CARACAS (Reuters) - Declining risk premiums on Venezuelan debt have opened the door for the South American nation to borrow on international capital markets, economy Vice President Miguel Perez said on Tuesday.
Venezuela and state oil company PDVSA face heavy debt payments this year amid weak oil markets and continuing decay of its socialist economic model. Neither have been able to borrow in recent years because the extremely high yields have made such operations too costly.
"We see how country risk, which is a very important indicator, has fallen more than 1,100 points ... which guarantees (that we can) go out into international markets to seek new sources of financing for the republic," Perez said in comments on state television.
Perez did not offer further details.
Venezuelan bonds on average yield some 2,600 basis points more than comparable U.S. Treasury notes, according to JPMorgan's EMBI Global Diversified Index <.JPMEGDVENR>.
That rate had topped 3,300 basis points earlier this year, at the height of concerns that Venezuela or PDVSA would default on its bonds. Investor confidence has recovered since then as oil prices have risen, though Venezuela's yields remain the highest of any emerging market nation.
PDVSA last year said it would seek a debt swap for this year's heavy maturities, which include $3 billion in principal payments. But investors say there has been little movement on that proposal, which would require the company to issue new debt.
President Nicolas Maduro notes the ruling Socialist Party has never missed a debt payment and accuses adversaries of fueling default rumors to weaken his administration.
He has described the high yields on Venezuela's debt as a "financial blockade" against his government.
PDVSA last issued global bonds in 2014, while Venezuela last sold bonds in 2011, according to Thomson Reuters data.
(Reporting by Eyanir Chinea; Writing by Brian Ellsworth; editing by Diane Craft)