CARACAS, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Chinese construction machinery maker Sany Heavy Industry Co Ltd is willing to help Venezuela and state oil company PDVSA sell bonds in China and in Asia, Sany chairman Liang Wengen said during a visit to Caracas on Thursday.
Sany provides construction equipment to Venezuela through a bilateral oil-for-loans financing scheme under which Beijing has lent $50 billion. The loans are paid off with shipments of crude and fuel by Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA.
“Sany ... (is) willing to further strengthen the cooperation with the government of Venezuela for the issuance of bonds by PDVSA, as well as those of Venezuela, in China and in other regions of Asia,” Liang said, speaking through an interpreter, in comments broadcast on state television.
Low oil prices have left the OPEC nation increasingly reliant on China to meet financing needs as its borrowing costs on capital markets have soared.
Venezuelan debt is considered the riskiest of emerging market bonds, yielding 30 percentage points more than comparable U.S. Treasuries, according to JPMorgan’s EMBI Global Diversified Index.
Liang, described by Forbes magazine as having a net worth of $5 billion, said Sany is interested in cooperating with Venezuela’s government in areas including oil and gas and home construction.
Sany Heavy Industry, a division of Sany Group, in December announced plans to set up a bank.
Hit by a market slowdown, Sany Group in May said it was seeking to diversify away from heavy machinery and was venturing into smartphones.
Chinese firms have won lucrative contracts to export goods to Venezuela through the oil-for-loans agreement, sometimes in the shadow of China-backed factories meant to produce those very goods locally, a Reuters review found. (Reporting by Brian Ellsworth; Editing by Ken Wills)