May 17, 2017 / 7:29 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Head of Venezuela's state oil company says bond payments deposited

(Adds details, context, trader quote)

By Alexandra Ulmer

CARACAS, May 17 (Reuters) - Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA has deposited funds for the payment of interest on 2024 and 2026 bonds, the company’s president told Reuters on Wednesday, after investors reported a delay in some $285 million due early this week.

“The money for interests that were due on Monday and Tuesday has been deposited,” Eulogio Del Pino said.

Three bondholders told Reuters earlier on Wednesday that they still had not received payment. It was not immediately clear what caused the delay.

Investors have been concerned for years that cash-strapped Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA, may ultimately be unable to meet its hefty debt obligations due to a deep recession at home and lower oil prices. As a result, Venezuela bonds trade at distressed levels.

Socialist President Nicolas Maduro says the OPEC country will meet all its debt commitments and calls default talk a right-wing conspiracy against him. He has also accused global banks of leading a “financial blockade” that has left Venezuela with few financing options amid the oil market downturn.

Still, investors were largely confident that PDVSA would pay this week, after the company made over $2 billion in bond payments last month.

“We’ve been told that payments will become effective between Thursday and Monday,” a local trader said. Another trader said he was “not at all” worried about the delay.

PDVSA also has to pay around $254 million in interest on 2021 and 2035 bonds on Wednesday. (Additional reporting by Corina Pons; Writing by Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Tom Brown)

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