QUITO May 15 Ecuador's announcement that it
plans to return to global financial markets following a 2008
default has been met with strong interest by sovereign bond
investors, the South American nation's ambassador to the United
States said on Thursday.
"There is great appetite and strong demand ... to buy
Ecuadorean debt, there's a lot of interest," said Nathalie Cely,
who has participated in meetings with investors, in an interview
Ecuador is considering issuing around $700 million, which
would be its first since a $3.2 billion default on bonds that
President Rafael Correa called "illegal and illegitimate."
Cely said investors "understood the reasons for the
restructuring and that it had been done in good faith."
Correa's government hopes to use the resources to finance
economic development projects.
Cely added that it has been more difficult to bring
investors into natural resource projects due to the ongoing
dispute with U.S. oil giant Chevron regarding pollution in the
"In the area of natural resources Chevron has affected us,
because everyone is being told not to invest in Ecuador because
business is impossible there," she said.
Chevron Corp sued Ecuador in the International Court
of Justice in The Hague for alleged violation of the Bilateral
Investment Protection Treaty and for delays and lack of
transparency in a suit filed by a group of indigenous people
An Ecuadorean court ordered Chevron to pay $18 billion to
the group, though another court later cut that award in half.
Chevron says the ruling is the product of fraud and that it
will not pay.
(Reporting by Alexandra Valencia; Writing by Brian Ellsworth;
Editing by Bernard Orr)