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Report: Venezuela looks to sell bonds to Wall Street funds at 80% discount

Venezuelan state-run lender Banco De Venezuela SA Banco Universal is looking to sell $5 billion of sovereign bonds due 2036 to a number of Wall Street funds at a discount of up to 80%, Reuters reported, citing Venezuelan opposition legislator Angel Alvarado and an anonymous finance industry source.

The sovereign bonds, which were issued in late 2016, were first offered to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in early May, but the company turned the offer down. However, the U.S. bank subsequently purchased about $2.8 billion in Venezuelan state oil company bonds at a steep discount, sparking criticism that it was funding a government accused of mismanagement and human rights abuses.

Venezuelan opposition lawmakers, economists and lawyers have sent letters to the chief executives of 13 global banks urging them not to fund Venezuela's cash-strapped government, noting that doing so would entail high reputational risks, the newswire reported.

Some analysts and traders say Venezuela has thus far failed to sell the notes because they were issued physically and cannot be traded electronically, according to Reuters.