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Agreement in Principle on International Bonds, "Superbonds" #552471
09/04/21 04:38 AM
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Belize Reaches an Agreement in Principle with a Committee of Holders of a Substantial Portion of Its International Bonds

Following six months of intensive discussions, the Government of Belize ("Belize") has reached an agreement in principle with a committee of institutional investors (the "Committee") comprising Aberdeen Standard Investments, Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co. LLC and Greylock Capital Management, LLC. The investors that have appointed the Committee hold close to 50% of the outstanding principal amount of Belize's U.S. Dollar Bonds due 2034 (the "Bonds"). Belize and the Committee have agreed in principle on key indicative commercial terms of a forthcoming cash tender offer (the "Offer") and consent solicitation, through which Belize will seek to purchase, redeem and cancel all of the outstanding Bonds. Such amendments are expected to become effective on the settlement date.

The key features of the agreement in principle that Belize has reached with the Committee are as follows:

1. Tender Consideration: Eligible holders who tender their Bonds prior to the expiration date of the Offer will receive, on the date of settlement, a cash payment in an amount equal to $550 per $1,000 of the outstanding principal of the Bonds as of September 1, 2021 comprised of (i) $517 per $1,000 of the outstanding principal of the Bonds as of September 1, 2021 (such amount, the "Purchase Price") plus (ii) $33 per $1,000 of the outstanding principal of the Bonds as of September 1, 2021 (in lieu of accrued and unpaid interest on the Bonds calculated through October 19, 2021) (such amount, the "Accrued Interest Payment");

2. Redemption of Non-Tendered Bonds: Subject to consents from eligible holders of more than 75% of the aggregate principal amount outstanding of the Bonds, Bonds held by eligible holders who do not tender prior to the expiration date of the Offer will be redeemed in cash (the "Redemption") on the date of settlement, with a cash payment equal to $517 per $1,000 of the outstanding principal of the Bonds as of September 1, 2021 and will not receive the Accrued Interest Payment;

3. Contingency Account: In addition to the cash payments described above, as provided in the existing trust indenture, all eligible holders will be entitled to a cash payment of approximately $1 per $1,000 of the outstanding principal of the Bonds as of September 1, 2021, which will be equal to such holders' pro rata share of the aggregate amount in the contingency account held by the trustee under the trust indenture;

4. Marine Conservation Endowment Account: Belize has committed, as an integral part of the transaction, to prefund in full (in the amount of $23.4 million), at settlement, a Marine Conservation Endowment Account. This endowment account, which will be administered by an affiliate of The Nature Conservancy ("TNC"),will be devoted to supporting future marine conservation projects in Belize; and

5. Expenses: Belize has agreed to reimburse, on the date of settlement, reasonable and documented fees and expenses of legal counsel to the Committee up to a certain amount.

Belize expects to launch the Offer in the short term, subject to the finalization of an Offer to Purchase and Consent Solicitation Statement, and will seek the support of all other eligible holders of the Bonds.

Belize expects to finance the purchase of the Bonds with funding provided by TNC in connection with their Blue Bonds for Ocean Conservation program (the "Blue Bonds Financing"), which uses private capital to refinance public debt of participating countries in order to support durable marine conservation efforts and sustainable marine-based economic activity. Belize's offer to repurchase the Bonds for cash will be conditional on the consummation of the Blue Bond Financing. As part of the Blue Bonds Financing, Belize would accelerate its marine conservation commitments, including enhanced protections for its coastline, reef and ocean territory as well as the funding of an endowment to support future marine conservation projects in Belize. Belize has reached agreement in principle regarding the key commercial terms of the Blue Bonds Financing with TNC, and with Credit Suisse Group AG and/or its affiliated entities, which is arranging the Blue Bonds Financing. The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation is expected to provide political risk insurance in connection with the Blue Bonds Financing. The parties are working to finalize the definitive documents and consummate the Blue Bonds Financing.

