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Venezuelan opposition criticizes Goldman Sachs' $2.8B bond buy

By
Andrew V. Pestano
Julio Borges (top, 2nd L), president of Venezuela's National Assembly, has condemned Goldman Sachs' purchase of $2.8 billion in bonds from the state-run Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., or PDVSA, oil company for a discounted $865 million. Photo courtesy of National Assembly
Julio Borges (top, 2nd L), president of Venezuela's National Assembly, has condemned Goldman Sachs' purchase of $2.8 billion in bonds from the state-run Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., or PDVSA, oil company for a discounted $865 million. Photo courtesy of National Assembly

May 30 (UPI) -- Members of the Venezuelan opposition have criticized Goldman Sachs' discounted purchase for $2.8 billion of government petroleum bonds.

Venezuela's opposition-controlled National Assembly on Tuesday is debating Goldman Sachs' purchase of $2.8 billion of the bonds at a 69 percent discount. The unicameral legislature plans to issue a resolution condemning the sale.

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The Wall Street Journal first reported Goldman Sachs' purchase from the Central Bank on Venezuela on Sunday. The company paid 31 cents on the dollar for bonds issued by Venezuelan state-run Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., or PDVSA, oil company, the outlet reported.

Goldman Sachs paid $865 million to purchase $2.8 billion in bonds that mature in 2022. Some Venezuelan opposition politicians have accused Goldman Sachs of supporting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's regime.

Angel Alvarado, a Venezuelan lawmaker representing the Miranda state, said Goldman Sachs is "supporting dictatorship and repression."

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Venezuelan opposition politician Jose Guerra said Maduro's "government has made a predatory business for the country: gave $2.8 billion in bonds for just $865 million in cash."

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Goldman Sachs confirmed the purchase on Tuesday.

"We are invested in PDVSA bonds because, like many in the asset management industry, we believe the situation in the country must improve over time," Goldman Sachs said in a statement.

National Assembly President Julio Borges said he was "outraged" by the U.S. company's purchase.

"It is apparent Goldman Sachs decided to make a quick buck off the suffering of the Venezuelan people," Borges wrote the company in a letter.

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