Fitch Downgrades Jamaica's IDRs to 'RD'

  Fitch Downgrades Jamaica's IDRs to 'RD'

Business Wire

NEW YORK -- February 22, 2013

Fitch Ratings has downgraded Jamaica's ratings as follows:

-- Long-term foreign currency (FC) and local currency (LC) Issuer Default
Ratings (IDRs) to 'RD' from 'C';

-- Short-term FC IDR to 'D' from 'C'.

The country ceiling is affirmed at 'B-' and international senior unsecured
debt instruments at 'CCC'.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

The downgrade of Jamaica's sovereign ratings reflects the following key rating
factors:

The government has announced that it has achieved an over 97% participation
rate in the domestic debt exchange offer launched on Feb. 12, 2013. It will
proceed with the settlement for bondholders that have tendered in the exchange
and will extend the offer for the remainder until Feb. 28, 2013. Fitch
believes this operation constitutes a Distressed Debt Exchange (DDE), as the
debt exchange adversely impacts the original contractual terms of domestic
bondholders.

The debt exchange included USD-denominated domestic debt securities to which
Fitch's FC IDR applies. As a result, both the Sovereign FC and LC IDRs have
been lowered to 'RD' from 'C'. Fitch has also downgraded the short-term
foreign currency rating to 'D'.

As Jamaica's Eurobonds were not affected by the exchange, Fitch has affirmed
these securities at 'CCC'. The country ceiling remains at 'B-'.

RATING OUTLOOK

Jamaica's ratings will soon be raised out of default following the conclusion
of Fitch's assessment of Jamaica's prospective credit profile and debt
structure.

KEY ASSUMPTIONS AND SENSITIVITIES

Fitch believes that the execution of the debt exchange operation will
facilitate fiscal consolidation and reduce near-term financing needs. The debt
exchange is one of the pre-conditions for Jamaica to sign a new IMF agreement
amounting to approximately USD750 million.

Additional information is available on www.fitchratings.com. The ratings above
have been initiated by Fitch as a service to investors.

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:

-- 'Sovereign Rating Criteria' (Aug. 13, 2012).

-- 'Distressed Debt Exchange' (Aug. 08, 2012).

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:

Sovereign Rating Methodology
http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=685737

Distressed Debt Exchange
http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=685903

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PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK:
HTTP://FITCHRATINGS.COM/UNDERSTANDINGCREDITRATINGS. IN ADDITION, RATING
DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY'S
PUBLIC WEBSITE 'WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM'. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND
METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH'S CODE OF
CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL,
COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM
THE 'CODE OF CONDUCT' SECTION OF THIS SITE.

Contact:

Fitch Ratings, Inc.
Primary Analyst
Erich Arispe, +1-212-908-9165
Director
One State Street Plaza
New York, NY 10004
or
Secondary Analyst
Cesar Arias, +1-212-908-0358
Associate Director
or
Tertiary Analyst
Shelly Shetty, +1-212-908-0324
Senior Director
or
Committee Chairperson
Ed Parker, +44 203 530 1176
Managing Director
or
Media Relations, New York
Elizabeth Fogerty, +1-212-908-0526
elizabeth.fogerty@fitchratings.com
 
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