Nomura bought controversial Venezuelan bonds at discount: WSJ


Japanese investment bank Nomura Securities bought about $100 million worth of Venezuelan government bonds last week as part of the same transaction that has landed Goldman Sachs Group in the middle of a political storm, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

Nomura’s trading arm paid about $30 million for the debt, a steep discount to where the troubled country’s bonds trade in the market, the newspaper reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Nomura declined comment.

Goldman has said its asset-management arm acquired $2.8 billion of the October 2022 bonds issued by Venezuela’s oil company, PDVSA, “on the secondary market from a broker and did not interact with the Venezuelan government.”

The president of Venezuela’s opposition-run congress, Julio Borges, accused Goldman of “aiding and abetting the country’s dictatorial regime” in the deal.

Venezuela’s opposition has campaigned to dissuade Wall Street firms from financing President Nicolas Maduro’s government, which has drawn international condemnation for abuses of power and human rights violations.

The nation’s opposition-led National Assembly on Tuesday voted to ask the U.S. Congress to investigate the Goldman deal, which they called immoral, opaque and hypocritical given the socialist government’s anti-Wall Street rhetoric.

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