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Fitch Chides Bond Buyers Over Mozambique’s Tuna-Fishing Debt

  • Investors didn’t exercise due diligence, rating company says
  • Mozambique can’t repay some debt, has asked for creditor talks
Fishing Boats from 'Ematum' and 8 speedboats, belonging to Mozambican state company 'Proindicus' are seen on a quay at the Maputo Harbour in Maputo, on April 22, 2016.

Fishing Boats from 'Ematum' and 8 speedboats, belonging to Mozambican state company 'Proindicus' are seen on a quay at the Maputo Harbour in Maputo, on April 22, 2016.

Photographer: Stringer/AFP via Getty Images
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Investors should have known better, says Fitch Ratings.

Lenders failed to appreciate the risks of lending to Mozambique’s state-owned fishing company and bear part of the blame for the country’s inability to repay the debt, said Federico Barriga Salazar, a director at Fitch. The rating company last month moved the nation’s credit assessment to RD, or restricted default -- just one step from rock bottom.