(Bloomberg) -- Belarus was declared in default by Fitch Ratings, which joined Moody’s Investors Service in saying that Russia’s most-loyal ally had officially broken the terms of its debt obligations to foreign investors.
The eastern European nation on Monday had its rating cut to the default score of RD by Fitch, down from C. The credit assessor cited the country’s failure to pay in dollars a coupon payment on $600 million in greenback-denominated bonds that mature in 2027. Moody’s on July 14 said the incident constituted a default, but left its rating steady at CCC.
Belarus’ government announced in late June that dollar payments owed on the nation’s foreign bonds would be instead transferred in local rubles into an account at Belarusbank.
“This contravenes bond documentation that does not allow for settlement in alternative currencies,” according to the Fitch statement. “The payment was not fulfilled under the original terms and not made by the end of the grace period.”
Read more: Russia’s Ally Belarus Falls Into Default on Dollar Payment Miss
S&P Global Ratings, meantime, said on July 15 it was keeping the country on a negative credit watch with a CC rating. S&P said it understood “that the authorities are currently seeking ways to make the payments on the bond in US dollars.”
(Updates with more detail throughout)
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