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Sep 8, 2021

Belize Had to Build Credibility with Super Bond Holders

Christopher Coye

The proposed agreement between the government and the Creditors’ Committee for the holders of the super bond developed during eight months of negotiations. When he appeared on Open Your Eyes this morning, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Chris Coye said first the government had to build credibility, illustrated through tough decisions to address the nation’s fiscal challenges and Belize’s homegrown recovery plan. The salary cut for teachers and public officers was one of those choices that he said the government had to take from early on as part of that plan to rescue the economy.  Those measures, he said, put us in a better position to negotiate with the bondholders.

 

Chris Coye, Minister of State, Finance

“As we started our negotiations with bondholders, we went through a process where we put forward a bond exchange offer first. We didn’t go with a cash offer.   Then when we engaged with the TNC, and we reached a point where we felt that we could integrate both processes, that’s when we went with that cash offer with the TNC. If you recall, in the very early days of the administration, we went through a process at the Senate of ratifying the New York Convention on Foreign Arbitral Awards, and there was all this concern over what it really meant and all of that. That was a significant part of going through the TNC negotiations. That represented an opening for us to get political risk insurance from the U.S’s International Development Finance Corporation. Without that ratification, we would not have been eligible for that political risk insurance. So that, in effect, was a signal that we were already negotiating with them from way back then.”


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