Ecuador Bonds Tumble as Election Leaves ‘Worst-Case Scenario’

Ecuador bonds fell for a second day as Sunday’s presidential election threatened to throw the Latin American nation back into economic turmoil, Bloomberg News reported. With less than 1% of votes left to count, Ecuador is heading for an April runoff between leftist Andres Arauz, with almost a third of the vote, and the indigenous party’s Yaku Perez, with 20.10%. To investors’ surprise, market friendly Guillermo Lasso is third with 19.49%, according to the National Electoral Council’s latest count. “An Arauz-Perez runoff represents the worst-case scenario for investors as Perez is more radical than Arauz on many economic policy issues,” Eurasia analysts Risa Grais-Targow and Laura Duarte wrote in a note. “He has been highly critical of the IMF program and refused to meet with fund staff, and expressed a desire to audit and restructure external debt.” The nation’s dollar-denominated bonds due in 2040 slipped another 2 cents to 43.7 cents on the dollar on Tuesday, putting the notes on course for their lowest since the serial defaulter restructured $17.4 billion in debt last year. Read more.