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Wheatley to hold talks with Venezuela on Petrojam shares buy-back

Published:Friday | February 23, 2018 | 12:00 AMEdmond Campbell

Energy Minister Dr Andrew Wheatley says he will hold talks with his Venezuelan counterpart in the first week of March regarding proposals by the Jamaican Government to repurchase the 49 per cent shares in Petrojam, owned by the Venezuelan state-owned oil refinery — PDVSA.

He says the government has completed a valuation and is looking at the agreement that would need to be in place to acquire those shares

Contingencies amounting to $35.3 billion have been allocated in the 2018-2019 Estimates of Expenditure to repurchase Petrojam shares.

The money will also be used for liquidation of arrears in National Housing Trust employers' contribution and recapitalisation of the Bank of Jamaica.  

The island’s oil refinery encountered financial challenges arising from an executive order by US President Donald Trump on the South American country.

The Order essentially prevents US entities from engaging in transactions involving the Venezuelan government and companies owned by the state.

As a result, foreign banks have expressed concerns about conducting financial transactions for Petrojam.