Venezuela’s Central Bank reported a $700 million increase in reserves coming from the state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter.
More than 80% of the money received by the central bank was in Chinese yuan, two people said. The money is a result of months of delayed payments to PDVSA for crude oil as both parties struggled to find a way to pay with existing U.S. sanctions, one of the people said. The jump recorded in official Central Bank data is the biggest for Venezuela’s international reserves since April of last year, bringing reserves up to $8.8 billion.
PDVSA and central bank press officials didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Reserves neared a three-decade low last month following months of ongoing gold sales. While U.S. sanctions have increasingly cut off Venezuela from the global financial system, Nicolas Maduro’s regime has been selling gold to firms in places such as the United Arab Emirates and Turkey.