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Jul 8, 2016

Will S.S.B. Be Used to Finance B.T.L. Arbitration Award Payout?

Tonight, there are indications that government is scurrying to come up with the first payment to the Ashcroft Group of Companies, due Tuesday. We can confirm that G.O.B. has withdrawn its offer to sell ten million dollars of its B.T.L. shares to S.S.B.  We haven’t verified whether it has done the same for its shares in B.E.L., but that is the indication as well.  G.O.B. has allegedly gone the way of T-notes which will be sold to the Central Bank to raise the immediate cash necessary.The intention with this new issue of T-notes is for the Central Bank to then turn around and sell them. Here’s the thing – the S.S.B., conveniently, wrote to the Central Bank just this week to indicate that it is interested in purchasing T-notes. How much…we could not verify. So long story short, while allegedly not paying over fifty-five million dollars to G.O.B. for shares, the S.S.B. may well be paying much more than that to G.O.B. for Treasury Notes. Tonight, we look back on the plan to raise the monies for the first payment, discussed at the Prime Minister’s press conference last week.

 

Joseph Waight

Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary [File: June 30th, 2016]

“You may recall that in anticipation, knowing that this payment would have to be made, we went to Parliament and increased the issuance levels for both Treasury Notes and Treasury Bills, so we have the headroom, so we had the legal authority to step in right away and produce these securities, sell them to the Central Bank – the Central Bank will create for us an account for the proceeds, and we then convert that into U.S. dollars for the U.S. dollar portion and we make the payment. The Belize dollar portion we get instructions from the awardees as to how they wish that to be paid.”

 

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow [File: June 29th, 2016]

“Very simply, we will have no difficulty, especially in view of the excess liquidity in the financial system, getting all the money locally by way of the issue of Government T-Bills and T-Notes. And the forty percent that has to be converted into U.S. and sent abroad will also be fairly comfortably covered by Central Bank reserves. Second, please remember that we are currently selling sixty million dollars- worth of shares in B.E.L. and B.T.L.  Even after that there will still be a little more headroom for selling additional shares in B.E.L., and a lot more headroom for selling additional shares in B.T.L.  We anticipate being able to raise another seventy-five to one hundred million if we go that way, so that borrowing for the Award will be greatly lessened as a result. Of course, we would need to decide whether it is not preferable to hold on to the shares and use the dividends to service G.O.B. borrowing to pay compensation.”

 

So what does G.O.B. gain from going this route? For one thing – if they had gone the way of shares, the matter would have had to go before the House for approval and the certain subsequent outcry.  S.S.B. sources tell us that T-notes are still considered a sound investment – not quite the rate of return that would have been generated from shares in the utility companies, but more than is generated from the money sitting in commercial banks. As we mentioned, we haven’t been able to confirm exactly how many T-notes the S.S.B. is looking to purchase.

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1 Response for “Will S.S.B. Be Used to Finance B.T.L. Arbitration Award Payout?”

  1. Mike G. says:

    Face it folks, GOB has gotten the rest of us so far in debt that we will never get out. So now they are willing to sell our souls to come up with the money that they squandered and stole.

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