El Salvador’s Congress on Tuesday gave the green light to take out loans and issue new debt worth a total of $542.2 million, as the Central American nation looks to boost tourism and repay some state debt.
Lawmakers approved the government’s bid to seek $436.2 million through loans or an issue of securities in the domestic and international markets to repay debts this year.
S&P Global Ratings in September warned it could cut El Salvador’s already non-investment-grade credit rating if the country did not make “adequate progress” in reducing its debt.
President Nayib Bukele is under pressure to repay the bulk of a $800 million bond maturing in January.
Congress also backed a $106 million loan with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to develop coastal tourism.
This comes nearly two months after the IDB approved the loan, noting the country needed adequate management for tourist destinations and a legislative environmental framework to improve access to drinking water and waste services.