As previously reported, Belize was unable to meet its "superbond" payment last Thursday, resulting in a default on its commitment to bondholders. During today's house meeting, Prime Minister John Brice�o provided an update on the situation and also reiterated that Belize will not be subscribing to an IMF standby program, notwithstanding its economic constraints.

Prime Minister John Brice�o

"The government of Belize is currently engaged in negotiations with a creditor committee, representatives of Belize's external commercial debt, the so-called Super Bond. These negotiations derive from government's stated resolution to seek new sustainable terms for this debt obligation. The Super Bond has an outstanding value of U.S., five hundred and fifty-six million, four hundred and ninety-eight thousand, nine hundred and tend dollars. Quarterly payments at an interest rate of 4.9375 percent and five equal principal repayments due annually between 2030 and 2034. These bonds represent forty percent of the external public debt and forty-five percent of last year's total interest payments. A quarterly interest payment on the Super Bond was due on May twentieth of this month. Government is not able to make this payment, given the critical state of the public finances, the severe impacts of the pandemic and the consequent rigid budget recently approved by this parliament. Our position remains steadfast, there will be no IMF standby program because there is no need for an IMF program. Government knows what must be done to restore economic and fiscal health and our 2021/22 national budget is proof positive that we are acting with purpose and a clarity to restore equilibrium to the public finances."

Channel 5