QUITO, June 24 (Reuters) - Ecuador could return to the international debt market after an oversubscribed sale of $2 billion of sovereign bonds on the international market last week, the finance minister said on Tuesday, the first since a $3.2 billion default in 2008.
Most of the funds raised in the June 17 sale of 10-year bonds with a 7.95 percent coupon will be invested in infrastructure, education and other sectors, though part will also be used to pay other debts coming due.
The issue has also helped the government to cover a $4.5 billion deficit it had in the national budget.
“Each time we see the financial conditions and the market has good terms for the Republic of Ecuador, we could carry out an operation on the capital market,” Fausto Herrera told reporters.
Herrera said the bond issue was part of a strategy to diversify the Andean nation’s finances which have been heavily reliant on China in the last few years.
Ecuador has around $650 million of Global 2015 bonds coming due next year, which Herrera assured would be paid on time.
“When these bonds expire, they will be paid in 2015,” Herrera said.
Last week’s bond issue led by Citigroup and Credit Suisse attracted offers totalling $5 billion from banks in North and South America, Europe and Asia. Herrera said the bonds had been rated BB by Standard & Poor’s and Fitch. (Reporting by Alexandra Valencia and Peter Murphy; Editing by Grant McCool)