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Superbond restructuring prompts Moody’s credit rating upgrade

Posted: Saturday, April 15, 2017. 4:59 p.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: Following the March restructuring of the 2034 US Dollar Bonds, Moody’s Investors Service, a world leader in providing information on credit ratings, has upgraded Belize’s long-term foreign and local-currency ratings.

This week, Moody’s upgraded Belize’s issuer and senior unsecured ratings from Caa2 (Very High Risk) to B3(High Risk), signaling that the country’s economic outlook is stabilizing.

“The risk of a subsequent credit event remains low throughout the outlook horizon, given the government’s more favorable payment schedule,” Moody’s said. “There is a low likeliness that upward pressure on Belize’s creditworthiness will develop over the next 12 to 18 months.”

Moody’s also upgraded Belize’s long-term foreign currency bond ceiling from B2, to B1, and the long term foreign currency back deposit ceiling from Caa3 to Caa1.

Despite the upgrades, Moody’s cautioned that Belize’s economy still has challenges and vulnerabilities.

“Belize’s persistent growth challenges and high public debt burden will keep its susceptibility to event risk elevated.”

Moody’s added that the combination of the country’s low potential growth and high Debt to GDP ratio, will constrain the government’s room for policy changes and limit the economy’s ability to absorb shocks.

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