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Venezuela creditors committee again delays default decision

People queue to withdraw money from an ATM in Caracas on November 14, 2017, as Venezuela and PDVSA were declared by ratings agencies to be in "selective default" (AFP Photo/Federico PARRA)

New York (AFP) - A committee of Venezuelan creditors on Tuesday once again postponed a decision on whether state oil company PDVSA has defaulted on its debt, in the absence of sufficient information.

While the committee "works to obtain clear information regarding the timing of payments... (it) has resolved to postpone holding a binding vote on this question," it said in a statement.

The committee of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) is to reconvene Thursday to continue the discussion, and instructed market participants to submit any relevant information on PDVSA's payments.

The vote will determine whether creditors who hold insurance against a default -- credit default swaps -- can collect payment on those financial instruments.

The latest non-decision comes as Venezuela and PDVSA were declared by ratings agencies to be in "selective default" due to the late payments, and as the government initiated talks with creditors to restructure the country's estimated $150 billion in debt.

A default declaration has come to be seen as almost inevitable as cash-strapped Venezuela is struggling to make the payments.

The government of President Nicolas Maduro called creditors to a meeting Monday to discuss restructuring payments on the debt of PDVSA and the government.

However, the brief meeting did not include any plan from Caracas. Another meeting was promised, but no date was given.

The group in New York -- the so-called Determinations Committee for the Americas, comprised of 15 financial firms -- met Friday and Monday but postponed the default decision both times.

The committee is next due to meet on Thursday at 2:00 pm (1900 GMT).

The Maduro government had said it would make a $1.2 billion payment on a PDVSA bond on November 2, but it was unclear if the funds ever reached creditors.

About 70 percent of Venezuelan bondholders are North American, according to government figures, while China and Russia also hold a large share.