Cameroon’s late payments last year on a loan from Deutsche Bank Spain were not a default, credit rating agency Fitch Ratings said on Wednesday.
The central African country was late on four payments in 2022, Fitch, which rates the country “B” with a “stable” outlook, said in a statement.
However, it said it understood from authorities all delays were resolved within 18 days, so less than the 30 day grace period it applies before declaring a default.
In late July, Moody’s downgraded Cameroon from “B2” to “Caa1” due to the late payments, which it classed as an “incident of default”.
Then, last week, S&P Global Ratings lowered Cameroon from a “B/B-” rating to “Selective Default” over the debt service delays and then to “CCC+/C” a day later.
Cameroon’s sole U.S. dollar international bond has barely budged and trades at around 97 cents on the dollar, according to Tradeweb data. US133653AA31=TE
“It will be critical for Cameroon to comply with IMF conditionalities, including non-accumulation of external arrears, to receive the next (fifth) IMF disbursement in December 2023 to help cover its fiscal financing needs,” Fitch said.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a $689.5 million loan programme for Cameroon in 2021 and a fourth disbursement of $73.6 million was signed off by the IMF board in July.