UPDATE 1-Venezuela issues two bonds for total $60 mln

(adds details)

CARACAS, April 22 (BestGrowthStock) – Venezuela’s Central Bank on
Thursday launched $60 million of two 90-day, zero-coupon dollar
denominated bonds, buyable in bolivars as an exchange rate
mechanism designed to prop up the country’s currency.

A $40 million issue was for businesses only, while a later
$20 million bond was offered to individuals, the bank said in
two separate announcements.

Both were priced at 110-112 percent.

Despite the issues — the latest in a series — the OPEC
member’s bolivar currency has slid to historically low levels
in recent weeks, trading below 7 to the dollar on a freely
floated or “parallel” market.

Battling a recession, the government set up a two-tier
currency system in January, officially devaluing the bolivar to
4.3 to the dollar from 2.15 for most imports, while letting
some priority goods be bought at 2.6 bolivars per dollar.

Chavez’s administration wants to control the free-floating
rate to offset one of the world’s highest inflation rates. In
March, annual inflation stood at 26.2 percent. [ID:nN08125690]

But with dollars in short supply, the bolivar has instead
weakened on the volatile parallel market used to buy currency
for about half of all imports and a benchmark for importers.

Business leaders and analysts say the central bank issues
more than $400 since the devaluation, have been insufficient to
cover accumulated dollar demand.

Stock Investing

(Reporting by Ana Isabel Martinez; Editing by Andrew Hay)

UPDATE 1-Venezuela issues two bonds for total $60 mln