Barbados seen turning to IMF after three-notch downgrade
By Davide Scigliuzzo
NEW YORK, June 5 (IFR) - Barbados is expected to turn to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for help, after a three-notch credit downgrade from ratings agency Moody's dealt one last blow to the heavily indebted nation.
Officials from the Caribbean island will engage in fresh talks with investors beginning on June 23 during meetings organized in London and New York by Geoffrey Bell and Company, a longtime financial advisor to the government.
The island's deteriorating fiscal health and sub-par growth have long been a concern for accounts holding some US$500m plus in dollar and sterling bonds.
Last year the sovereign was forced to ditch a new bond issue and liability management operation as it approached investors for the first time as a junk credit.
Ultimately it resorted to a loan syndicated through Credit Suisse to cover budgetary needs.
The fund, which has so far engaged with Barbados only on a consultative basis, is scheduled to conclude a routine visit to the country this week.
"This is a regular, periodic staff visit planned for some time to review recent economic developments and discuss the main policy priorities," said a spokesman for the fund.