SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian officials plan to visit Venezuela next week to prevent the oil-rich nation from defaulting on contracts worth as much as $5 billion after falling in arrears on a payment due to infrastructure contractors this month, newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reported on Thursday.
Venezuela missed a $262 million payment owed to Brazilian contractors in September, the newspaper said, adding the government will send representatives to Caracas to discuss the matter. The Brazilian negotiators will include central bank and Finance Ministry officials, Folha reported, citing unnamed government sources.
The central bank and the Brazilian Finance Ministry did not have an immediate comment.
The Brazilian government’s main concern is related to the possibility of Venezuela failing to make good on upcoming payments related to the contracts. Most of the payments are related to work done by Odebrecht SA [ODBES.UL], Andrade Gutierrez [AGIS.UL] and Camargo Correa SA [PMORRC.UL] in Venezuela.
The projects were financed by Brazil’s development bank BNDES, Folha reported.
Venezuela’s missed payment was formally communicated to the Central Bank on Sept. 8.
Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Bill Trott