NEW YORK, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Ratings agency Standard & Poor's on Tuesday cut its long- and short-term foreign currency sovereign credit ratings on Belize to selective default after the country missed an interest payment on a bond earlier this week.
"The rating action follows the government of Belize's failure to pay the $23 million semiannual interest coupon due on Aug. 20, 2012, on its $547 million bond due in 2029," S&P said in a statement.
"Our recovery rating on Belize's foreign currency debt is '4,' indicating an estimated post-default recovery of 30 percent to 50 percent."
Belize's government has little room to negotiate on restructuring the "superbond," and it is too early to say whether it will pay interest owed to bondholders or default on its debt, a senior Finance Ministry official said earlier this week.
Moody's Investors Service rates Belize at Ca, which is highly speculative. (Reporting by Daniel Bases)