Puerto Rico To Request Bankruptcy Protection

By Andrew Scurria and Matthieu Wirz Features Dow Jones Newswires

Puerto Rico is requesting bankruptcy protection, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said Wednesday, setting up a showdown with Wall Street firms owed billions of dollars in the largest-ever U.S. municipal debt restructuring and further complicating the U.S. territory's efforts to pull itself out of a financial mess.

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The governor said he would petition Puerto Rico's federal oversight board to invoke a quasi-bankruptcy law that puts its standoff with creditors before a judge. His decision marks the start to what could be a lengthy legal fight as Wall Street watches closely to see how other indebted municipal governments may fare in confrontations with investors.

Puerto Rico and its agencies owe $73 billion to creditors, dwarfing the roughly $18 billion owed by the city of Detroit when it entered what was previously the largest municipal bankruptcy in 2013.

Write to Andrew Scurria at Andrew.Scurria@wsj.com and Matthieu Wirz at matthieu.wirz@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 03, 2017 11:22 ET (15:22 GMT)