Wed | Dec 19, 2018

Belize gets another 60 days to finalise bond payment

Published:Wednesday | September 26, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Belize has cleared half of the overdue interest payments to bondholders, who in turn have given the debt-ridden country another two months to clear the coupon payment.

Belize last week paid US$11.7 million of a US$23-million interest bill on its superbond.

In turn, the committee formed to negotiate on behalf of bondholders, Coordinating Committee of Belize Bondholders (CCOBB), indicated that it saw the payment as a sign of good faith and urged creditors to give Belize breathing space during the 60-day period.

"The committee is recommending that other bondholders refrain from seeking legal remedies during this period," said A.J. Mediratta, of Greylock Capital Management and co-chair of the Committee.

Belize was initially to make the interest payment on August 20, but got a 30-day reprieve to source funds

for what was the first interest payment on the restructured 2029 superbond.

It missed deadline of Wednesday, September 19, by about a day and was placed in "selective" default by ratings agency Standard & Poor's.

The US$544 superbond represents half of Belize's external debt.

Belize is reportedly seeking to restructure the superbond to extend its maturity to 50 years at a lower coupon rate of 6.5 per cent or two points lower than the current rate.

The BBC reported that a request that bondholders take a 45 per cent haircut on the bond was rejected.

The CCOBB said last week that conversations with Belize "are progressing towards a mutually agreeable restructuring of the bonds and both sides have identified an appropriate framework to advance negotiations".

business@gleanerjm.com