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Caracas, Tuesday August 16 , 2005  
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Venezuela to buy USD 300 million in Ecuadorian debt

Ecuadorian government, within the next seven weeks, is to issue debt bonds worth USD 500 million, and Venezuela plans to buy a 60 percent, i.e. USD 300 million.

Ecuadorian Finance and Economy Minister Magdalena Barreiro claimed "this operation with the Venezuelan government may take place in some seven weeks, as September is a critical month for debt markets."
The Ecuadorian debt bonds Venezuela is to purchase have a maturity term of five years, with an 8.5 percent coupon, and adjustable price and yield.

The bonds interests are not to be guaranteed by the Andean Corporation of Development (CAF) because of the costs. "We considered the possibility that the agency offered partial pledges, but investment banks told us it was not necessary."

"The two countries are expected to benefit from this transaction. We (Ecuador) are going to obtain funds and Venezuela is to get a substantial yield," added Barreiro, who met on Monday with Venezuelan Finance Minister Nelson Merentes to tune up details of this operation.

Merentes has stressed that Hugo Chávez' administration is exploring Latin American debt markets. In addition to this purchase of Ecuadorian bonds, Venezuela may buy debt from Brazil and Bolivia, as such moves are seen as steps towards Latin American integration.

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