Duro de Matar con Bruce Willis, donde el villano, Hans Gruber, esperaba escapar cómodamente con $640 millones dentro de una valija.

“No se pueden portar $5,000 millones dentro de un maletín en billetes de $100”, comentó Dallen. “Estos son instrumentos perfectos para terroristas ficcionales y, aparentemente también, para el régimen venezolano”.

http://www.elnuevoherald.com/noticias/mundo/america-latina/venezuela-es/article154956354.html

 

 

 

Barron’s: Russia-Venezuela Citgo Debt ‘National Security Issue,’ Mnuchin Says

It says that if Venezuela defaults, “This could leave Rosneft, a Russian company controlled by oligarchs with close ties to [Russian President] Vladimir Putin, in control of critical energy infrastructure in the United States.” Russ Dallen, an investor in Venezuela bonds and publisher of the Latin American Herald Tribune, has his ear to the ground on this matter, and was the first to publish on the Mnuchin comment.

http://www.barrons.com/articles/russia-venezuela-citgo-debt-national-security-issue-mnuchin-says-1495134008

http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=2436574&CategoryId=10717

Trump Russia Scandal: Russia May Soon Control US Oil Company That Gave Big Bucks to Trump

Congressional reps Duncan and Sires also called for a full investigation of the Russian connection to Citgo, after testimony by Latin American Herald Tribune Editor Russ Dallen testified to the House Foreign Affairs Committee that Russia and Rosneft may already own nearly half of Citgo.

“We do not know what the trigger is for Rosneft to take control of their 49.9 percent of Citgo or even if that triggering event has already happened,” Dallen testified.

http://www.inquisitr.com/4178302/donald-trump-russia-scandal-citgo-oil-company-venezuela-rosneft/

HandelsZeitung: Venezuela vor der grössten Staatspleite der Welt

Das erste Halbjahr könnte Maduro noch überbrücken

Um die im April fälligen Milliarden zu beschaffen, soll die Notenbank mit der amerikanischen Investmentfondsgesellschaft Fintech Advisory in New York verhandeln, und Anteile am staatseigenen Ölkonzern verpfänden. Doch die Märkte bleiben skeptisch. Die am kommenden Mittwoch fällige Anleihe notiert bei 95 Dollar, also bei 95 Prozent ihres Nennwertes. Sprich: Mutigen winkt ein Gewinn von fünf Prozent innerhalb einer Woche, sollte Caracas zahlen, was einer Jahresrendite von 228 Prozent entspricht. «Das Land ist so am Ende, dass ich diese Wette nicht eingehen würde», sagte Russ Dallen, Partner bei Caracas Capital dem Finanzdienst Bloomberg. «Du riskierst 95 Dollar, um fünf Dollar Gewinn zu machen. Selbst die Kasinos in Las Vegas bieten da die besseren Wettchancen.»

http://www.handelszeitung.ch/politik/venezuela-vor-der-groessten-staatspleite-der-welt-1378558

U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee: Venezuela’s Tragic Meltdown

Excerpts from Russ Dallen’s Testimony:

Those who trample the most basic tenets of the West’s rule of law – from the universal rights of man and human rights to those against bribery, corruption, drug trafficking, theft, money laundering, and murder — must not be allowed to enjoy the economic and political benefits that flow from our society’s diligence in upholding that moral core curriculum

Allowing Venezuela to fall further into the hands of drug kingpins — with close relationships with Cuba, Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, Russia and China — intent on doing us harm while sitting on top of the world’s largest oil reserves must not be an option. Likewise, allowing Venezuela to fall further into anarchy and chaos will only open the door to further death and destruction, heightening regional insecurity and Latin American instability. If the United States is unable to bring democracy to its own backyard, what chance does it have for bringing it to the rest of the world?”

http://docs.house.gov/meetings/FA/FA07/20170328/105703/HHRG-115-FA07-Wstate-DallenR-20170328.pdf

https://foreignaffairs.house.gov/hearing/subcommittee-hearing-venezuelas-tragic-meltdown/

 

 

Venezuela: Maduro remata activos petroleros a Rusia en carrera para evitar un default

Enfrentando $3,700 millones en vencimientos de deuda en los próximos meses, el régimen de Nicolás Maduro sigue buscando fondos desesperadamente, ofreciéndole a los rusos, a precios de gallina flaca, los activos petroleros que el chavismo confiscó a transnacionales estadounidenses.

