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Belize’s Standard & Poor’s rating updated as government works to renegotiate “Superbond

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Posted: Monday, May 24, 2021. 7:25 pm CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: Bloomberg reports that the Standard and Poors (S&P) rating agency has lowered Belize’s Foreign Currency Ratings after the Government of Belize missed its May 20, US$6.5 million payment.

Belize’s ranking was lowered from CC (highly likely to default) to  SD “Selective Default” as the government encountered its second default in less than a year.

“Belize faces a constrained fiscal position and has low external liquidity,” S&P said. “Social and financial pressures caused by the pandemic, given Belize’s precarious economy and health system, have shifted the government’s policy priorities and weakened its capacity to pay its debt service.”
 
On May 19, GOB requested that bondholders extend the grace period for payment to September. The bondholders have until 5 p.m. in New York on June 1 to either accept or decline the request.
 
GOB is also seeking to restructure the bond, which would mark the fifth restructuring exercise in 14 years. GOB is attempting to get bondholders to take a 30 percent haircut on the bond, however, they have insisted that government must engage in an International Monetary Fund (IMF) program in order for a restructuring to take place.

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