PDVSA to Issue US$3.5bn in Bonds Q1

Venezuela's state oil firm PDVSA will issue bonds for some US$3.5bn during the first quarter of 2007, state news agency ABN reported finance minister Rodrigo Cabezas as saying.

"We announce a strategy of being able to finance part of what is in the nation's budget via debt [bought by] Venezuelans with their own savings and also with an element of restricting liquidity in the domestic market," the minister said.

Cabezas and PDVSA are promoting bonds as a way to encourage Venezuelans to save more and to absorb excess liquidity that is pushing inflation to the rate of 2% a month.

PDVSA has announced that it will contract at least US$4.5bn of new debt this year, including US$1bn from a syndicated line of credit led by bank BNP Paribas.

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