S&P cuts Venezuela's sovereign debt rating to 'selective default'

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The ratings agency said the South American nation had failed to make $200m in repayments on its foreign debt.

The government of President Nicolas Maduro called creditors to a meeting Monday to discuss restructuring payments on the debt of PDVSA and the government.

The 100 or so participants in Monday's meeting included bondholders from Venezuela, the United States, Panama, Britain, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Japan and Argentina, the statement said.

Bondholders, however, saw things differently.

The U.S. measures essentially block the issuing of any new Venezuelan debt, while there are also sanctions on chief negotiators, Vice-President Tareck El Aissami and Economy Minister Simon Zerpa, for drug and corruption charges.

No solid proposals came out of the meeting but officials said they plan to continue to service obligations.

The latest non-decision comes as Venezuela and PDVSA were declared by ratings agencies to be in "selective default" due to the late payments, and as the government initiated talks with creditors to restructure the country's estimated $150 billion in debt.

Most major investment funds skipped the Monday meeting with Mr.

Separately, the Luxembourg Stock Exchange said it was halting trading of Venezuela's 2019 and 2024 bonds due to an "event of default".

The agency is downgrading Venezuela's sovereign debt grade to "selective default".

"Our CreditWatch negative reflects our opinion that there is a one-in-two chance that Venezuela could default again within the next three months", said S&P.

"If any potential restructuring operation is completed, we would lower all of our foreign currency ratings on Venezuela to default and subsequently raise them to the "CCC" or "B" category". None of the commission members have an economics or finance background.