Amadeusz Juskowiak

Venezuela seeks flexibility from banksazpurua

venezuela is seeking a constructive and flexible attitude from its creditor banks in current talks to reschedule 21 billion dlrs in foreign debt finance minister manuel azpurua told a press conference

He declined to comment on meetings this week in new york between public finances director jorge marcano and venezuelas 13bank advisory committee except to say they are progressing

Azpurua said venezuela has shown solidarity with brazils decision to suspend payments but each country must negotiate according to its own interest

Asked to comment on chiles agreement with its creditors today which includes an interest rate margin of one pct over libor azpurua said only that is good news

According to banking sources the banks latest offer to venezuela is also a one pct margin as against the last februarys 118 pct rescheduling accord and the 78 pct Venezuela wants

Azpurua said four basic elements are being negotiated with the banks now spread reduction deferral of principal payments due in 1987 and 1988 lenghtening the 1212 year repayment schedule and debt capitalization schemes

Azpurua said the governent plans to pay 21 billion dlrs in public and private debt principal this year It was due to amortize 105 billion dlrs under the rescheduling and pay 420 mln dlrs in nonrestructured principal both public sector

He said venezuelas original proposal was to pay no principal on restructured debt this year but is now insisting that if it makes payments they be compensated by new bank loans

The banking sources said the committee has been prepared to lower amortizations to around 400 mln dlrs this year but that no direct commitment was likely on new loans

debtors and bank creditors have a joint responsibility and there will be no lasting solution unless a positive flow of financing is guaranteed azpurua said

However he appeared to discard earlier venezuelan proposals for a direct link between oil income and debt payments because circumstances change too quickly

At the same time he said the government is presently studying possible mechanisms for capitlizing public and private sector foreign debt based on experience in other countries The rules would be published by the finance ministry and the central bank

Reuter