U.S. PUBLIC FINANCE : TOPICS

Puerto Rico

On September 10, 2015, S&P Global Ratings lowered its rating on the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to ‘CC’. The outlook is negative on likelihood of default or distressed exchange.


We rate all Puerto Rico tax-backed debt at 'CC', except for Puerto Rico Public Finance Corp. (PFC) and Puerto Rico Infrastructure Financing Authority (PRIFA) federal rum excise tax-secured debt, which is currently in default and rated 'D'. We rate debt 'CC' when we expect default to be a virtual certainty, regardless of the anticipated time to default. In our view, all of Puerto Rico's tax-backed debt is highly vulnerable to nonpayment, which could take the form of either a missed debt service payment or a distressed exchange that we would characterize as a default.