Maria Castro Named Guatemala Finance Minister as Centeno Resigns

Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina named Maria Concepcion Castro interim Finance Minister for Central America’s biggest economy after former minister Pavel Centeno resigned, citing health concerns.

Castro, who has a masters degree in finance from the University of Chile, had served as deputy minister for financial administration since Perez Molina’s government took office in January 2012.

Centeno, who oversaw a $700 million bond sale in February, had offered his resignation in March last year, just weeks after taking office, when he accused the opposition of subjecting him to “political manipulation.” Perez Molina rejected his request and Centeno stayed on.

The yield on Guatemala’s 5.75 percent dollar bonds due in 2022 was little changed at 5.31 percent at 11:44 a.m. New York time.

Guatemala is rated BB by Standard & Poor’s, two levels below investment grade, putting the country of 15 million in the same category as Hungary and Costa Rica.

To contact the reporter on this story: Isabella Cota in San Jose, Costa Rica at icota@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andre Soliani at asoliani@bloomberg.net

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