The latest order by the U.S. judge could set off a scramble by a long list of creditors owed $65 billion in bonds that cash-strapped Venezuela has stopped paying within the last year, said Russ Dallen, a Miami-based partner at the brokerage firm Caracas Capital Markets.
“This was the most vulnerable low hanging fruit for debtholders to go after,” Dallen said. “It looks like Crystallex is the lucky lottery winner because they got there first.”
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Upon issuing the order, the judge delayed enforcing it for a week, which Dallen said could be a move to give Crystallex and Venezuela time to reach an agreement, such as returning to payment terms of an earlier settlement, Dallen said.
“This gives Venezuela the chance to honor its settlement agreement,” Dallen said. “Or they’ll lose Citgo.”