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2017-08-28 19:35:00

U.S. - VENEZUELA SANCTIONS

U.S. - VENEZUELA SANCTIONS

PLATTS - The Trump administration imposed new sanctions prohibiting trading new debt and equity issued by the Venezuelan government and state oil company PDVSA.

The estimated value of over-the-counter trade in EU emissions allowances and their derivatives was Eur2.49 billion in the second half of 2016, and not Eur460 billion as previously suggested, EU financial authority ESMA said Thursday.

This impacts non-financial companies checking to see if they will have to comply with EU financial rules known as MiFID 2.

But the new sanctions are not expected to affect petroleum flows between the US and Venezuela, although the administration is still weighing oil sector sanctions in the future.

"We will not stand by as Venezuela crumbles," President Donald Trump said in a statement.

The new sanctions, announced Friday, bar dealings in some existing bonds owned by the Venezuelan public sector as well as dividend payments to the Venezuelan government, according to the White House.

"Americans are prohibited from participating in [Venezuelan President Nicolas] Maduro's liquidation of the Venezuelan economy," a senior administration official told reporters Friday. "This is a prohibition on the Maduro regime accessing US capital markets for the purpose of underwriting its repression of the Venezuelan people."

The official said the new sanctions were aimed at shutting the Venezuela government out of US bond, debt, equity and security markets.

The Treasury Department Friday issued four general licenses exempting certain activities and transactions from the sanctions, including authorizing certain transactions involving Citgo, a Venezuelan-owned US refiner.

"There are multiple provisions that exist to allow Citgo to continue its business operations and ensure that the dictatorship does not loot them in an effort to sustain its campaign of repression," the senior administration official said.

The sanctions do not prohibit secondary market trading on the "vast majority" of existing bonds, according to Treasury.

In a note this week, Victor Fu, director of emerging-market sovereign strategy at Stifel Nicolaus, said a ban on trading of all Venezuela and PDVSA bonds would be "impractical."

Banning trading in Venezuela's debt, without exemptions, would be "detrimental" to US financial institutions, including funds holding the bonds and brokers that deal them, Fu wrote. But a ban would not be detrimental to the Maduro administration, since trading does not generate new funding to the Venezuela government nor PDVSA, he added.

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Tags: USA, VENEZUELA, SANCTIONS, PDVSA

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