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Dec 9, 2016

Belize Not Looking Good for Superbond Deal But It’s Not Over

Prime Minister Dean Barrow returns home this weekend following meetings with bondholders in New York to negotiate a third restructuring of the Superbond.  Reports of Belize’s gloomy economic outlook have factored into the discussions and bondholders are paying close attention to proposed measures by government to steer the country through the recession.  Earlier today, News Five spoke by phone with Charles Blitzer, special advisor to the Coordinating Committee of Bondholders.  He told us that not only are bondholders nervous, they are also trying to avoid having the matter being taken lightly. While another payment has been scheduled for February 2017, government has gone no farther than acknowledging the date.  In the interim, the Central Bank earlier this week asked bondholders to consider several options in redesigning the third iteration of the Superbond. As for future meetings with bondholders, Blitzer told News Five that those dates should not be published, but that all parties must continue in good faith to resolve the issue.

 

On the Phone: Charles Blitzer, Blitzer Consulting

“Bondholders, of course, have looked carefully at the postings from the government on Central Bank’s website and they are studying them quite carefully.  At a high level I think that as a group, bondholders would not like to see a resolution which results in merely kicking the can down the road and not moving more definitively for Belize to credibly close its financing gaps and reduce its crisis risk.  And that is more than just dealing with this one bond.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“There is another scheduled payment for early next year, correct?  Has there been any indication that Belize would be able to make this payment?”

 

On the Phone: Charles Blitzer

“All we know is two things: one, is what they posted on their website which does not refer to the date.  That’s it, it’s a fact there’s a scheduled payment.  What the government said, you can read on the Central Bank’s [website], they have not gone further than to acknowledge that date.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Now you’ve shared initial concerns with regards to the restructuring of the Super Bond for a third time.  Based on the information posted on the Central Bank’s website, have bondholders shared any kind of additional concerns or trepidations based on what they are now seeing?”

 

On the Phone: Charles Blitzer

“The government has posted last week some measures that they would take on the fiscal side but they haven’t demonstrated how those measures are sufficient to significantly reduce the risk of future crises in Belize and I think the bondholders for sure are studying that and trying to figure things out.  But we haven’t seen any full forecast from the government which would show folks that these are sufficient and they are much less what was suggested several months ago by the IMF.  As the timing and scheduling and format of meetings with advisors or principals aren’t something that should be announced or discussed by the government but usually it’s a good thing in negotiations to just not publish schedules of these things but to work on this in good faith as I think we’re trying to do.”

 

We’ll have more on the Super Bond negotiations on Monday.

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