In addition to the consummation of the Blue Bonds Financing, the consummation of the Offer and the Redemption is subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, including the receipt of valid tenders and consents from eligible holders of more than 75% of the aggregate principal amount outstanding of the Bonds.

The deadline for Belize to settle the offer will be November 19, 2021, which is intended to provide time for the parties to finalize the definitive documentation and consummate the Blue Bond Financing.

If the Offer is consummated, Belize will retire all its outstanding Bonds through the Offer and the Redemption (facilitated by the use of the collective action clause provision contained in the trust indenture). The resulting cash flow savings will materially assist in the alleviation of the devastating consequences of the COVID 19 pandemic as well as help to achieve important environmental conservation goals. Further, the consummation of the Offer, together with Belize's Homegrown Economic program and fiscal consolidation, will pave the way for strong and long-lasting economic growth and the furtherance of critical marine conservation objectives.

Important Notice

This press release is for informational purposes only and is not an offer of securities for sale in the United States or a solicitation of consents of any holders of securities, and none of the Bonds has been or sill be registered under the Securities Act of 1933 (the "Securities Act") or the securities laws of any other jurisdiction Unless they are registered under the Securities Act, the Bonds may be offered only in transactions that are exempt from registration under the Securities Act. This press release does not constitute an offer of the Bonds for sale, or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, in any state or other jurisdiction in which any offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful. This press release does not constitute, and may not be used in connection with an offer or solicitation in any place where offers or solicitations are not permitted by law

This press release and any other documents and/or materials relating hereto is not being made and the press release and such documents and/or materials have not been approved by an authorized person for the purposes of section 21 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 Accordingly, this press release is not being made and related documents and/or materials have not been distributed and must not be passed on, to persons in the United Kingdoms ("UK") other than (i) persons falling within Article 43(2) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005 (the "Order"), including existing members and creditors of Belize or (ii) any other persons to whom they may otherwise lawfully be made or distributed under the Order (all suchpersons described in (i) and (ii) above together being referred to as "Relevant Persons In the UK any investment or investment activity to which this press release or any related documents and/or materials relate is available only to Relevant Persons and will be engaged in only with Relevant Persons. Airy person in the UK who is not a Relevant Person should not act or rely on this press release or any related documents and/or materials or any of its or their contents.

NONE OF BELIZE OR ITS ADVISORS NOR ANY OF THEIR RESPECTIVE OFFICIALS DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES; AFFILIATES, AGENTS OR REPRESENTATIVES HAVE MADE ANY RECOMMENDATIONAS TO WHETHER HOLDERS SHOULD PARTICIPATE INANY CONSENT SOLICITATION OR TENDER OFFER THAT MAY BE ANNOUNCED BY BELIZE.

Forward-Looking Statements

All statements in this press release, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements. These statements are based on expectations and assumptions on the date of this press release and are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, ',Mich could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in such statements. Risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, market conditions, and factors over which Belize has no control. Belize assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements, and does not intend to do so, unless otherwise required by law

Questions regarding this press release may be directed to Joseph Waight (email: [email protected]; telephone +501 822 3866).

Re: Agreement in Principle on International Bonds, "Superbonds" [Re: Marty] #552474
09/04/21 04:48 AM
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Free At Last, “Superbondage” At An End

The "Superbond" - 7News coined the term back in 2006 - when the then Musa Administration amalgamated all their expensive commercial debt - 1 billion Belize dollars at the time - and packaged it off into a single lower interest bond offering.

Well, tonight we are happy to report that 15 years later - we'll soon be able to retire the term "Superbond" - because government is buying it all back - at a huge discount.

Now, you're probably asking what they are buying it back with - since government is so broke. Well it's a unique arrangement - called a Blue Bond - where the Washington based Nature Conservancy is basically finding the money for government to buy out the bondholders - and pay back the reduced principal at a lower interest rate over a longer period of time.

