Jerome Reynolds, Gleaner Writer
THE GOVERNMENT has paid out some US$10.3 million and J$2.2 billion to persons whose bonds matured yesterday.
This was disclosed by the head of the Debt Management Unit in the Ministry of Finance, Pamela McLaren.
The payment comes as the Government is reporting that it has received support from more than 97 per cent of bondholders.
McLaren said the disbursement was part of sums due in principal payments.
She said the Government has decided to extend the National Debt Exchange (NDX) programme by a week so as to allow bondholders more time to participate.
The deadline is now 2 0'clock Thursday, February 28.
Under the NDX, the 12.5 per cent fixed-rate Jamaica dollar bond will be exchanged for a new fixed-rate bond paying interest of 7.25 per cent and maturing in 2016.
Additionally, the maturing 6.75 per cent US-denominated bond will be exchanged for a new bond paying interest of 5.25 per cent and maturing in 2020.
The finance ministry is expressing optimism that the Government will receive full participation from bondholders.
The last debt exchange had a success rate of 99.7 per cent.
The successful implementation of the new debt-exchange programme is a critical factor in the Government's quest to ink a deal with the IMF.
The Government has already reached a staff-level agreement with the IMF and the board is expected to consider Jamaica's letter of intent in March.