Credit rating agency Fitch Ratings has further reduced the creditworthiness of Suriname’s long-term foreign debt from ‘C’ to ‘RD’. Suriname’s short-term creditworthiness in foreign currency is confirmed at ‘C’. Suriname is therefore no longer able to pay off its debts in foreign currency itself. A C rating is the lowest rating before a country is officially declared bankrupt.
The two issue ratings on the US $ 550 million banknotes due 2026 and US $ 125 million banknotes due 2023 that are in government default were lowered to ‘D’ from ‘C’ and then withdrawn for the following reason : bankruptcy of the rated entity, debt restructuring or issue / standard tranche.
The reduction of Suriname’s long-term foreign debt to ‘RD’ reflects the non-payment of US $ 49.8 million in rescheduled external debt service on Suriname’s 2023 and 2026 banknotes due March 31. This marks a default event under Fitch’s criteria with respect to the sovereign’s long-term external debt as well as the issue classifications of the securities involved (Global 2023 and 2026 disclosures).
Another semi-annual interest payment of US $ 25.4 million is due on April 26 on the Suriname 2026 notes. In total, US $ 75.3 million in total debt service is due on Suriname’s global bonds within the next 30 days.