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Prime Minister on Superbond buyback: ‘This is the best deal we can offer to the bondholders’

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Posted: Friday, September 3, 2021. 3:46 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: In brief comments at the National Assembly, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance John Briceño emphasized just how long and exhausting the journey has been to even an agreement in principle to retire at least part of the infamous ‘Superbond,’ and that it is the best deal on offer at the moment.

He has clarified to us that the monies will be repaid in U.S. dollars as it is ‘a U.S.-dollar debt’ – but the arrangements to be made with the Nature Conservancy (TNC) are for what will be known, ironically, as the ‘Blue Bonds’.

“This is just the first step. And I must say that we are very proud of our team, that we worked very hard and we promised the nation that we were going to find how we can renegotiate this ‘Superbond,’ to be able to find savings and relief for the Belizean people,” Briceño said.

The Government is confident of being able to lock up the financing with TNC and Credit Suisse AG to meet its offer, and Briceño reemphasized that at least three-quarters of the bondholders must agree – the membership of the Creditor Committee is just about half.

“It’s either all in or nothing. So, I want to make it very clear that we hope and expect that we can reach the 75 percent threshold so that then, by doing that we can get rid of the entire Superbond, and then come up with a new – what we call the ‘Blue Bonds’, moving in from that once we do the financing and everything,” he stated.

He made sure to tout the “hundreds of millions of savings” and “exciting things to come” from the partnership with TNC at an expected press conference next week. That includes projects tied to marine resources and those in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) down south.

We’ll continue to follow the story.

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