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Nov 9, 2016

P.M. in New York; Wants Meeting with Superbonders

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow traveled to New York City earlier this week. The visit has to do with the super bond in light of the ailing economy. The PM is hoping to meet with individual holders or possibly a committee of holders of Belize’s U.S. Dollar Bonds due in 2038. These meetings are expected before the end of November to discuss measures necessary to place the 2038 bonds on a fully sustainable basis. The Barrow administration concedes that for a variety of reasons, Belize’s economy has significantly underperformed in comparison with the projections used at the time in setting the terms of the 2038 Bonds. It cites serious economic and financial challenges, including low growth, rising fiscal deficits, a deteriorating balance of payments position, and declining sovereign debt indicators. Issued in 2013, a step-up in interest payments is due next August, 2017, with principal payments to begin two years later on the current schedule. The Government of Belize has retained Citigroup Global Markets Inc. as its structuring advisor and Cleary Gottlieb Steen and Hamilton LLP as its legal counsel in this process. The Prime Minister returns to Belize on November twelfth. We note that the PM had promised on Independence Day to do something to fix the Superbond before he leaves office.

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