Crystallex sues PDVSA in US court over bond swap

Canadian mining company Crystallex sued state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) at a federal court in Delaware on 31 October 2016 over the alleged fraudulent use of Citgo shares in a PDVSA debt swap (Panorama, 2 November). On 24 October, PDVSA issued a partial debt swap of its 2017 bonds for new 2020 bonds, backed by a 50.1 percent of shares in PDVSA's U.S. subsidiary Citgo. Both Crystallex and U.S. oil company ConocoPhillips, which filed a similar lawsuit on 6 October, allege the Venezuelan Government is attempting to block payments to the companies by using Citgo shares as collateral (La Patilla). In April 2016, a World Bank tribunal ordered the Venezuelan Government to pay Crystallex US$1.4 billion for a mining expropriation, and ConocoPhillips is expecting the same tribunal to rule on an expropriation by the Venezuelan government (Panorama).