Govt Allocates Funds for Buy-Back of Venezuela’s PetroJam Shares

The Ministry of Finance has allocated funds in the budget to buyback Venezuela’s 49-percent stake in the Petrojam oil refinery.

They’ve set aside 35-billion dollars for contingencies, which should also cover recapitalization of the Bank of Jamaica, BOJ, as well as liquidation of arrears in NHT employers’ contributions.

The figure is not broken down to specify how much they’re expecting to spend on each of the three areas.

A valuation of the Petrojam last summer puts the shares’ worth at about 80-million US, or 10-billion Jamaican dollars.

However, Energy Minister Dr. Andrew Wheatley says an updated valuation has recently been completed.

Venezuela has not yet publicly indicated whether they’re willing to sell the shares.

The government’s attempt to take full control of the company comes after an Executive Order by US President Donald Trump last year, blocking American companies from doing business with Venezuela.

During a sitting of the House of Representatives in November, Dr Wheatley revealed that the executive order is affecting Petrojam’s operations.

He says it’s led to big banks in the US being reluctant to finance Petrojam’s oil purchases on the international market, due to the company’s part-Venezuelan ownership.

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