Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Puerto Rico Faces $940 Million Bill as Debt Is Cut to Junk

Puerto Rico is trying to refinance debt or negotiate with creditors to avoid making a $940 million payment, almost 10 percent of its budget, after the U.S. commonwealth was cut to junk by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investors Service.

S&P dropped the territory to BB+, the highest speculative grade, on Feb. 4 because of limited access to capital markets as officials struggle to revive a shrinking economy. Moody’s today lowered it to Ba2, one step below S&P’s score. The moves trigger accelerated payments on debt and calls for increased collateral on swaps. Almost half may need to be arranged within 30 days, said David Hitchcock, an S&P analyst.