For the 572 million US dollar Superbond, which has been renegotiated twice since it was launched in 2006 - this is an end to a rocky road which will bring relief to both the broke government and the beleaguered bondholders.

First, government is buying back the bonds at a significant discount, about 55 cents on the dollar - and it will amount to a savings of a minimum of 225 million US dollars - almost half a billion Belize dollars. The interest rate on the new Blue Bond - is also expected to finish up at somewhere between 3 and 4% - whereas Government is now paying 5%. The term on the re-payment is also expected to be extended by 7 years.

So, a winning deal for Belize - hundreds of millions saved in principal and interest - but the numbers part of it doesn't tell the full story - the broad arc is that Belize is getting this deal to enhance its marine conservation efforts.

A press release says "Belize has committed, as an integral part of the transaction, to prefund in full (in the amount of $23.4 million), at settlement, a Marine Conservation Endowment Account (which)…will be devoted to supporting future marine conservation projects in Belize.

And, this is the heart of the deal - The Nature Conservancy is sourcing the funding for Belize to purchase the Bonds. It's part of a wider program called "Blue Bonds for Ocean Conservation which uses private capital to refinance public debt to support marine conservation efforts and sustainable marine-based economic activity." From what we are told, this is the largest sovereign debt restructuring ever to use this Blue Bond model.

And while it all looks good on paper - there are still two more critical steps to go. First, government - working with the Nature Conservancy - has to secure the 370 million US dollars to buy the bonds and settle all closing costs, and then they have to get 75% of the bondholders to agree to this new deal - currently about 50% have said they support it.

But, even with just the broad outline it's a major reset and a landmark accomplishment. And today at the Hose of Representatives in Belmopan, the Prime Minister said it was a long process of negotiation:

Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister
"The first point I want to make that this had been a long drawn out process between the committee of the bondholders and the government of Belize in trying to come up with an agreement to renegotiate the superbond. This is just the first step and I must say I am very proud of our team that we worked very hard. I promised the Belizean people that we were going to find how we can renegotiate this superbond to be able to find savings and relief for the Belizean people. The second point at the moment we are still finalizing the financial aspect on how we're going to finance this transaction. We are confident that we are going to accomplish that. And the third point is that for us to consummate this deal, we must have a 75% buy in of the bondholders. Now this is the best deal that we can offer to the bondholders and it's either all in or nothing so I just want to make it very clear that we hope and expect that we could reach the 75% threshold so by doing that we can get rid of the entire super bond and come up with what we call now the blue bonds that we will be moving it from that once we do the financing and all that but I just want to reiterate that this is the best deal we can offer to the bondholders."

Reporter:
"How important is TNC in this deal?"

Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister
"TNC, through their efforts and with credit we are working on the financing of this deal, but I'll be able to give more details, exciting things that will happen once that is consummated next week."

"Our forests is not going to be held in trust its going to be more marine conservation and it's going to be conservation beyond the reef, into our exclusive economic zone."

Channel 7


Re: Agreement in Principle on International Bonds, "Superbonds" [Re: Marty] #552542
09/08/21 04:32 AM
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Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño addresses the nation on major breakthrough in the bond negotiation.


PM Celebrates Blue Bond

Prime Minister John Briceno today released an address to the nation discussing the historic retirement of the Superbond. As we told you, government is buying it over - for cents on the dollar - and they're getting the funds to do that from what's called a Blue bond - a unique instrument derived from the value of Belize's marine resource.

