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Sayonara Super Bond, Enter Blue Loan Agreement #553592
10/27/21 04:24 AM
10/27/21 04:24 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 82,916
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
The Briceno administration is making good on its word, following an announcement on September third, that government would be working to restructure its external indebtedness by retiring all of its U.S. dollar bonds due in 2034. This would bring some finality to Belize’s crushing Super Bond. By entering into an agreement with The Nature Conservancy, the government would seek to achieve a sustainable debt position and achieve certain marine conservation objectives. The House of Representatives met today in special session and among the bills that were tabled was a resolution authorizing the purchase and redemption of G.OB.’s U.S. dollar bonds. The proposal came before parliament this afternoon as the Blue Loan Agreement, the Conservation Funding Agreement and the Ancillary Agreements Motion 2021. It’s a move that will see over half a billion Belize dollars being struck off from the country’s external debt. Prime Minister and Minister of Finance John Briceno introduced the bill and explained what it means in terms of huge savings.

Prime Minister John Briceno

“The results of our negotiation. That forty-five percent discount will wipe away two hundred and fifty-seven million U.S. dollars or more than half a billion Belize dollars that Belize owed from principal, capitalized interest and past due interest. And the principal reinstatement has been averted, that’s another fifty-eight point four million U.S. dollars that we averted by these negotiations. Therefore, the total debt reduction, including the principal reinstatement we dodged is a staggering three hundred and fifteen million U.S. dollars. The motion and the bill today request this chamber’s authorization to pay off at the discount bondholders who have tendered their holdings. Those holders who have not tendered will have a period of two years to collect. At last report, eighty-seven percent of bondholders had, by tendering, endorsed Belize’s offer, far exceeding the seventy-five percent super majority our team had sought. The money to pay off the Super Bond is coming from the Blue Bonds, a financing mechanism designed by TNC, the Nature Conservancy and their banker, Credit Suisse. Belize will access some three hundred and sixty-three million dollars of these bonds for the following purposes: three hundred and one million for the discounted repayment of the Super Bond, twenty-four million to pre-fund a marine conservation endowment account, eighteen million set aside as an original issue discount in order to facilitate a lower interest rate.”

Channel 5

Re: Sayonara Super Bond, Enter Blue Loan Agreement [Re: Marty] #553620
10/28/21 04:40 AM
10/28/21 04:40 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 82,916
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Red Or Blue Bond?

It started on a Tuesday, and finished on a Wednesday - that's the best way to describe yesterday's very loaded house meeting. It wrapped at 12:38 AM this morning - the longest we've ever seen a meeting go when the budget was not on the agenda.

And it went that long because there was a whole lot of parliamentary business to get through - foremost among them the Resolution Authorising the Purchase and Redemption of the Superbond and the approval of the Blue Bond to take its place.

It's a major re-negotiation of sovereign debt which leverages Belize marine conservation record and resources to access low cost credit which will allow Belize to buy out the Superbond at 55 cents on the dollar.

Today it was announced that 87% of the bondholders agreed to the buyout - which satisfies the "super-majority" requirement - and the government of Belize will now move towards a final settlement with these bondholders for an agreed upon redemption price. For the Briceno administration - a big win with a negotiation that was perfectly played.

And, to make it a done deal, last night at about 10:00 pm, both sides of the house supported the resolution - predictably, with both red and blue painting the bond in their party color - which, of course, turned what should have been a light debate into more chest-beating and finger-pointing:

Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister
"First we will slay the superbond jargon: dead forever and ever. Second, by tapping the so-called blue bonds, we will reduce the public debt by over half a billion dollars. Hear, leader of the opposition - over half a billion dollars. That's what this PUP government is doing. And third, we will establish marine conservation mechanisms to vastly improve the protection and management of our ocean and reef and finance an unprecedented multi-decade marine conservation program."

"Belize will owe less, pay back less for debt and invest more in marine conservation. Government's negotiating team after extended discussions with a bond holder committee secured a 45% discount on total amount Belize owed under the superbond contract. So, out of every dollar we owe, they are writing off 45 cents. Therefore, the total debt reduction including the principal reinstatement we dodge is a staggering 315 million US dollars. The money to pay off the superbond is coming from the blue bonds of financing mechanism designed by TNC and their banker."

"Play one - massive debt reduction and relief. Play two - dramatic conservation and climate policy advancements. Play three - safe funding for the governance and husbandry of our reef and oceans."

Hon. Shyne Barrow, UDP Mesopotamia
"I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the UDP Barrow administration for this red bond is what I think it should be called. This is a product of the UDP."

Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister
"Madam Speaker, the UDP, they don't have the intellectual fortitude to do what this government has just done. For 13 years they've been dealing with the superbond. How many times they have gone to just kick the can down the road. You have not the idea, the comprehension, the competence to get something like this done. It was the very same NGO's, it's on video when they were saying that for the past 4 or 6 years they've been trying to negotiate, not 500 million, 100 million and they couldn't get it done. They couldn't comprehend how to get it done and now you want talk that you all started it out."

"One of your own strongest supporters, I would not mention the person's name, put it on facebook that nothing comes before its time. That's what the person said, that you had 2 opportunities to do it and you did zero. You could not get it done, because you don't have this (pointing at head)."

Hon. Patrick Faber, Leader of the Opposition
"We will support the bill. This is good for Belize, we saw that long ago. It is a UDP brain child. I have in my hand here a document from the TNC. This document is dated July 15th, 2020, was on the latter days of the UDP. You know what is disturbing about the prime minister's position, I wonder if he doesn't believe that the TNC people know that he's not being honest, because when he says the UDP never engage with the TNC to bring about a blue bond, the TNC people knew that they did. We met with the TNC people on Friday, did we not brother and sister? we did and the TNC people, in fact you know what was the first question that my caucus ask the TNC people, how is this different between what is being proposed by the government now and what the July 2020 proposed agreement with the TNC would have been for this same kind of arrangement."

Channel 7

Re: Sayonara Super Bond, Enter Blue Loan Agreement [Re: Marty] #553647
10/29/21 04:53 AM
10/29/21 04:53 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 82,916
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
GOB external debt restructuring includes plan to protect the environment; Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve under threat

The Government of Belize (GOB) has been working to restructure its external debt by addressing its US dollar bonds, known as the Super Bond. In September government announced an agreement with the bondholders and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to buy out the debt. By entering into this agreement with TNC, GOB would achieve conservation objectives, including key areas in the country set aside for protection and management. One of these areas is the Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve, a World Heritage Site in northern Ambergris Caye. This area, unfortunately, is afflicted by illegal activities such as hunting and fishing with little to no enforcement/intervention by the respective authorities. Another matter of concern is a proposal announced by Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño to build a road through the Bacalar Chico area and connect Ambergris Caye to Mexico via a bridge.

For years Belize has struggled to meet its obligations regarding the Super Bond, a multi-million debt. The Briceño administration opted for the resolution authorizing the purchase and redemption of the US dollar bonds and took the proposal to parliament on Tuesday, October 26th as the Blue Loan Agreement, the Conservation Funding Agreement, and the Ancillary Agreements Motion 2021. This move is expected to see half a billion Belize dollars removed from the country’s external debt. According to Briceño, this strategy will result in huge savings for the country. The money to pay off the Super Bond comes from what is called Blue Bonds, a financing mechanism designed by TNC. Belize will also access $24 million to pre-fund a marine conservation endowment account. These funds are the ones reportedly to be used to protect and manage critical areas across the country.

Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun

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