Y aún así hay dudas de que puedan contar con los fondos para evitar un incumplimiento de deuda, advirtió Russ Dallen, socio gerente de la firma Caracas Capital Markets, en el marco de un evento realizado el martes en Miami por la Cámara Venzolana Americana y por la Venezuelan American National Bar Association.

“Todo junto, en los próximos dos meses, Venezuela y PDVSA [Petróleos de Venezuela], deben pagar unos $3,700 millones por vencimiento de deuda, pero es obvio que ellos no están generando suficiente dinero para cubrir esos montos”, dijo Dallen, quien expondrá la situación del país sudamericano la próxima semana en una audiencia de la Cámara de Representantes.

Eso ha llevado al régimen bolivariano a acudir a los rusos, quienes gradualmente han estado incrementando su participación en la industria petrolera venezolana.

“Ellos ofrecieron a los rusos venderles una participación en PetroPiar, operación que pertenece en un 30 por ciento a Chevron y en la que PDVSA pasó a tener una participación de 70 por ciento, luego de que el régimen expropiara la participación de 40 por ciento que tenía ConocoPhillips, por el cual aún no le han pagado”, dijo Dallen.

Según la agencia de noticias Reuters, PDVSA le ofreció a Rosneft el 10 por ciento del proyecto, desarrollado para explotar el crudo extrapesado de la Faja Petrolífera del Orinoco.

La oferta “es una señala de la muy dura situación económica que enfrenta la nación latinoamericana y de la creciente influencia de Moscú en el país”, reportó Reuters citando cinco fuentes de la industria.

La operación, sin embargo, luce bastante problemática para Chevron, dado que de concretarse estaría entrando en sociedad con Rosneft, empresa que enfrenta sanciones impuestas por Washington, que prohíben a empresas estadounidense entablar negocios con la entidad rusa.
En cambio, la situación parece una bendición para Rosneft.

“Los rusos están disfrutando mucho esto, por distintas razones”, enfatizó Dallen.

“Primero, ellos no fueron invitados a participar en las licitaciones durante la Apertura Petrolera, y ahora se están vengando de esa manera, y ahora están adquiriendo estos activos, que les costó a las compañías estadounidense miles de millones construir, y que fueron luego confiscadas y que no han sido compensadas, por precios de liquidación, porque ahora Venezuela está desesperada buscando dinero”, manifestó.

Pero el régimen no está tocando exclusivamente la puerta de los rusos.

Adicionalmente a las conversaciones con Rosneft, Venezuela también ha estado hablando con un banco de inversión japonés para tratar de obtener fondos frescos, agregó.

El régimen está tratando de obtener nuevas líneas de financiamiento en momentos en que el país enfrenta la peor crisis económica de su historia moderna y dificultades para cumplir con su gigantesca deuda externa.

Las ventas de crudo, disminuidas a menos de un millón de barriles diarios, “ni siquiera es suficiente para pagar a las compañías que están produciendo el petróleo” o importar medicinas y alimentos, y las reservas internacionales del país ya están en el piso, dijo
Dallen.

El país petrolero logró pagar $725 millones en vencimientos el mes pasado, pero el régimen bolivariano dio muestra de tener problemas en
noviembre, cuando se vio imposibilitado de pagar sus deudas a tiempo, agregó.

El pago se retrasó 30 días, desembolsando el relativamente modesto pago de $400 millones al final del período de gracia e incurriendo en lo que los mercados llaman, un “default técnico”.

Ese pago pudo realizarse al final, gracias al que la petrolera rusa Rosneft otorgó un préstamo de $1,500 millones después que PDVSA colocara como garantía el 50 por ciento de las acciones de la refinería estadounidense Citgo, operación que levantó varias cejas en los pasillos del poder de Washington.

Esos $1,500 millones, sin embargo, ya se evaporaron, advirtió

http://www.elnuevoherald.com/noticias/mundo/america-latina/venezuela-es/article139955273.html

 

Maduro remata activos petroleros a Rusia en carrera para evitar un default

https://www.lapatilla.com/site/2017/03/22/maduro-remata-activos-petroleros-a-rusia-en-carrera-para-evitar-un-default/

 

¡A PRECIOS DE GALLINA FLACA! Maduro remata activos petroleros a Rusia para evitar un default

https://dolartoday.com/precios-de-gallina-flaca-maduro-remata-activos-petroleros-rusia-para-evitar-un-default/

 