The PM discussed the savings to Belize in the 9 minute statement:

Hon. John Briceno - Prime Minister

"This deal calls for a 48.3% discount to the face value of the super bond for those holders that tenders viewing the offer period a payment in lieu of accrued interest on the bonds. The government proposes to raise the money for the discounted repurchase through a loan from an affiliate of the nature conservancy. In connection with that loan, government will accelerate it's marine conservative policies in a manner that will dramatically enhance the preservation of Belize's precious seas, coral reefs and fish stocks. Belize's public debt will be instantly reduced by almost 500 million Belize dollars. To put this in perspective, 12 cents of every dollar of the public debt will be eliminated. This arrangement will also direct on average 8 million Belize dollars annually to marine conservation projects and upgrading the protection and management of our marine patrimony. Government proposes to capitalize a marine conservation endowment, who's investment earnings over the next 20 years will grow to 184 million Belize dollars. This endowment has been designed to ensure conservation project in perpetuity. In the short term, under the existing terms of the super bond, Belize would have been required to pay some 245 million dollars in interest alone during the 5 year term of our administration. With our proposals government will pay 115 million dollars in interest, thus generating cash flow savings of 130 million Belize dollars. Even after netting out the anticipated cost of the funding requirement for this operation, we expect that canceling the super bond will save for the Belizean tax payer more than 530 million Belize dollars in gross debt repayments. My administration promised you debt reduction and debt relief, this proposal delivers both in spades."

The PM stressed that it is not yet a done deal - as government has to get the support of 75% of the bondholders - it currently has close to 50%.

Channel 7


Re: Agreement in Principle on International Bonds, "Superbonds" [Re: Marty] #552570
09/09/21 04:44 AM
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Belize Had to Build Credibility with Super Bond Holders

The proposed agreement between the government and the Creditors’ Committee for the holders of the super bond developed during eight months of negotiations. When he appeared on Open Your Eyes this morning, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Chris Coye said first the government had to build credibility, illustrated through tough decisions to address the nation’s fiscal challenges and Belize’s homegrown recovery plan. The salary cut for teachers and public officers was one of those choices that he said the government had to take from early on as part of that plan to rescue the economy. Those measures, he said, put us in a better position to negotiate with the bondholders.

Chris Coye, Minister of State, Finance


“As we started our negotiations with bondholders, we went through a process where we put forward a bond exchange offer first. We didn’t go with a cash offer. Then when we engaged with the TNC, and we reached a point where we felt that we could integrate both processes, that’s when we went with that cash offer with the TNC. If you recall, in the very early days of the administration, we went through a process at the Senate of ratifying the New York Convention on Foreign Arbitral Awards, and there was all this concern over what it really meant and all of that. That was a significant part of going through the TNC negotiations. That represented an opening for us to get political risk insurance from the U.S’s International Development Finance Corporation. Without that ratification, we would not have been eligible for that political risk insurance. So that, in effect, was a signal that we were already negotiating with them from way back then.”

Super Bond Holders Offered Incentives

Coye went on to explain what the formal offer will be that the government will launch on the Super Bond on Thursday. Included in it is an incentive for bondholders who sign on to the government’s offer.

Christopher Coye, Minister of State, Finance


“What that offer will be is fifty-five cents on the dollar. That fifty-five cents is split into two components: fifty-one point seven cents will be the principal component, the principal haircut; and the three-point three cents that add up to that fifty-five cents is the past-due interest. Remember government hasn’t paid interest for roughly a year now, so that has added up and is due. What the proposition is, once the offer is launched, is for us to try and reach that seventy-five percent threshold by November nineteenth. Between, let’s say, tomorrow and November nineteenth the bondholders will have the opportunity to sign up to that offer. If they do sign up to that offer, they will get the full fifty-five cents, including the past-due interest. If we reach the seventy-five percent threshold before November nineteenth, and you, a bondholder, didn’t sign up by November nineteenth, you will not get that three point three cents on the dollar. This is cash that will come from a third party. We don’t have that cash, so from our – in this scenario, we have already negotiated as best as we can with the TNC and Credit Suisse, who is really the underwriter, to get those funds. We are at the same time looking at our ability to service that debt. So, where we are as a government, we’re on the edge with the TNC as to what they are prepared to put out – or what Credit Suisse is prepared to put out. We can’t go any further. This is the best that we can offer to the bondholders. If the bondholders don’t take up this deal, I don’t know – TNC withdraws from the table, I don’t know how we will service the super bond.”

