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Financial monster behind us – Belize finally pays off “Superbond”

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Posted: Saturday, November 6, 2021. 9:08 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: As projected, Belize has paid off at a 45 percent discount the U.S.$533 million “Superbond” due 2034.

87 percent of holders were paid the full cash tender offer made by Belize of 55 cents on the dollar and the others, primarily from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, were redeemed at the purchase price only without interest.

Belize, per a Government statement, has now cut US$250 million (BZ$500 million) from its principal external debt, representing 12 percent of Belize’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Financing was obtained from a subsidiary of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) as part of the Blue Bonds for Ocean Conservation program. Arrangement was provided by Credit Suisse AG and underwritten for political risk insurance by the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC).

After the restructuring of the Bond in 2017, it had been agreed that Belize would adhere to the requirements set by the bondholders to target a set primary surplus and approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for support; it is not clear if this will continue under the new arrangements.

Belize has also pre-funded a US$23.45 million Marine Conservation Endowment account to support future marine conservation projects and committed to advance certain conservation objectives related to the marine environment.

Prime Minister John Briceño, commenting, said he expects “that this transaction will pave the way for strong and long-lasting economic growth and allow Belize to achieve its marine conservation objectives.”

 

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