¡PICADITA DE OJO A PUTIN! Advierten que Maduro estaría rematando activos petroleros a Rusia para evitar default

http://www.maduradas.com/picadita-de-ojo-a-putin-advierten-que-maduro-estaria-rematando-activos-petroleros-a-rusia-para-evitar-default/

 

Venezuela pone a “precios de gallina flaca” activos petroleros para no caer en default

https://es.panampost.com/sabrina-martin/2017/03/22/venezuela-activos-petroleros-default/

 

Мадуро продает по дешевке нефтяные активы

http://bigsmi.com/news/maduro-prodaet-po-deshevke-neftyanyie-aktivyi.html

CNBC: Oil is Flat – These 5 Crude-Dependent Countries Need a Break to the Upside

Venezuela

The slow-moving train wreck of one of the world’s largest oil producers has made Venezuela into a household name — and an ignominious one to boot. A mismanaged oil sector, combined with slumping crude prices, has unleashed a disastrous humanitarian crisis, as well as widespread political and economic instability.

Russ Dallen, a veteran Venezuela watcher and managing partner of Caracas Capital Markets, put it bluntly to CNBC: “Venezuela is in trouble.” Dallen, who’s also a strategic advisor to the exchange-listed Venezuela Opportunity Fund, cited rapidly deteriorating oil production and evaporating reserves as a force multiplier behind the country’s mounting woes.

“Their oil basket sells for $7-$10 a barrel below Brent and WTI, and is currently averaging just over $45 for the year,” Dallen said. He added that “$45 million a day for a country of 31 million is less than $1.50 per person — not enough for lunch, much less to feed the population every day” and was creating a “vicious circle” of lower oil production and refining.

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/18/oil-is-flat-and-these-five-crude-dependent-countries-need-a-break-to-the-upside.html

Barron’s: 2 Experts Question Venezuela’s Gold, Cash Stats

The latest data show Venezuela had  roughly $10.5 billion in reserves at the end of 2016 — most of it gold — with which it must meet this year’s debt obligations.

As Venezuela’s socialist economy suffocates under the weight of debt obligations, it is saddled with OPEC’s agreement to curb oil production — Venezuela’s major source of revenue. Analysts monitoring its montly debt and amortization payments note that April is a big month, with more than $2 billion due. Russia and China have helped shore up the nation’s balance sheet, with promises of future energy shipments and the use of U.S. Citgo refineries as part collateral, and for now no one is predicting default.

But the just-released data for the end of 2016 show Venezuela is struggling, with $7.7 billion in gold based on a 9-month trailing price of $1,272.42 per ounce, according to Caracas Capital. That’s down from $10 billion in gold reserves reported at the end of 2015 at a lower gold price, according to Russ Dallen at Caracas Capital.  He adds that the gold figure is nearly half of the reported $14.6 billion in gold Venezuela reported at the start of 2015, and he thinks the government  sold more than $2.3 billion in gold, as reported, to authorities in Switzerland last year.

www.BARRONS.com

Barron’s: Venezuela Debt Deadlines – Will Oil Cover February?

pdvsa-flamersThe government of Venezuela and state-controlled oil company Petroleos de Venezuela together face $10 billion in debt payments this year, though April deadlines could prove especially onerous and February’s burden is sizable.

The government is on the hook this year for $3.4 billion and Pdvsa, $6.6 billion — with $2.9 billion due mostly by Pdvsa in April, according to Caracas Capital. It puts the total debt burden of Venezuela, an oil producer and OPEC member, at $71 billion, not including a number of special arrangements including loans from China to be paid back with oil shipments.

http://www.barrons.com/emergingmarketsdaily/2017/02/03/venezuela-debt-deadlines-will-oil-cover-february/

Barron’s: Gartman On Gold – Venezuela’s A Seller

Gold BarsThe potential pressure on gold prices is reflected in what Venezuela has been doing. Oil is the country’s main export, and the United States imports some of it. (See our post on President Donald J. Trump plans to construct controversial energy pipelines.)  Caracas Capital emailed us Dennis Gartman’s subscription newsletter published Friday with comments on Venezuela’s sale of gold as it struggles to produce oil revenue and make bond payments.  Here’s the Gartman excerpt:

” … courtesy of our friend Mr. Russ Dallen of Caracas Capital … Venezuela sold $2.85 billion of gold last year, all of which was in the first 6 months of the year. According to the Venezuela Central Bank as of the end of November, Venezuela had $7.7 billion in gold remaining. Last year’s gold sales were not Venezuela’s first for we note that the Reserve Bank sold $4.58 billion worth of gold in 2015. It will sell more this year; it has no choice. Gold may be its only source of liquidity. Further, regarding gold, another friend in the industry, Mr. John Brimelow, informs us that the open interest in gold on the COMEX fell 4.3% Wednesday. This is not an unprecedented decline in the open interest, but certainly it is more than merely noteworthy. Finally, we remain of the mindset that the only rational way to be long of gold is via euros (EURs) and or via Yen, for the dollar remains strong and we ask again, “Why would one use rising dollars to buy gold when one can use falling EURS and Yen to do the same job? … ”

http://www.barrons.com/emergingmarketsdaily/2017/01/27/gartman-on-gold-venezuelas-a-seller/

ConocoPhillips Sues Russia’s Rosneft & Venezuela’s PDVSA for Fraud in CITGO Transfer

Rosneft“When China’s state-owned oil company CNOOC made an $18.5 billion bid for U.S. oil company Unocal in 2005, Unocal ended up having to accept a lower bid from ChevronTexaco after “political tensions,” notes Russ Dallen, who helped uncover and investigate the Rosneft lien.

“But even if a Trump administration that seems to regard Putin as a friend — despite the experiences of Bush and Obama — approves the transaction, more likely, as happened in 2006 when CFIUS approved the takeover of P&O (which owned and leased ports and terminals in the U.S.) by state-owned Dubai Ports World (DPW), Congress will move to block it. DPW ended up divesting P&O’s U.S. operations to American International Group after the furor,” Dallen notes.
UCC FILING

The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) filing is used to protect creditors and let other potential creditors know that they have an interest in the asset.

In October, in addition to a 20% bonus, PDVSA used 50.1% of Citgo Holding Inc. as collateral to induce $2.8 billion of holders of PDVSA debt maturing within the year to extend into a new 4 year amortizing bond. As a result, should PDVSA default, the holders of the new $3.4 billion PDVSA 8.5% of 2020 would be able to take 50.1% of Citgo Holding Inc.

The Rosneft UCC filing meant that 100% of Citgo Holding is now encumbered and potentially at risk.

RUSSIA’S EXPANDING ENERGY FOOTHOLD

Rosneft is a minority shareholder in five joint crude oil-producing companies in Venezuela: Petro Miranda, Petro Victoria, Petro Perijá, Petro Monagas and Boquerón.

In 2010, Venezuela President Hugo Chavez sold PDVSA’s stakes in 4 Ruhr oil refineries in Germany to Rosneft for $1.6 billion, giving Rosneft a key foothold in the European market.

“Last week, Rosneft managed to gain control of the shares in Ruhr Oel that it did not yet own,” points out Dallen. “As a result, Rosneft is now the third largest refiner in Germany — an aggressive expansion by Rosneft that we are seeing all over the world.”

Founded in 1992, Rosneft became the world’s biggest oil and gas producer by volume (5.2 million barrels per day) through acquiring others. In 2004, Rosneft took over competitor Yukos after Vladimir Putin jailed Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovsky and in 2013 Rosneft took over TNK.

In 2014, Rosneft took over Bashneft after its owner, too, was arrested.

BP owns 19.75% and a consortium of mining and trading firm Glencore and the Qatar Investment Authority just paid Russia $11.3 billion for 19.5% of Rosneft. Another 10.75% floats on the Russian stock exchange.

The Russian government owns the remaining 50% of Rosneft, and Rosneft head Igor Sechin is a long-time ally and assistant to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In October, Rosneft acquired Indian refiner Essar Oil in a $13 billion deal. The transaction included India’s second-largest refinery at Vadinar (400,000 bpd), as well as port terminals, power plants and pumps.

Earlier this month, Rosneft acquired 30% of the Shourouk concession in Egypt and its supergiant offshore Zohr gas field from Italy’s Eni SPA for $1.575 billion.

And it is now the third largest refiner in Germany.
In spite of European and U.S. sanctions on Rosneft and its head Sechin over the annexation of Crimea, Dallen points out that Rosneft has made billions of dollars in overseas acquisitions this year in addition to raising billions from an equity sale to Glencore and Qatar.

“Even as sanctions against them continue to be renewed, it is clear that the Russians are using Rosneft to further Putin’s geopolitical ambitions,” says Dallen. “But will the U.S. government stand for a country with which we have an increasingly adversarial relationship owning strategic energy assets in the United States? It could be an early test for a Trump administration that has seemingly conflicting viewpoints and relationships with Russia.”

http://laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=2428924&CategoryId=10717