Former PM Weighs in on Super Bond and TNC Agreement

The albatross that is Belize’s massive external debt is a collective burden, some of which may be lifted off our shoulders in the weeks ahead, thanks to a new agreement being hammered out with bondholders. While he is yet to be given the specifics, former Prime Minister Dean Barrow welcomes the arrangement.

Dean Barrow, Former Prime Minister


“I think it’s a good thing, subject to certain caveats, but I think it would be an excellent thing if this could be consummated. It would remove this Damocles sword from over their heads of the Belizean public. I don’t know all the details of the preliminary agreement, but for sure TNCs raising of the money to buy out the bonds would mean that, not necessarily that government and people would not have to pay back that money to TNC. They would become the owners of the bonds and we would still have to service that payment, but in Belize dollars. And in any event, it would be at a savings apart from the foreign exchange relief, which we desperately need and which we would get. I believe the terms of payment would be less onerous by far than the terms of payment that currently govern the bond when the bond is owned by foreign bond holders. So, I think it would be a wonderful coo, a wonderful achievement for the government and people of Belize, and I hope, sincerely that it does absolutely materialize.”

Channel 5

Re: Agreement in Principle on International Bonds, "Superbonds" [Re: Marty] #552673
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Belize Commences Offer to Buy Superbond

Today, the government announced that Belize has officially commenced an offer to buy back the super bond, and the solicitation of consents from bondholders. Through the arrangement, Belize is proposing to finance the purchase of the bonds through funding via The Nature Conservancy. TNC uses private capital to refinance public debt in support of marine conservation efforts and eco-friendly sustainable marine-based activity. As a part of this, Belize will fund a twenty-three point four million-dollar marine conservation trust that would help protect the coral reef which has seen significant damage in the past. Under the proposed deal, eligible holders who tender their bonds will receive fifty-five cents for every dollar in outstanding principal. The U.S. five hundred and twenty-six point five-million-dollar bond becomes due in 2034. Even before the official presentation on Friday, two bondholders expressed interest. They are Vontobel, an investment firm that holds about ten percent, and Candriam, which holds two point two percent of the bonds. Belize needs to have seventy-five percent of the bondholders agree to the offer.

Channel 5

Re: Agreement in Principle on International Bonds, "Superbonds" [Re: Marty] #552886
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Belize Nears Seventy Five Percent Approval From Bond Holders

The bondholders are in discussion to review the proposal by the Government to buy out the bonds for cash at fifty-five cents on the dollar. The discussions are promising as Belize is near the 75 percent approval needed from the bondholders.


Re: Agreement in Principle on International Bonds, "Superbonds" [Re: Marty] #552917
09/25/21 04:46 AM
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Superbond Done! - GOB Gets 84% Agreement

It is accomplished - the Superbond done! That's the news coming out of New York City tonight where the owners of 84% of the bonds have agreed to sell it back to the government for 55 cents on the dollar. That's called "supermajority consent" and it means that even if the holders of the remaining 16% of the bonds don't agree to the terms - the deal will still go through at the agreed price.

So, all this means the half a billion US dollar Superbond - will now be retired, and government will now issue a Blue Bond, which will source private capital to refinance the public debt. But the country will get those funds at low interest through the efforts of The Nature Conservancy, which has set up the deal so that part of the money will be put aside for marine conservation efforts and sustainable marine-based economic activity.

Prime Minister, John Briceño is in New York and is quoted as saying, "We are attempting to achieve, in this one transaction, both significant debt relief and the long-term protection of Belize's precious marine environment." To still try and go for 100% buy-in from the bondholders, the Government has extended the offer to October 15, 2021.

Channel 7

===================

Finally, Belize Successfully Negotiates Super Bond!

