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Sep 7, 2021

Prime Minister Provides More Details on Proposed Super Bond Plan

John Briceño

Prime Minister John Briceño shared in the House of Representatives on Friday that Belize and the Bond Holders’ Committee of the super bond had reached an agreement, in principle, on how they would proceed with settling the super bond.  The debt, which has existed since 2007, now stands at five hundred and seventy-two million U.S. dollars.  If a settlement is not reached by October nineteenth, another fifty-seven million will be tacked on to it. Prime Minister Briceño, in a televised statement posted on the government’s website today, explained the scope of what the new agreement seeks to cover.


Prime Minister John Briceño

“With the consent of the Cabinet and the support of holders of fifty percent of the principal amount of these bonds, this agreement calls for the bondholders to sell their claim at a very significant discount to Belize. Specifically, this deal calls for a forty-eight point three percent discount to the face value of the Super Bond, together with, for those holders that tendered during the offer period, a payment in lieu of accrued interests on the bonds. The Government proposes to raise the money for the discounted repurchase through a loan from an affiliate of The Nature Conservancy. In connection with that loan, Government will accelerate its marine conservation policies in a manner that will dramatically enhance the preservation of Belize’s precious seas, coral reefs and fish stocks. But let me be clear, in principle, the agreement that Government has hammered out with the Bond Holders’ Committee does not guarantee that our proposal will ultimately succeed. While the Committee represents close to fifty percent of bondholders, the offer will require seventy-five percent support in order to close. Government has taken the position that this transaction must eliminate the entirety of the Super Bond, not just part of it; and under the term of the Bonds, this requires the support of seventy-five percent of the bondholders. In addition, Government must now finalize the plans and conditions for the innovative financing being arranged by The Nature Conservancy, and button up some outstanding features of the conservation partnership. So I emphasize that while we have completed a critical first phase of this process, ultimate success requires additional Bond Holders’ support as well as an agreement on certain conditions attendant to the TNC financing and the conservation objectives. If our proposals are consummated, however, Belize’s public debt will be instantly reduced by almost five hundred million Belize dollars. To put this in perspective, twelve cents of every dollar of the public debt will be eliminated. This arrangement will also direct, on average, eight million Belize dollars annually to marine conservation projects and upgrading the protection and management of our marine patrimony.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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