Peru may tap capital markets this year to better manage debt

LIMA (Reuters) – Peru’s government expressed qualified interest in tapping the international bond market later this year in a bid to better manage liabilities, Economy Minister Alex Contreras said on Friday.

The government might turn to capital markets during the first semester of this year if opportunities exist, the economy chief said during a news conference.

The minister also forecast what he described as a “moderate” economic expansion in March, and then 4% growth in April.

The Andean nation’s central bank estimated earlier on Friday lower economic growth this year due to the impact of months-long social unrest and torrential rains earlier this month.

On Thursday, officials announced that the government will spend more than $1 billion on climate and weather measures, in a bid to contain adverse impacts from climate change and El Niño-related weather events.

(Reporting by Marco Aquino; Writing by Valentine Hilaire; Editing by Brendan O’Boyle and Marguerita Choy)