Belize prime minister offers new debt terms on defaulted bond

BELMOPAN, Belize, Thursday February 14, 2013 – Final terms for bringing Belize back on track with its debt obligations were announced by Prime Minister Dean Barrow this week as he piloted Government of Belize External Debt Restructuring Motion through the House of Representatives.

According to the details within the bill, the Belize government proposes to extend maturities and cut the coupon on the country’s US$544 million of defaulted debt as part of the country’s second debt restructuring since 2007. 

Prime Barrow announced plans to extend the maturity on the defaulted bonds to 2038 from 2029 and lower the current coupon to 5 percent from 8.5 percent. Barrow, speaking to the lower house in Belmopan, said the agreement would provide the country US$247 million in relief over the next 10 years. 

“There is no reason to fear that with this massive package of debt relief, there can be any chance of Belize defaulting again,” Barrow said. 

Belize missed a $23 million coupon payment on its bonds in August. It later paid half the amount as talks with creditors continued. 

The House of Representatives passed in one sitting the terms of the restructured superbond before it was sent forward to the Senate. Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)