June 11, 2019 / 11:42 AM / 2 months ago

Ecuador sells $1.125 bln in 2029 bonds to buy back debt

QUITO, June 11 (Reuters) - Ecuador sold $1.125 billion in bonds maturing in 2029 as part of a liability management operation that will allow it to buy back most of its outstanding bond that comes due in 2020, the finance ministry said late on Monday.

The operation is part of an effort by President Lenin Moreno to lower the cost of debt service in order to reduce the fiscal pressure on the Andean nation’s sluggish economy.

“This type of operation usually yields a repurchase of approximately 50 percent, while Ecuador will be able to buy back more than 78 percent of the Global 2020 Bonds,” the finance ministry said in a statement.

The new 2029 bond has a yield of 9.05 percent, the ministry said, adding it received orders for $3.8 billion.

The OPEC country’s debt was about $55.6 billion as of April, equivalent to 49.17 percent of gross domestic product, according to official data.

Ecuador has some $15.75 billion in outstanding bonds that were issued since 2014, when it returned to capital markets after defaulting on part of its debt in 2008.

Ecuador recently signed an agreement with the International Monetary Fund for some $4.2 billion in financing for a three-year economic program meant to reduce the fiscal deficit, boost central bank autonomy and provide aid for the poor. (Reporting by Alexandra Valencia, writing by Brian Ellsworth Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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