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Dec 12, 2016

P.M. Still Has High Hopes for Superbond 3.0

The prime minister’s health aside, the call to New York was for the three-man team, including Economic Ambassador Mark Espat and Financial Secretary Joseph Waight, to sit down with government’s advisors.  The meeting with representatives of Citigroup Global Markets and Cleary Gottlieb Steen and Hamilton was to ensure that they were all on the same wavelength insofar as an agreed position going into discussions with the Belize Coordinating Committee.  Despite the dismal economic conditions, the idea, according to PM Barrow, is to be able to conclude the restructuring of the Super Bond 3.0 ahead of the next scheduled interest payment in February 2017.

 

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“I did not meet with the bondholders.  I went to meet with our team prior to their meeting with the bondholders because this is the point now where the rubber is beginning to meet the road.  Certain things have happened since I last met with the team that required us to do a rethink of our objectives and our strategy and I had to be perfectly sure that we were all on the same page, that in the meeting with the bondholders which took place the day following my meeting with the team, that is Ambassador Espat, the FS, the advisors from CitiGroup and our attorney Lee Buchheit.  I had to be absolutely certain that what would be taken into that meeting with the bondholders would, in its broad outlines because all the details have not yet been presented but I had to be sure that what was being said represented an agreed position, a position that we had properly worked out.  So that’s where I played my role.  The meeting that took place the following day with the bondholders, we put up on the Central Bank website the contours of the thinking that informs the representations we made to the bondholders.  There is expected to be another meeting before Christmas at which the actual detailed negotiations will commence and then, after the start of the new year, we are hoping that we can reach a point where, before we do a formal launch of our proposal, the discussions with the bondholders would have progressed to a point where basically we would be in agreement as to how should all come out.  I will see how the next meeting goes and in terms of the final meeting or meetings in the new year, we are hopeful that we should have reached a point where we would be able to wrap this thing up certainly in time for the finalization of the budget here and before the next interest payment on the bond is due.  So that’s what we are looking at, that’s what we are working on.”

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