S&P says Venezuela has defaulted on its debt

Venezuela in 'selective default': ratings agency

In the meantime, China said its massive financing of Venezuela was "proceeding normally", and Russian Federation was expected to sign an agreement as early as Wednesday to restructure $3 billion of Caracas's debt, according to sources in Moscow familiar with the matter. The country agreed on terms with Russian Federation for restructuring about $3 billion debt, but it still owes more than $50 billion on bonds held by other creditors.

But Venezuela's unpaid obligations total $420 million, and four additional coupon payments are overdue but within their grace periods. The government held a meeting with bondholders in Caracas on November 13 about a debt restructuring (generally considered akin to default), which is typically used to determine how much less investors will be paid than officially owed.

In the past, despite the hardships its people suffer, Venezuela has used its foreign reserves to make bond payments.

Venezuela has been in a recession since Maduro succeeded the late president Hugo Chavez in 2013.

But participants in a first meeting in Caracas on Monday said officials had come up with no concrete proposals for restructuring the debt.

The agency says "there is a one-in-two chance that Venezuela could default again within the next three months".

Bondholders had told Reuters on Monday they had not yet received payments on the 2019 and 2024 bonds but remained unconcerned by the delay, which they said was partly due to increased bank vigilance of Venezuelan transactions in the wake of USA sanctions.

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A meeting between Venezuela and its creditors on Monday ended without an agreement to restructure the country's debt, the same day the European Union adopted sanctions over its "political polarisation".

PDVSA, in turn, relies on credit lines from global banks to finance oil production.

The ratings agency said the South American nation had failed to make $200m (£153m) in repayments on its foreign debt.

A committee of 15 financial firms met in NY "to discuss whether a Failure to Pay Credit Event had occurred" with respect to PDVSA, but ended up postponing a decision until Tuesday.

"We rate this meeting, in which Venezuelan debt holders from Venezuela, the United States, Panama, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Japan and Germany participated, as highly positive and very auspicious", the statement continued.

Venezuela's envoy to the UN, Rafael Ramirez, called the meeting "illegal" and a "hostile" act "of interference" by the US.

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