Suriname Defaults as Time Runs Out for Third Debt Payment Delay

Suriname skidded into default after the government ran out of time to convince bondholders to yet again push back bond payments, Bloomberg News reported. Fitch Ratings downgraded the nation to RD from C and declared default on the $675 million of dollar bonds due in 2023 and 2026 after the country failed to make an already delayed debt payment on March 31. That’s Suriname’s third default event of the Covid era per Fitch’s criteria. Bondholders now have until next week to accept a consent solicitation that would defer the missed payment until at least May as Suriname works toward an agreement with the International Monetary Fund. “The government of Suriname continues to negotiate with creditors for a comprehensive restructuring of its external bonds, which has been a protracted process,” Fitch analyst Kelli Bissett-Tom said in a report Thursday. The next move will be to see whether investors accept the latest change in terms by 5 p.m. in New York on April 8. If the consent solicitation is accepted, the payments will become due on May 10. Conditionally, the payment could instead be made in July if the nation secures a staff-level IMF agreement by the end of April. Read more.