On the topic of the so called “super bond,” PM John Briceño says that his government will not continue to pay unless there are further renegotiations. As we told you last week, the bondholders have turned down the request for an extension of the coupon payment that was due May twentieth.

Prime Minister John Briceño


“Of course, we expected them to reject it. But I have said it when I was in Opposition, for too long, especially the U.D.P., was just kicking the can down the road and claiming success when they were doing nothing but just sending this down the road. We said that we have to renegotiate the super bond and we have to get as what we call a haircut or a discount which may be a better word to express it. As soon as we got in, we sent word to the bondholders and say we have to renegotiate the terms. As it is right now, when we were just elected the bonds were hovering about fifty cents on the dollar and we said we have to negotiate and so we sent them a letter and said that we were asking them for consent to extend the grade period from June eleventh because we said to them that we do not have the money to pay and we showed them our economic recovery plan for the next five years to show them how we are going to get where we are. So, we have been very frank with the bondholders. Now, the bondholders can play hardball and that is good for them – but where will that put them? Now that they are trying to play hardball the price of the bonds have gone down to about thirty cents on the dollar and so they are shooting themselves in the head because Belize is not going to borrow on the capital markets – we have no intentions of doing that and secondly their legal recourse are limited – they can’t take us to court as we don’t have assets outside of the United States and so the only way to raise the price of that bond is by sitting down and having a reasonable negotiations with us. We simply cannot and will not continue to pay the super bond the way it is. We have to sit down and negotiate the way it is. The longer they take the lower the price of the super bond would go down.”

Channel 5