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Salvadoran lawmakers back $542 mln in new debt, tourism loans


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.

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