Special Report

11 Countries Near Bankruptcy

Ecuador
> Moody’s credit rating: Caa1
> Moody’s outlook: Stable
> 2014 Gov’t debt (pct. of GDP): 24.8%
> 2014 GDP per capita (PPP): $10,492

When Ecuador last defaulted in 2008, President Rafael Correa described the nation’s debt as “immoral” and “illegitimate.” The country’s past debt sales had been tainted by corruption, Correa said at the time. Since 2008, Ecuador’s Moody’s credit rating has steadily risen, reaching Caa1 in 2012. Earlier this year, the country both bought back a substantial fraction of its defaulted debt and issued new bonds for the first time since its previous default. According to figures from the IMF, Ecuador’s economic growth has been relatively healthy in recent years. GDP grew by 5.1% in 2012 and by an estimated 4.2% last year. GDP is forecast to rise by 4.2% again in 2014.

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Egypt
> Moody’s credit rating: Caa1
> Moody’s outlook: Negative
> 2014 Gov’t debt (pct. of GDP): 91.3%
> 2014 GDP per capita (PPP): $6,696

Political unrest in Egypt in recent years has made investors wary, leading Moody’s to downgrade Egyptian debt to Caa1 in March 2013. Fears were further compounded by currency devaluation as Egyptians moved their assets into U.S. dollars and out of Egyptian pounds. But despite the country’s low credit rating, yields on Egyptian bonds fell below 5% in June. This may be an indication that investors are less concerned about the risk of political instability in the country. And while its outlook remains negative, Moody’s recently praised Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s commitment to reduce the government’s budget deficit in the fiscal year starting on July 1, 2014.

Pakistan
> Moody’s credit rating: Caa1
> Moody’s outlook: Stable
> 2014 Gov’t debt (pct. of GDP): 63.7%
> 2014 GDP per capita (PPP): $3,231

This April, Pakistan issued its first bond in seven years, raising roughly $2 billion in dollar-denominated debt. Pakistan has a multi-billion dollar line of credit with the IMF, but loans are conditional on the country enacting structural reforms to its economy. Pakistan was at risk of default last year until the IMF agreed to lend it money. Tax collection remains a major problem in the country. According to The Express Tribune, only roughly one in 200 citizens even files an income tax return. The country’s total debt amounts to roughly 64% of its annual GDP, even as government spending for 2014 is estimated to be among the world’s lowest, at roughly 20% of GDP.