August 19, 2016 / 7:51 PM / 3 years ago

Venezuela's PDVSA in talks with Credit Suisse for bond swap

A view of a gas station of Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA in Caracas, Venezuela August 10, 2016. Picture taken August 10, 2016. REUTERS/Marco Bello

CARACAS/HOUSTON (Reuters) - Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA [PDVSA.UL] has begun talks with Credit Suisse AG for a possible swap of bonds due in 2017, according to sources familiar with the conversations.

PDVSA has seen its income fall drastically due to the drop in oil prices and is seeking to alleviate the heavy debt payments required in 2016 and 2017.

The oil company is due to pay in November some $2.3 billion in amortization for bonds due in 2017, an amount representing more than half of what PDVSA owes in total payments by the end of the year, according to Thomson Reuters data.

PDVSA had begun conversations with the Swiss bank in order to make the offer to bondholders “as soon as possible,” a Venezuelan government source told Reuters.

PDVSA is not interested in a similar swap for its October 2016 bond, according to the source, who is familiar with the talks though not authorized to discuss them.

“What’s complicated is 2017,” the source said.

Credit Suisse has not yet reached any agreement with PDVSA, and it may not be the only institution that is advising on a possible bond swap, said another source familiar with the talks.

Eulogio del Pino, president of PDVSA, announced in July that the firm was seeking a bond swap “soon.”

Additional reporting by David Scigliuzzo in New York and Eyanir Chinea in Caracas.; Editing by Jonathan Oatis

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