Besides the two bond payments it has defaulted on, Venezuela is overdue on four other debt payments but they were still within the 30 day grace period, S&P said. The government held a meeting with bondholders in Caracas on November 13 about a debt restructuring (generally considered akin to default), which is typically used to determine how much less investors will be paid than officially owed.
S&P said it had lowered Venezuela's long-term foreign currency rating to "SD", and cut its long- and short-term foreign currency sovereign credit ratings on the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to "SD/D" from 'CC/C. It lasted about 30 minutes, and vice president Tareck El Aissami, Venezuela's debt negotiator, mainly used the meeting as a chance to complain about Donald Trump.
Venezuela is buried under a $150 billion foreign debt mountain, including $28 billion owed to its biggest creditor China and another $8 billion to Russian Federation. President Nicolas Maduro's negotiating committee met with investors in Caracas on Monday but offered no firm proposals on its intention to alleviate crippling foreign debt.
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"We would very likely consider any Venezuelan restructuring to be a distressed debt exchange and equivalent to default given the highly constrained external liquidity", it said.
The ratings agency said the South American nation had failed to make $200m (£153m) in repayments on its foreign debt.
Under the sanctions, no United States citizen can do business with Venezuelan individuals on the list.
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"We also believe the Venezuelan government and people have the ability to handle the debt issue of their country", Geng said.
Venezuela's envoy to the UN, Rafael Ramirez, called the meeting "illegal" and a "hostile" act "of interference" by the US.
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