December 15, 2014 / 8:38 PM / 4 years ago

MOVES-Cargill's top prop trader leaves commodities firm

NEW YORK, Dec 15 (IFR) - Cargill’s head of proprietary trading for emerging and developed markets, Alejandro Russo, left the US commodities giant on December 1, a source with direct knowledge of the situation told IFR.

Company spokeswoman Lisa Clemens declined to comment on Russo but said Cargill remains an active trader in Latin American fixed-income securities, including in Venezuela.

Two market sources who monitor the country’s bonds said Cargill was understood to have sold off more than US$200m of bonds issued by Venezuela, and state-owned oil company PDVSA, since Russo’s departure.

Such a move would have added to pressure on the sovereign’s bonds, already reeling from plummeting oil prices. Those bonds have lost more than a third of their value since OPEC’s decision on November 27 to keep oil production unchanged.

“It’s hard to say by how much it pushes it down, but anyone getting out of a US$200m position in Venezuela moves the market,” one of the sources said.

“Liquidity is low this time of the year.”

Investors have grown increasingly concerned about Venezuela’s ability to service its international debt, given the country’s high dependence on oil export to generate foreign exchange revenues. (Reporting by Davide Scigliuzzo; Editing by Natalie Harrison and Marc Carnegie)

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