Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accused JPMorgan Chase of reporting "false information" that hurts Venezuela's national interests. He ordered the president of the state-run oil company PDVSA to seek legal action against the U.S.-based bank for reporting that Venezuela was late in making interest payments for bonds maturing in 2021, 2024 and 2035. Photo courtesy of Prensa Presidencial
CARACAS, Venezuela, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has ordered the state-run PDVSA oil company to take legal action against U.S.-based JPMorgan Chase for allegedly falsely reporting a debt default.
The U.S. investment bank recently reported delays in Venezuela's $404 million interest payments for bonds that mature in 2021, 2024 and 2035. On Monday, JPMorgan clarified this report, saying it was using a 30-day grace period for 2035 payments, adding that its report of payment delays for 2021 and 2024 was incorrect.
JPMorgan's earlier report suggesting Venezuela could default on debts spooked markets. Maduro did not disclose details of what legal action Venezuela would take against the bank, El Universal reports.
After JPMorgan's announcement, Maduro ordered Eulogio Del Pino, president of PDVSA, to initiate international legal action over the bank's "false information" that serves "against the national interests and seek to harm PDVSA and the Venezuelan people who dedicate themselves to work."
Maduro said he wants JPMorgan to "acknowledge and publicly say that they were wrong, to offer apologies to the Venezuelan people."
"That was made, it was paid, it was transferred to the bank co-responsible for those payments, which is Citibank. We have already detected that on several occasions Citibank deliberately delayed many of those payments," Maduro said.
Maduro said the Central Bank of Venezuela made an $80 million bond payment on Thursday but Citibank transferred the payment on Tuesday, which is an "unwarranted delay when they should make it effective immediately."