In a note to clients sent on 21 November 2016, J.P. Morgan announced Venezuelan state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) activated a 30-day grace period to pay US$404 million in interest on bonds maturing in 2021, 2024, and 2035 (Efecto Cocuyo). The note from J.P. Morgan indicated, according to paying agent Citibank and settlement group Clearstream, PDVSA paid US$135 million in interest on a 2026 bond out of the total US$539 million due, and now has 30 days to pay the remaining US$404 million or face default (La Patilla). PDVSA President Eulogio del Pino dismissed the information as false and released a statement claiming PDVSA had paid all interest on 2021, 2024, and 2026 bonds due in November 2016, noting PDVSA is in the process of making payments on its 2035 bond (Tal Cual).
It is estimated Ecuador’s debt to China has risen to at least US$8.6 billion, which represents Ecuador’s largest overall debt to any country (El Universo, 11 November 2016). The debt is composed of cash advances from China in exchange for future petroleum sales and Chinese funds to Ecuador during the past 10 years. Since Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa took office, the debt with China has multiplied by over 1,000 percent. Ecuador’s debt to China rose from US$7.1 million in 2007 to US$7.97 billion in October 2016, this was officially reported by Ecuador’s Ministry of Finance (El Comercio).