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Report: Goldman Sachs heads learned of Venezuelan bond buy after the fact

Executives of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s unit Goldman Sachs Asset Management LP were informed of the company's controversial purchase of Venezuelan state oil company bonds only after the deal had been completed, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing "people familiar with the matter."

Goldman Sachs' asset management arm immediately said "yes" after it was offered the opportunity last week to buy Petróleos de Venezuela SA-issued bonds at a deeply discounted price of $2.8 billion, the people said. However, the transaction was not reviewed by Goldman Sachs' companywide standards committee, which usually digs into deals with backlash potential, they noted.

Top Goldman executives were "caught off guard" by the criticism ensuing from the bond purchase, the people added.

The company's portfolio managers were on the lookout for the sale of Venezuela's distressed funds, expecting that President Nicolás Maduro will be ousted eventually and that securities would get a boost, Reuters sources added.