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S&P downgrades Belize to selective default on distressed debt exchange

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S&P downgrades Belize to selective default on distressed debt exchange

S&P Global Ratings downgraded Belize's long- and short-term foreign currency sovereign credit ratings to selective default, or SD, from CC/C, after the government reached a deal with holders of its U.S. dollar bonds due 2034 on amendments to their terms.

The government said Aug. 10 that 82% of the bondholders agreed to the amendments to the terms of the bonds, which focused on the capitalization of the next three quarterly interest payments falling due from Aug. 20 through Feb. 20, 2021.

"We consider this a distressed exchange offer given the nature of the request amid stressed financing conditions," S&P Global Ratings said.

S&P Global Ratings affirmed Belize's long- and short-term local currency sovereign credit ratings at CC/C, with a stable outlook. The foreign and local currency sovereign ratings were removed from CreditWatch with negative implications.

The rating on the foreign currency bonds due 2034 and included in the debt exchange was lowered to D from CC, according to the rating agency.

This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.