Broad Warning For Superbond Holders - 03/20/21 10:27 AM
The next Superbond payment is due on May 20th and a broke GOB will likely be unable to pay. It's unclear yet if they will ask for a haircut, or if they will default, but a release to creditors this evening sets the stage for a dire negotiation.
It's in the form of a comprehensive Economic Update detailing the current state of the economy and the government's finances.
The report points to the drought, the rough hurricane season and the COVID 19 pandemic, and concludes, quote, "Belize closed the year as one of the hardest-hit countries in the regionâ€¦.Today, the situation is grim, and the downside risks remain important. Public debt levels are unsustainable." End quote.
The presentation adds, "Tackling the COVID-19 pandemic required an increase in government spending, while a steep fall in revenues led to a historic and dangerous increase in the primary deficit, reaching 8.3% for 2020â€¦.Today, public debt as % of GDP is at 126% compared with 98% of GDP in 2019. Public sector gross funding needs are well above the IMF sustainability thresholds." End quote.
It also says, quote, "Without a fiscal adjustment program, we expect the debt level to remain in dangerously high territory, further increasing the debt service burden." End quote.
It also warns, quote, "Commercial banks hold a large portion of government debt and have reached the limits of theirâ€¦capacity. Their continued support to restore government debt sustainability cannot be taken for granted."
It's a dire picture and sets the stage for government to quote, "Restructure its debt with the support from external creditorsâ€¦ The Government of Belize expects shortly to commence discussions with its commercial creditors regarding measures to address the economic damage to Belize resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic." End quote.