Posted: Monday, August 17, 2020. 2:39 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Last week, Belize successfully concluded negotiations with the holders of the 2034 Belize Bonds to capitalize, or defer, three interest payments due this month and in November and February.
Some 82 percent signed on, ensuring it becomes binding on everyone.
In response, Standard and Poor’s rating agency downgraded Belize’s status to selective default (SD), which Prime Minister Dean Barrow feels is “wrong” in the circumstances, though he said he would not quarrel with them: “How is that selective default when there is an agreement; there was a consent solicitation, and the people that we owe, the bondholders, accepted that there was a need to capitalize? The default would have been if they had said no, and we didn’t pay.”
He added, “The fact is we put out the consent solicitation, we succeeded, we don’t have to pay the money for now and God knows we needed that break. And so, I would say to those that were involved in making this happen for us: Job well done.”
As we pointed out to the Prime Minister, S&P had previously done the same after the successful negotiations over restructuring the Superbond in February and March of 2017, only to upgrade Belize’s status at the end of March.
The amount is over $1 billion dollars due, with bullet payments coming beginning in 2029.
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