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S&P hits Venezuela with new bond downgrade

S&P Global Ratings lowered its issue ratings on Venezuela's global bonds due in 2023 and 2028 to D from CC after the country failed to make coupon payments worth $183 million for the bonds within the 30-calendar-day grace period.

The rating agency added that Venezuela's global bonds due 2018 and 2020, could also be downgraded to D if the country fails to make the overdue coupon payments within the grace period.

The global bonds due in 2019 and 2024 are also still rated at D, according to S&P, as there remains no evidence to date that the Venezuelan government has paid bondholders despite its earlier claim that it had started to initiate payment.

On Nov. 21, S&P downgraded its issue ratings on Venezuela's global bonds due 2025 and 2026 to D after the country also failed to pay $237 million due to bondholders.

S&P lowered Venezuela's long- and short-term foreign-currency sovereign credit ratings to SD, or selective default, on Nov. 13, following President Nicolas Maduro's announcement that the country was planning to restructure its foreign debt.

Venezuela's long- and short-term local currency sovereign credit ratings remain at CCC-/C and are still on CreditWatch with negative implications, the rating agency said, reflecting its view of a 50% chance that the country could default again within the next three months.

S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.