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Posted: Tuesday, June 30, 2020. 10:10 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: The Government of Belize says it has a plan for economic recovery, according to a press statement after Friday’s meeting of the House of Representatives posted by the Central Bank of Belize.

That plan is one of “domestic relief, consolidation and revival plan, anticipating that in the coming months, the shape of Belize’s economic recovery will crystallize.”

But it does not, per the Prime Minister, include a program with the International Monetary Fund (“IMF”) though Belize hopes to take advantage of its loan quota with the organization.

According to the statement, any decision whether to negotiate any long-term IFI support programs, including with the IMF, and the potential restructuring of the Bonds that a broader revitalization plan would entail, is one that would have to be made no earlier than the end of 2020.

The Prime Minister has also clarified that all of Belize’s available financial resources will be needed to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 crisis this year. Accordingly, the Government of Belize will not have the money to make the August 2020 coupon payment on the country’s bonds maturing in 2034.

The alternatives are therefore a consensual deferral of that payment (the path that the Government is currently pursuing with bondholders) or allowing the bond to go into arrears until the crisis abates.

 

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