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Standard & Poor’s has become the first rating agency to say that Venezuela is officially in default following Caracas’s failure to make two interest payments.
S&P said on Tuesday that Venezuela had failed to make $200 million in coupon payments for global bonds due in 2019 and 2024 within the 30-calendar-day grace period.
As a result, the rating agency said it had downgraded the issue ratings on those bonds to D from CC and cut the country’s long-term foreign currency sovereign credit rating to selective default, or SD, from CC.
“Our CreditWatch negative reflects our opinion that there is a one-in-two chance that Venezuela could default again within the next three months,” S&P said.
Venezuela’s Socialist government is under pressure after investors left a Caracas meeting on Monday none the wiser about how the country plans to avoid a looming $60bn bond default and Europe imposed sanctions on the country for human rights abuses.