Venezuela issues $5 billion in bonds to state-owned bank

Venezuela has issued $5 billion in bonds maturing in 2036 to a state-owned bank, Reuters reported citing a source familiar with the situation. The unorthodox operation would not immediately bring in new funds for the cash-strapped Opec nation.

According to the source, state-run Banco de Venezuela bought the dollar-denominated notes in local currency at a heavily subsidised exchange rate of 10 bolivars per dollar, meaning there was no net increase in hard currency for state coffers.

According to commentators, as it struggles under triple-digit inflation, Soviet-style product shortages and low oil prices, the Opec nation needed hard currency to boost imports of food and medicine.