UPDATE 2-Under ratings scrutiny, Mexico vows strict debt management

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s public sector finance needs should be lower in 2020 than in the previous year, the finance ministry said on Thursday, reiterating that public debt will be managed strictly and transparently.

The country’s creditworthiness came under intense scrutiny last year, with two rating agencies flipping their sovereign outlook for the country to negative and one downgrading its rating.

State oil company Pemex has been teetering on the brink of a downgrade to junk status despite the government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador throwing it several lifelines.

The finance ministry said public sector finance needs were estimated at 11.8% of gross domestic product in 2020, down 0.7 percentage points from a year earlier. Government financing needs will be 7.5% of GDP.

Reporting by Stefanie Eschenbacher; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Tom Brown

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