Citgo on the block again?


citgo1As pundits mull Venezuela’s big win in yesterday’s ICSID ruling on the ExxonMobil case (don’t miss this interesting comment from Venetexan), the Maduro administration continues to ponder what to do about Citgo.

A few weeks ago, Maduro himself had suggested that the Citgo sale privatization was a no-go. But yesterday, Reuters said our friendly French bankers have asked for more bids. This came almost a second after the ICSID ruling was made public.

Coincidence? There are no coincidences…

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  1. Is there any possibility that Venezuela could actually sell any of its foreign assets and receive the proceeds? It seems to me that any sales of assets at this point would simply be liquidation to pay current and forthcoming liabilities established by the ICSID. My understanding is that signatories to the settlement convention are obliged to enforce ICSID awards within the context of their national legal systems. Are not all Venezuela’s foreign assets now subject to attachment or seizure? What is the probability of actual seizure of foreign assets, and what assets does Venezuela have that would be imperiled?

    • Yup. This is a bonehead move by Venezuela if the idea is to avoid ICSID judgments. I doubt that’s the motivation, though; they might really need the money and figure the assets are worth more to somebody else than they are to them.


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