(Bloomberg) -- Fitch Ratings cut Ghana’s credit assessment further into junk on concerns the West African country may restructure debt as interest costs surge.

The ratings agency lowered Ghana’s long-term issuer default rating to CC, or four levels below investment grade, from CCC, according to a statement Friday. The assessment signifies a “very high level of credit risk” where a “default of some kind appears probable,” according to Fitch’s rating scale.

“The downgrade reflects the increased likelihood that Ghana will pursue a debt restructuring given mounting financing stress, with surging interest costs on domestic debt and a prolonged lack of access to eurobond markets,” Fitch said. “We believe there could be an incentive to spread a debt restructuring burden across domestic and external creditors.”

Ghana is considering reorganizing part of its $19 billion of local debt in order to secure a $3 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund, Bloomberg reported this week. External liabilities could also be included depending on how much Ghana would have to reduce its debt-servicing costs to achieve fiscal sustainability, according to people familiar with the situation.

“There is a high likelihood that the IMF support program currently being negotiated will require some form of debt treatment due to the climbing interest costs and structurally low revenue as a percentage of GDP,” Fitch said. “The most recent IMF debt sustainability analysis, conducted in 2021, found Ghana at a high risk of debt distress and vulnerable to shock to market access and high debt servicing costs. Interest costs have risen substantially since then.”

Ghana’s 2026 dollar bonds fell 1.1% to 57.42 cents on the dollar by 4:20 p.m. in the capital, Accra, driving the yield 47 basis points higher to 28.94%. The securities have slumped 6% this week. Domestic notes are trading at an average yield of 38.9%, according to the AFMI Bloomberg African Bond Index.

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