International Credit Rating Agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) has lowered its foreign currency sovereign credit ratings on Belize to selective default after the country failed to make a US$23 million debt payment.
The Wall Street-based firm said on Wednesday that Belize missed the coupon payment on a US$547 million bond when it came due on Monday.
“The government had previously announced that it would not pay the US$23 million interest payment due on August 20,” said S&P in a statement. “We consider the failure to pay the accrued interest a default under our criteria.”
S&P said the US$23 million amounts to about six per cent of government revenues and one per cent of gross domestic product for the tourism-dependent country.