Posted: Wednesday, June 2, 2021. 9:04 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: Friday, June 11, at 5:00 p.m. New York time (3:00 p.m. Belize time), is the latest deadline for consent solicitation on new terms on Belize’s $550 million bond due in 2034, Reuters reports.
According to the Ministry of Finance, Belize is also looking to stretch out to October of 2021 any principal restatement related to the May 20, 2021 coupon payment, which the government missed.
Standard and Poors rating agency (S&P) said last month it doesn’t expect the government to make the payment during a 30-day grace period.
Belize has been hit hard by the impact of COVID-19, with a sharp fall in tourism revenue and a rise in spending.
Back in March, the International Monetary Fund said Belize’s public debt, at 133% of gross domestic product, is unsustainable and real GDP is not expected to return to 2019 levels until 2025.
Bondholders have been trying to cajole Government into entering an IMF assistance program, but it so far has refused, unwilling to countenance further uprising if expected increases in taxes, reduction of the public sector wage bill and other measures the IMF would ask for are implemented.
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