Belize has successfully negotiated the Super Bond and the Briceño administration announced late this evening that, “the Government of Belize is delighted that the vast majority of holders of the government’s only international bond have indicated their support for this proposed transaction.” Prime Minister John Briceño went to state, “we are attempting to achieve, in this one transaction, both significant debt relief and the long-term protection of Belize’s precious marine environment.”

As a result of receiving these Tender Orders, the Super-Majority Consent Condition described in the Statement has been satisfied. However, the Offer and Exit Amendments set forth in the Statement remain subject to the satisfaction of the Financing Condition and General Conditions described in the Statement. In order to provide Holders of Bonds that have not yet tendered an additional opportunity to submit Tender Orders, the Government hereby extends the Expiration Time for the Offer to October fifteenth, 2021 at five p.m. New York City time (unless further extended by the Government in its sole discretion pursuant to the terms of the Statement).

Any Eligible Holder who tenders Bonds after the date hereof but prior to the Expiration Time (as extended) will be eligible to receive the Purchase Price and the Contingency Account Distribution on the Settlement Date, but, because the Consent Deadline is not being extended, such tendering Holders will not be eligible to receive the Accrued Interest Payment. As previously announced, if the Indenture is amended as proposed in the Statement, any Bonds that are not validly tendered prior to the Expiration Time will be redeemed and cancelled on the Redemption Date, which will be the Settlement Date.

Channel 5

Re: Agreement in Principle on International Bonds, "Superbonds" [Re: Marty] #552966
09/28/21 04:55 AM
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Briceno On Blue Bond

Before the break we showed you the Prime Minister talking about his first presentation to the United Nation's General Assembly on Friday.

As viewers will remember, however, the big news coming out of New York last Friday was that his government was able to successfully convince the majority of Belize's bondholders to cash in the Superbond at a substantial discount to the nation.

The government will buy back those bonds at a discount, and it will issue what is known as a Blue Bond. The Washington-based Nature Conservancy has agreed to find the money for the government to buy out the bondholders and pay back the reduced principal at a lower interest rate over a longer period of time.

The holders of 84% of the current bonds have agreed to sell it back, which provides the government with what is known as "supermajority consent".

On Saturday, we asked the Prime Minister to discuss the coming end of the "Superbond", which became a favorite political football in Belize's local politics. Here's what he had to say:

Hon. John Briceno - Prime Minister
"It's certainly very exciting, and from the moment that we had the bondholder's committee sign-on, we were very excited and felt that we would be able to reach that 75% mark. But, it's nothing like when it happens because you're always wondering something might now come up. And then, to have a thing - [the] last count it was about 85% that had signed up. It shows that the bondholders have - they realize that 1, it a fairly good deal for them, but they also realize that they are going to be joining Belize in its conservation efforts because by cashing in their bond, it will now allow Belize to issue new bonds called the blue bonds. And, the interesting thing about the new bonds is that approximately one-third of those bonds will be paid in Belize dollars. So, it's going to be about 300 million dollars roughly, US dollars. 200 million US is going to be paid back to the bondholders, and then, 100 million US will be paid in Belize dollars over the years up to 2040, and by 2040, we're going to have a permanent conservation fund for marine conservation that will be valued at about 200 million dollars."

As you may recall, the Superbond was an amalgamation of Belize's expensive commercial debt under the Musa Government back in 2006, which amounted to 1 billion Belize dollars at the time. It was packaged off into a single lower interest bond offering.

So, with the end of the Superbond on the horizon, we asked the Prime Minister if his administration is simply righting a historic wrong committed by a past PUP Government. Here's what he had to say on that:

Hon. John Briceno - Prime Minister
"The debt relief is that immediately, our debt to GDP is going to go down by about 12%. So, 12 cents of every dollar is going to disappear or be written off. Secondly, it is going to help our government, our cash flow management, to be able to get to positive growth. We will be saving approximately 135 million dollars over the next 4 years. It basically means that we don't have to find 135 million dollars to be able to pay the bondholders. It does not mean that we have 135 million dollars. It just means that we do not have to be scrambling and trying to find that 135 million dollars to make the payments to the bondholders. So it's great cash flow relief, and it's starting to move us toward what we promised, that we're going to get to debt sustainability."

