By Telis Demos
Credit Suisse Group AG will prohibit trading of certain Venezuelan bonds, citing the country's political climate, according to an internal bank memo.
The memo, whose contents were confirmed by a spokeswoman, was written by the bank's reputational risk committee and sent earlier this week.
The new policy forbids the trading or use as collateral of two specific bonds, one issued by the Venezuelan government due in 2036, and one by state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela SA due in 2022, as well as bonds from government entities issued after June 1.
The bank doesn't trade those Venezuelan bonds currently, but opted to formally ban them anyway.
The memo said the bank isn't leaving the Venezuelan market, however. It will continue to support existing clients, onboard new clients, and trade securities that meet its reputational risk guidelines, the spokeswoman said.
The move comes several weeks after the asset-management business of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was criticized by opposition groups in Venezuela. They said that the purchase of government bonds by funds managed by the bank was supporting President Nicolás Maduro, who has been the target of protests as the country suffers food and medical shortages amid an economic crisis.
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