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FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Latin America market round up: Ecuador on the brink

Standard & Poor’s has downgraded Ecuador’s long-term foreign currency ratings to CCC from CCC+. S&P also changed the credit rating outlook to stable from positive. The moves follow repeated statements by Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa, that the government would fail to make an interest payment on its debt due this month. Last month economy minister Ricardo Patino told investors that the government was considering repaying only 40% of its foreign debt. He added that he expected a debt-restructuring plan to emerge soon. Correa’s government, which came into power in January, believes much of Ecuador’s $11 billion-worth of foreign debt is illegitimate because it was borrowed by military dictatorships that ran the country in the past.

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