(Added background and details from the Fitch report in paragraphs 2 to 7)
Sept 5 (Reuters) – Credit ratings agency Fitch said on Tuesday it had put Gabon on “rating watch negative” (RWN), citing heightened political uncertainty in the Central African country following a military coup last month.
In the eighth coup in West and Central Africa in three years, military officials seized power on August 30, minutes after an announcement that President Ali Bongo had won an election they an and is said to be unbelievable.
Fitch has placed Gabon’s ‘B-‘ Long-Term Foreign-Currency and Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings at RWN on an unscheduled review.
It said the coup may have undermined Gabon’s financial prospects by undermining the operational capacity of the institutions responsible for its treasury and debt management, and also affecting the country’s access to foreign markets. regional debt.
“We think Gabon will rely more on the regional market for financing higher interest costs as the coup raises market jitters,” Fitch said.
The credit ratings agency added that the continuation of the IMF program in the country is also not possible.
Central African bloc ECCAS has suspended Gabon’s membership, but has so far not imposed sanctions in response to Bongo’s ouster. (Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)