El Salvador Payment to Clear First 2023 Hurdle for Distressed EM

El Salvador’s Bitcoin-touting government is poised to deliver on a $604 million bond maturing this week, in a turn of events that leaves investors in distressed emerging-market debt with only one more big maturity to worry about this year, Bloomberg News reported. The Central American nation is widely expected to repay creditors on Tuesday after receiving a last-minute loan and undertaking two bond buybacks. The maturing note, which now hovers at about a penny below par, has soared by a whopping 34 cents from an all-time low in July. Optimism that El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, will stave off default has helped its dollar debt, on average, to rally roughly 24% this year. That’s the best performance of any emerging economy tracked in a key Bloomberg index so far in 2023. A $450 million loan the country acquired this month from a regional multilateral, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, may have helped seal the deal. Read more.