Posted: Friday, May 28, 2021. 6:29 pm CST.
By Benjamin Flowers: The Government of Belize (GOB) is seeking to restructure the U.S. Dollar Step-Up Bonds (Superbond) and Prime Minister John Briceño says that it’s not entirely Belize’s fault.
Briceño, speaking at today’s meeting of the House of Representatives said that Belize has tried on several occasions to negotiate terms that would bring the bond on a more sustainable path, those terms would include a haircut from the principal; however, the bondholders have continually rejected that proposal.
“In effect the holders opted for giving only mild and temporary debt relief, knowing full well that this ran the risk that the exercise would need to be repeated in a few year’s time. That risk materialized repeatedly,” Briceno said.
He noted that his administration foresaw that it would miss the May 20 payment, and reached out to the bondholders back in March to begin re-negotiations. Briceño says that the government is committed to hosting good faith negotiations with the main goal of putting the bond on a more sustainable payment path.
According to the international rating agency Standard and Poors, GOB is attempting to renegotiate the bond for the fifth time in 14 years.
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