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Moody's puts Bolivia's rating under review for downgrade amid political crisis

Moody's placed Bolivia's Ba3 local and foreign currency issuer and senior unsecured debt ratings under review for downgrade in light of President Evo Morales' resignation.

Political risk in Bolivia has surged following Morales' resignation, increasing policy uncertainty and likely leading to an economic slowdown, according to the rating agency. The likely slowdown could further increase the pressure on fiscal and foreign exchange reserve buffers, potentially weakening the country's credit profile.

Moody's expects Bolivia's fiscal savings buffer to drop to around 13% of GDP in 2019 from about 27% of GDP in 2013. The government's debt burden is projected to rise to about 55% of GDP in 2019 from around 38% of GDP in 2013, in terms of the nonfinancial public sector.

Moody's will assess the extent of political risks to macroeconomic and policy stability in the country under the rating review, which it said could last for longer than the usual three-month period as it waits for the new government to define its policy agenda.