CARACAS Jan 22 Venezuelan state oil company
PDVSA's consolidated debt rose 15 percent in 2012 from the
previous year to reach $40.0 billion, with the increase driven
by bond issues used for government expenditures rather than
investments in boosting crude output.
The majority of the $5.1 billion debt increase came from
$4.1 billion in bonds sold primarily in private transactions
with the central bank and other state-owned banks.
Those securities were mostly used to provide dollars to
travelers and importers through a bond-swap mechanism linked to
the country's complex currency control system.
The bond issues also included locally denominated debt
placements equivalent to $698 million used to pay for a
government program to increase agricultural production.
PDVSA borrowed a $500 million from China Development Bank to
finance the purchase of goods and services.
The company's debt has soared over the last six years
despite strong crude prices as it borrowed to finance leftist
President Hugo Chavez's social programs.
The company last year took the lead in a major home-building
program that gave apartments to tens of thousands of families
and is cited as a major factor in Chavez's October re-election.