Commentary: In Debt Default, Ecuador Loses Most

The biggest losers from Ecuador's debt default announced Friday are not foreign bond holders, the Latin Business Chronicle reported. Rather they are Ecuadorian companies, which now will have a virtually impossible time getting international credit--just as all markets are suffering from a credit crunch. "Ecuadorian exporters of shrimp, banana and flowers will likely find it difficult to secure trade finance," UK-based risk consultancy Exclusive Analysis said. "Heavy manufacturers, agricultural firms and service providers are also likely to see the cost of credit increase substantially, thus significantly raising non-payment risks." As a result of the debt default, Credit Suisse has revised down its growth forecast for Ecuador's economy next year from 2.0 percent to minus 1.0 percent. Meanwhile, Exclusive Analysis predicts that most foreign direct investment is likely to stall or move to neighboring countries, where credit is cheaper and government interference less obtuse. Ecuador already has Latin America's second-lowest foreign direct investment compared with its GDP, as Latin Business Chronicle has pointed out. "The most immediate impact of the default, however, will be Ecuador's exclusion from international credit lines at a time of the global credit crunch and falling oil prices," it says. Read more.