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Feb 4, 2021

Super Bond Payment Due in May, Hard Times Notwithstanding

Chris Coye

The perpetual albatross that is the Super Bond also stands at roughly one point two billion Belize dollars, with an interest payment of twelve million dollars due in May.  In 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic began affecting the government’s bottom line, the Barrow administration turned to bondholders seeking permission to capitalize interest on five hundred and twenty-five million U.S. dollars. It effectively avoided paying interest at the time; however, that borrowing charge was simply delayed. Instead, the interest was added on. Belize has since gone from meeting the payments on a semiannual basis to quarterly.



Chris Coye, Minister of State, Finance

“With respect to the external debt, the bulk of it is what has been referred to as the Super Bond and that is now over five hundred and fifty million U.S. because last year, I think it was roughly around, say five hundred and twenty-five million U.S. dollars, a little more or a little less.  But government went to the bondholders and got an agreement for the capitalization of the interest.  That means that it didn’t have to be paid then, but that doesn’t mean that that interest disappeared.  That interest was an add-on.  So now that additional interest now has to be paid as well, so that puts us to over five hundred and fifty million [dollars] in debt.  A quarterly payment, because it was initially a semi-annual payment that was being made, but because Belize effectively had its challenges there were immediate adjustments to how Belize had to pay and that meant it had to start paying quarterly.  That first quarterly payment will become due in May of this year and that will be six and a half million U.S. [dollars].”

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