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Wednesday, April 16 2014 @ 11:53 PM EDT

Panama Taps Morgan Stanley to Sell Bonds Through Fund

Money MattersBy Drew Benson and Veronica Navarro Espinosa (Bloomberg) -- Panama hired Morgan Stanley to sell $95.9 million of bonds due in 2036 through a state development fund after pulling the transaction in December, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The country scrapped a plan to sell $760 million of bonds due in 2036, 2027 and 2034 through the development fund in December after the offer sparked a rout in the country’s debt. The fund, which holds the government bonds as assets in its portfolio, has sold this year more than $500 million of securities due in 2027 and 2034. Panama’s announcement comes a week after its credit rating was raised to investment grade by Fitch Ratings. The rating company upgraded Panama’s foreign- and local-currency debt to BBB-, the lowest investment-grade level, with a positive outlook, citing low debt levels and a resilient economy. The yield on the 6.7 percent notes due in 2036 fell to 6.10 percent, from 6.28 percent on Jan. 1, according to Bloomberg data. Panama may also issue up to $2.5 billion of new debt, according to the filing. --Editor: Glenn J. Kalinoski
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