Amadeusz Juskowiak

Bankers report breakthrough on venezuelan debt

Venezuela and its bank advisory committee have agreed in principle on revisions to the terms of a 21 billion dlr debtrescheduling package signed last February bankers said

They declined to disclose details because two or three representatives on the panel have still to obtain the approval of their senior management for the new terms

The committee was meeting in New York this afternoon and could put its final stamp of approval of the deal later today the bankers said

A number of details have still to be finalized but the broad details of the new amortization schedules and interest rates are in place one senior banker said

The interest rate on the rescheduling was originally set at 118 pct over Eurodollar rates but Venezuela requested easier terms because of a 40 pct drop in oil income last year

It also asked for a reduction in the repayments it was due to make in 1987 1988 and 1989 after an earlier request that it make no amortizations at all in those years was rebuffed and sought a commitment from the banks to finance new investment in Venezuela

The breakthrough in the Venezuelan talks which have been going on intermittently for several months follows the announcement earlier today of a 106 billion dlr debt rescheduling pact between Chile and its bank advisory panel

And last night Citibank said Mexicos financing package including a 77 billion dlr loan will be signed on March 20

While the sudden progress is to some extent coincidental bankers acknowledge a desire to chalk up some quick successes after the shock of Brazils unilateral interest suspension last Friday By striking swift deals banks hope to reduce the incentive for other debtors to emulate Brazil