EMERGING MARKETS-Venezuela bond prices at all-time low; Petrobras slumps

martes 9 de diciembre de 2014 14:22 GYT

By Walter Brandimarte
    RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Venezuelan bond prices hit
all-time lows on Tuesday as slumping crude prices fanned
concerns about the oil-exporting country's ability to honor its
sovereign debt obligations.
    Most Latin American stock markets were hit by concerns about
lower commodity prices and China's slowing economy, with shares
of miners and oil companies among the biggest decliners.
Mexico's IPC stock index was off 1.27 percent.
    Brazil's benchmark Bovespa index was on track to
close below the 50,000 points threshold for the first time since
March as shares of state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA
 dove more than 4 percent to a nine-year low.
    Petrobras, as the oil company is known, has been under
increased pressure from a growing corruption scandal that has
forced it to delay the release of its third-quarter earnings.
Late on Thursday, investors filed a class-action lawsuit against
the company in a U.S. court, arguing the value of its assets was
inflated under the corruption scheme. 
    Lower oil prices have recently contributed to doubts about
the viability of some of Petrobras' exploration projects. 
    Oil prices rebounded on Tuesday after five consecutive
sessions of losses but still remained near five-year lows, with
traders wary of more losses in the near term.
    The recent oil slide has been the last straw in Venezuela's
growing economic crisis, which has already caused the local
currency to lose nearly 40 percent of its value in the parallel
market during the past three months.
    "The recent fall in oil prices appears to have accelerated
what had already started to look like a currency crisis" in
Venezuela, David Rees, emerging markets economist with
London-based Capital Economics, wrote in a research note.
    "A default on foreign currency debt is a key risk in the
next two years," Rees added.
    The cost of insuring against a Venezuelan debt default
jumped to an all-time high, with five-year credit default swaps
 trading near 3,300 basis points.
    Venezuela's benchmark global bond due in 2027 
plunged more than $2 in price to $48.646, driving its yield to
an all-time high of 20.887 percent.

    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1755 GMT:
 Stock indexes            Latest      Daily  YTD pct
                                        pct   change
 MSCI Emerging Markets      965.28    -1.18    -2.58
 MSCI LatAm               2,771.98     -0.9   -12.61
 Brazil Bovespa          49,981.71    -0.58    -2.96
 Mexico IPC              42,397.65    -1.27    -0.77
 Chile IPSA               3,914.64    -1.35     5.82
 Chile IGPA              19,149.92    -1.07     5.06
 Argentina MerVal         8,901.17    -7.09    65.11
 Colombia IGBC           11,641.72     -0.9   -10.94
 Peru IGRA               14,881.56      0.9    -5.54
 Venezuela IBC            3,196.63     4.31    16.81
 Currencies                 Latest    Daily  YTD pct
                                        pct   change
 Brazil real                2.5949     0.58    -9.18
 Mexico peso               14.3844    -0.03    -9.42
 Chile peso                 613.75    -0.33   -14.28
 Colombia peso             2,344.6    -1.20   -17.60
 Peru sol                    2.964    -0.27    -5.77
 Argentina peso             8.5500     0.00   -24.06
 Argentina peso              12.72     0.47   -21.38
 (Reporting by Walter Brandimarte, editing by G Crosse)