UPDATE 1-S&P Maintains Belarus Exchange Rating at ‘CC/C’
(Adds details on bond payments)
July 15 (Reuters) – Ratings agency S&P Global kept Belarus’s exchange rating at ‘CC/C’ on Friday, weeks after the country announced it would service its Eurobond debt in its own currency, the Belarusian rouble.
The government called it a forced measure because Western sanctions limited its ability to trade in foreign currencies.
Belarus has been included in the sweeping sanctions imposed on Russia since Moscow sent thousands of troops to Ukraine on February 24 from Russian and Belarusian territory.
S&P said on Friday that the country’s currency ratings remained negative on CreditWatch.
This means the agency could downgrade the rating to Selective Default (SD) if Eurobond debt payments are not made in their home currency, the US dollar, by the end of a 30-day grace, S&P said.
Payment was originally due on June 29.
However, S&P said it believed Belarusian authorities were actively looking for ways to make payment on the 2027 Eurobond in US dollars through alternative payment channels.
The agency also confirmed its sovereign credit ratings in local currency “CCC/C” on Belarus while maintaining a negative outlook. He said macroeconomic and fiscal tensions could weaken the country’s ability to stay current on its local currency debt. (Reporting by Richard Rohan Francis in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)