BELMOPAN, Belize, Thursday, March 14, 2013 – With the Belize debt default debacle almost behind him, Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow is projecting greater economic growth prospects with a lower debt burden going forward.
At a press conference on Monday, Prime Minister Barrow revealed that the restructured so-called ‘super bond’ has been 100% subscribed, and the bond offering will close either tomorrow (March 15) or next Monday
Barrow projected that with some BZ $494 million less in debt servicing over the next 10 years, there was a possibility that, with the continuing level of growth recorded last year, Belize’s debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio could fall to 60% by 2017.
“Remember that we didn’t pay the coupon payment that had become due in august. We didn’t pay the coupon payment that would have become due in February, and so that, all together, these are rolled up into the new bond and we thereby saved $76.4 million by way of these cash payments foregone,” said Barrow.
He noted that the country’s fiscal deficit was around BZ $84 million and if the debt restructuring negotiations had failed, the $76.4 million would have been added to the $84 million, which, he said “would have meant that we would no doubt have gone over the fiscal cliff.” Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)