September 13, 2012 / 8:50 PM / 5 years ago

Moody's raises Ecuador to Caa1, outlook stable

NEW YORK, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Moody’s Investors Service on Thursday raised Ecuador’s long-term government bond rating to Caa1 from Caa2 with a stable outlook, noting the country’s improved ability to find external financing.

Moody’s based the upgrade on economic and fiscal indicators that compared favorably to the country’s sovereign peers, as well as “the government’s capacity to secure access to new external financing (e.g., China) in the wake of its 2008 default,” the agency said in a statement.

“The rating outlook remains stable to reflect a balance between key credit strengths and challenges for Ecuador’s credit profile,” the statement read.

After locking itself out of debt markets by defaulting on $3.2 billion in global bonds three years ago, Ecuador has met funding needs with bilateral credit deals, mostly from China.

Last year, Ecuador signed a $2 billion credit deal with China and a pact for a $571 million loan with a Chinese bank, which took total debt commitments to China to around $7.3 billion.

Standard & Poor’s rates Ecuador at B with a stable outlook, having upgraded the country in June. Fitch rates the country B-minus, also with a stable outlook.

Reporting By Luciana Lopez

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