Venezuela dumps dol­lar, lists oil prices in Chi­nese yuan

Muscat Daily - - FRONT PAGE -

Cara­cas, Venezuela - Venezuela on Fri­day be­gan list­ing the price of its oil in the Chi­nese yuan, fol­low­ing Pres­i­dent Ni­co­las Maduro’s an­nounce­ment last week that he would rid the econ­omy of the ‘US im­pe­ri­al­ist sys­tem’. The move was seen as a bid to weather US-im­posed sanc­tions on the coun­try.

The coun­try’s pe­tro­leum min­istry listed the week’s clos­ing price per bar­rel at 306.26 yuan on its web­site, equiv­a­lent to US$46.7, up from 300.91 yuan the week be­fore.

But econ­o­mist Ce­sar Aris­timuno said the yuan fig­ure had lit­tle mean­ing beyond ref­er­ence value, ‘be­cause at the end of the day, the mar­ket con­tin­ues to be quoted in dol­lars’.

Wash­ing­ton’s tough new sanc­tions on Cara­cas bar US banks from trad­ing in new bonds is­sued by the govern­ment or the state run oil com­pany PDVSA. The goal is to re­strict Venezuela’s ac­cess to vi­tal bond and eq­uity mar­kets. The aim is to ‘deny the Maduro dic­ta­tor­ship a crit­i­cal source of fi­nanc­ing to main­tain its illegitimate rule,’ the White House said.

Maduro railed that they amounted to an eco­nomic block­ade, as rat­ings agency Fitch down­graded Venezuela and warned de­fault was now like­lier. The coun­try has to make US$3.8bn in debt pay­ments in Oc­to­ber and Novem­ber, while its for­eign cur­rency re­serves have sunk un­der US$10bn.

(AFP)

The move has been seen as a bid to weather US-im­posed sanc­tions

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