Reporter
"Now, sir, the more cynical residents of Belize would take the view that by finalizing this agreement, this PUP Administration is simply cleaning up a mess that a previous administration had created in the first place. How would you respond to that?"

Hon. John Briceno
"Absolutely not, that's nonsense, anybody [who] would want to take that on, or to make that argument because when we put together the Superbond, remember, there was a number of high-interest loans that were made during the PUP Government. We put all of them together. As opposed to being owing all over the place, we set it as 1 bond, brought down the interest rate, and the projections that we had is that we were going to have an economy that would grow. Unfortunately, we had a UDP government for 13 years and as opposed to having growth, we had negative growth."

Min of State For Finance Breaks Down Superbond

This morning, Chris Coye, the Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, spoke via Zoom to the hosts of Sun-up on 7. He provided a few more details on how the new Blue Bonds will work:

Hon. Chris Coye - Minister of State, Ministry of Finance
"The Government of Belize owes over 4 billion dollars in debt. The Superbond represents over 1.1 billion Belize dollars in debt, out of that 4.1 billion dollars in debt. What we've done is reduce those 1.1 billion dollars in debt by roughly half a billion dollars."

"In a sense, if we look at it, each one of us, if you take 4 billion dollars, for example, and divide it by 400,000 as our population, each one of us pretty much owes - man, woman, and child - over 10 thousand dollars."

"So if you reduce it by 10 to 12%, on this one transaction, we've slashed off a thousand off what each one of us owes."

"Remember, there are essentially 2 different negotiations that are ongoing. 1 - and this is the one that's very public, the one with the Superbond, and what we've negotiated, and what we've agreed in terms of that discount, that 55 cents on the dollar that they're taking. But, we have to pay. We have to pay that 55 cents still, and where we're getting the money to pay that is through the Blue Bond arrangement that we're organizing through the Nature Conservancy, and their underwriter, Credit Suisse. So, that's what we have to still firm up, and we're in that process. Over the next few weeks, we have a lot of work to do to get completed."

"This is, probably by far, the largest such transaction in the world ever. I think prior to this, there was a transaction of around 20 million by Seychelles, and now, this is over 300 million. So, it dwarfs that kind of transaction. But yes, it puts Belize in the forefront as far as its innovativeness and creativity, to achieve debt reduction, while at the same time enhancing conservation, and as I said in this, marine conservation. On the conservation side, part of the Blue Bond, and the financing being secured through the Blue Bond is to pre-fund an endowment of a conservation trust fund for marine conservation. That pre-funding is a little over 23 million US dollars, but also, Government commits to roughly a little over 8 million dollars Belize per year to contribute into that trust fund, with the intent that by the end of this term, which is roughly 19 years, we will have around 200 million dollars in that trust fund, which will then fund marine conservation initiatives in perpetuity."

IN a press release sent out today, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry said, quote, "our support for this innovative Blue Bond Financing strategy is premised on the structure of the new instrument, which, among other things, ultimately represents close to a 12% reduction in Belize's overall national debt, thereby, alleviating the strain on the country's foreign assets." End quote.

Channel 7



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White Sands Dive Shop - 5 Star PADI Dive Facility - Daily diving, SCUBA instruction and Snorkeling
Caribbean Inspired All Natural Condiments & Spice Blends, Over 100 are Gluten Free!
We handle all aspects of the purchase of your Real Estate in Belize. From in depth property searches to your final closing.
Click for Ian Anderson's Caves Branch, Welcome to a World of Adventure
Lil Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
Coastal Xpress offers a daily scheduled ferry run to most resorts, restaurants and private piers on the island of Anbergris Caye. We also offer  private and charter water taxi service.
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