January 20, 2017 / 1:33 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Venezuela's PDVSA 2016 financial debt drops 6 pct to $41 bln

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CARACAS, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA’s consolidated financial debt fell 6 percent in 2016 compared with the previous year to reach $41 billion, the company said on Friday.

The decline was driven by a $1.7 billion drop in outstanding bonds and a $1.6 billion decline in outstanding loans, according to a table published by the company.

It did not provide further details. PDVSA as of last year had $28.475 billion in outstanding bonds.

The company in 2016 carried out a $2.8 billion bond swap that pushed the maturity of bonds coming due in 2017 to 2020. That helped ease a heavy payment schedule this year but did not significantly alter its overall debt load.

Total debt at the company’s U.S. subsidiary Citgo rose 3 percent from 2015 to reach $4.2 billion.

Investors are less worried about a default by Venezuela and PDVSA than they have been in previous years as a result of rising oil prices, the source of nearly all the country’s export revenue.

But the bonds’ yields remain among the highest of emerging market securities due to concerns about the country’s decaying socialist economic system. (Reporting by Corina Pons, writing by Brian Ellsworth; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Bernadette Baum)

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