Posted: Monday, May 10, 2021. 7:06 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Senator Christopher Coye stated he remained optimistic about striking yet another deal with bondholders to restructure the Superbond.
With a payment of interest due May 20, of approximately US$7 million, Coye would not utter the word “default,” saying they would work with the bondholders to reach an agreement with them, even after then if possible.
Nonetheless, Coye told reporters Belize cannot afford to “kick the can down the road any more,” noting that the Superbond had actually grown in size by a tenth of a billion dollars after three restructurings and a recapitalization last year, not to mention years of interest payments that could have gone elsewhere.
Coye says Belize needs to learn fiscal responsibility, yet the Government refuses to enter an International Monetary Fund (IMF) program at the request of the bondholders to avoid the dreaded retrenchment, devaluation, belt-tightening and increased taxes that would surely follow.
But the bondholders are for the moment holding firm and the challenge will be for Government to show that the country can and will turn the corner.
We will have much more to come.
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