Venezuela's international reserves drop USD 3.73 billion in 2012
Pdvsa's transfers to the National Development Fund (Fonden) have undermined the amount of US dollars available for the private sector
Statistics from the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) show that as of December 27, international reserves tumbled USD 3.73 billion in 2012 and stood at USD 26.15 billion.
Out of such amount, 85% is gold bars. Dollars in cash -technically known as liquid reserves, which the central bank has immediately available to pay imports and foreign debt, do not exceed USD 3 billion.
State-run oil firm Pdvsa deposits more than half of oil revenue in the National Development Fund (Fonden), a facility the Venezuelan government uses to afford investment projects. Consequently, international reserves dwindle despite high oil prices.
Cristian Fonseca, a businessman in La Candelaria district downtown Caracas, was doing the accounts in his small shop office on Sunday December 21, 2008. The Christmas shopping season kept him working late hours into the night. It was around 11 p.m. and his phone rang. A friend broke the bad news to him over the telephone.