Nomura bought controversial Venezuelan bonds at discount: sources

The logo of Nomura Securities is pictured at the company's Otemachi Head Office in Tokyo, Japan, November 18, 2016. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

CARACAS/TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese investment bank Nomura Securities bought about $100 million worth of Venezuelan government bonds last week as part of the same transaction that has landed Goldman Sachs Group Inc GS.N in the middle of a political storm, two sources said on Thursday.

Nomura's 8604.T trading arm paid about $30 million for the debt, a steep discount to where the troubled country's bonds trade in the market, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier, citing people familiar with the matter. (

The sources in Tokyo with knowledge of the deal confirmed that Japan’s biggest investment bank paid $30 million for the bonds.

A spokeswoman for Japan’s biggest investment bank declined to comment.

Goldman has said its asset-management arm acquired $2.8 billion of the October 2022 bonds issued by Venezuela’s oil company PDVSA “on the secondary market from a broker and did not interact with the Venezuelan government”.

The president of Venezuela’s opposition-run Congress, Julio Borges, accused Goldman of “aiding and abetting the country’s dictatorial regime” in the deal.

Venezuela’s opposition has campaigned to dissuade Wall Street firms from financing the President Nicolas Maduro’s government, which has drawn international condemnation for abuses of power and human rights violations.

The nation’s opposition-led National Assembly on Tuesday voted to ask the U.S. Congress to investigate the Goldman deal, which they called immoral, opaque, and hypocritical given the socialist government’s anti-Wall Street rhetoric.

Reporting by Corina Pons in Caracas, Marianna Parraga in Houston, Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru and Emi Emoto in Tokyo.; Editing by Brian Ellsworth, Tomasz Janowski and Joseph Radford