Check out the stuff below. Further, let's give it the benefit of the doubt. So an "unidentified buyer" buys "several hundred million" worth of otherwise useless debt. We are not told who traded / transacted this either. Almost simultaneously, Guaidó's debt people announced that all debt will be treated equally, that IMF will be asked for help, and funds, and that Venezuela will renegotiate the lot without regard to whether some creditors have favourable rulings. So let's venture a few guesses.
NEW: An unusual series of trades in the past week sent prices on #Venezuela bonds tumbling, shaking investors in what has been an eerily quiet market. Traders estimate several hundred million dollars worth of debt from PDVSA and the sovereign got scooped up. More on @TheTerminal.
— Ben Bartenstein (@BenBartenstein) July 3, 2019
An unidentified buyer bought several hundred million dollars of PDVSA and Venezuela sovereign bonds at a huge discount in the past week. Exclusive by @BenBartenstein on @TheTerminal pic.twitter.com/xCzt5zVZ5u
— Patricia Laya (@PattyLaya) July 3, 2019
U.S. based institutional investors are out, purely on the basis of Treasury sanctions on Venezuela / PDVSA debt. And who in Treasury is related to the office that put those sanctions in place?
Talk about David Martinez's play in Venezuela's distressed debt scene have been making the rounds consistently. He's friendly with Treasury's Adam Lerrick, meaning, he might be privy to how the wind is blowing regarding Treasury's sanctions regime vis a vis Venezuela. Removing measures on sovereign, or PDVSA, debt will surely cause a hump in prices, which might enrich our "unidentified buyer".
But Martinez isn't only friendly with Lerrick. He's been associated in the past with Carlos Gill, which brings us to the next set of cash rich "unidentified buyers", totally unencumbered with Treasury sanctions, and heavily invested in Venezuela: Boligarchs.
Boligarchs play all sides that benefits them. They are uniquely placed to know, not only what Martinez might rely, but what Guaido and his bunch of academics are planning re renegotiation of debt. They also know what Maduro is talking to with Russians.
For argument sake, let me put one example: Alejandro Betancourt. He's in business with the Russians, he's got a former FSB colonel as an associate, he's partner with PDVSA in a JV and has become Nynas' largest crude provider. He meets with Guaido's brother in Madrid, has a direct line to Raul Gorrin, and knows exactly what Leopoldo Mandela is trying to do. Several hundred million? He's got that and more, and there's precedent of him losing hundreds of millions before (Pacific Rubiales). As with his play in Pacific, he can bring in money from other sources (Diego Marynberg) that happen to have been near Martinez in the past.
Might he be our "unidentified buyer"? Questions will have to be put to Citi, according to consulted sources, behind trades recorded at the very end of last month, so they would be traced on indexes, and would have prompted bond holders monitoring the stuff to sell. Transactions were done by someone in the know. Was this a single play, by Martinez, or an effort with Gill-like partners?
A change in Treasury sanctions might be good, but a debt renegotiation under a new administration? Who is more interested in a new administration in Venezuela, Martinez, or the Boligarchs that are under some serious scrutiny in probes around the world for having looted with chavismo the country's wealth?
Chavismo isn't serious about debt renegotiation, despite whatever Dentons lawyers might say. The Boligarchs, however, are licking their chops with the prospect of reconstruction in Venezuela, so much procurement from which to carry on with business as usual.
One thing is certain, our "unidentified player" knows something that's neither in The Terminal nor in the public domain. There's isn't a single indication that Guaido is anywhere near getting to power any time soon, so his representatives' promises of debt restructuring aren't even worth the paper they're written on. Unless, of course, another "agreement" like the 30th April is in the works, and it'll work this time.