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Jun 8, 2021

Bondholders Agree to Grace Period Extension

On Monday, Prime Minister John Briceño said in an interview on Channel Five’s Open Your Eyes that Belize’s international bondholders had been playing what he called “hard ball,” but were “shooting themselves in the head.” Well, it seems the bondholders’ approach has changed.  This afternoon, Reuters news agency reported that the group of Belize’s creditors has altered course, saying that they now support G.O.B. request for an extension of the grace period to October for a coupon payment Belize missed last month. That payment was due on May twentieth.  While there is nothing yet on the Central Bank of Belize’s website, Reuters is reporting that a creditor committee which includes bondholders, who had rejected G.O.B.’s proposal just last week, has “reached an agreement with the government’s advisers and intends to agree to the deferral.” A story in the Financial Post says there is a new non-disclosure agreement in place and that the Bondholder Committee hopes this “will facilitate good faith negotiations based on supportable data and inter-creditor equity, and that the process will ultimately lead to a durable solution to the economic problems that underlie Belize’s debt-servicing challenges.” Reuters says the five hundred and fifty million-dollar bond, which traded as low as thirty-two point five cents on the dollar in the second half of April, last traded at thirty-eight point five cents according to Refinitiv data.

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