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Jan 27, 2017

The Superbond Negotiations Continue; P.M. is Cautiously Optimistic

Dean Barrow

Thursday evening saw the time elapse for Belize’s consent solicitation offer to holders of the Belize 2038 U.S. Dollar Bonds, aka the Superbond. But the Government has confirmed that the offer, which was roundly rejected by bondholders, has been extended to five in the evening on Friday, February third – a week from today. They sought further statements from the Barrow administration on its plans to keep Belize from further risks with its financial stability. The Government’s offer is to bring the interest rate down to a uniform four percent from the stepped-up rate of six point seven percent due in August, and to defer the principal payments to the years 2036, 2037, and 2038.  The Government also reminds that, “Belize has proposed no other amendments to the terms of the 2038 Bonds. In particular, Belize has not proposed any reduction in the principal amount due under the instruments nor has it asked for an extension of the final maturity date of the Bonds.” Today, the Prime Minister expressed cautious optimism.

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“That came about because, without saying too much, we certainly have come away with the impression that there is a willingness on the part of the bondholders, the creditor committee and their advisors, to discuss matters. I don’t want to put it any higher than that; I don’t want to misrepresent them, but it’s not that we just took it into our heads that this thing ought to be extended; we are extending for what we feel is good and sufficient cause.”

 

News Five sought comment from adviser to the creditor committee, Charles Blitzer, but he declined pending an upcoming meeting with bondholders. The extension also takes Belize closer to the due date for the semi-annual interest payment, which is due later in February.

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