Venezuelan international reserves end last February 6 at
USD 32 billion, according to the figures disclosed by the
Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV).
In January 31-February 6, the BCV assets dropped USD 884 million.
Last Friday, Planning Minister Haiman El Troudi said this week the central bank was scheduled to transfer USD 800 million from the reserves to the National Development Fund (Fonden).
The official said that early in March the BCV would transfer other USD 700 million to the Fonden. Based on El Troudi's statements, the BCV is to deposit USD 1.5 billion in the Fonden. This year, such transfer would be lower than in previous years, as the so-called "optimal level" of Venezuelan reserves was set at USD 31.9 billion.
Since the BCV law was reformed in 2005, the central bank has an obligation to transfer excess reserves to the Fonden. In 2005, it delivered USD 6 billion to the special fund, with transfers in 2006 and 2007 amounting to USD 4.27 billion and USD 6.77 billion, respectively.
In two years, BCV transferred USD 17.94 billion to the Fonden, thus exceeding the Venezuelan oil giant Pdvsa's contribution to the fund at USD 13.15 billion.
GOVERNMENT-OPPOSITION TALKS In an interview with Spanish newspaper El País, former Colombian president Ernesto Samper (1994-1998) reckoned that dialogue in Venezuela "is frozen, not broken," and highlighted that Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro "is a man of dialogue and peace."