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Mar 13, 2013

Espat compares challenges of superbond: past and present

Mark Espat

Still on the restructuring, Ambassador Mark Espat is the head of the team which worked on the debt restructuring with bondholders that resulted in the Belize Bond 2038. Espat was also an integral part of the team which, under the previous administration in 2007 negotiated what has been dubbed the super-bond. Today, he compared the two in layman terms and also outlined the challenges involved in the restructuring.

 

Mark Espat, Head of Debt Restructuring Team

“Well I think this is an improvement over that profile. Back in 2007, the average rate applied to the fifteen or so loans, as I recall, was around eleven and a half percent. That was brought down to initially four, stepping up to six and then to eight and a half. Now in this exercise, we are reducing that rate initially from eight and a half to five and then in four and a half years to six point seven five which is roughly twenty percent less. So it is a significant saving as well. The first front, if you will, were the bondholders and principally the creditor committee and the ADHOC committee members. This was a unique case where that committee held a significant portion of the bond; therefore, the engagement with them was necessarily greater, but there were non-committee members as well that we had to engage with. At the same time, there were incredible pressures from the international financial institutions. You know we had tried to get a partial guarantee. We had to engage with the IMF and there was of course the recommendation that Belize adopt an IMF program and everything that that brings. So that was particularly challenging. And so I think there were multiple fronts; the bondholders of course being the principal front and the international financial institutions and of course, those other parties such as the holders of what is called the contingent liabilities, the former owners of the two principal utility companies.”

 

When he joined the government’s team on debt restructuring, Espat came under fire from the opposition People’s United Party. Today, he borrowed a phrase from Minister Anthony “Boots” Martinez and told News Five that he has ignored ‘the noise in the market,’ 

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2 Responses for “Espat compares challenges of superbond: past and present”

  1. Rod says:

    One word fu this man. Traitorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  2. Initiate! says:

    In other words, the PUP is not worthy of you anymore.

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