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China buys more Costa Rican debt

February 13, 2009

China recently bought $150 million in Costa Rican bonds, making good on a promise that enticed Costa Rica to cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 2007.

In exchange for diplomatic recognition, China pledged to buy $300 million in Costa Rican bonds, to be repaid over 12 years at 2 percent interest. China purchased the first $150 million in January 2008. By borrowing at such a low interest rate, Costa Rica saves ¢50 billion ($90.9 million) over 12 years, according to Finance Minister Guillermo Zúñiga.

Last year, when the Supreme Court forced Zúñiga to make the bonds purchase public against China´s wishes, Zúñiga suggested that China might not make the second purchase.

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