Archive for October, 2012

CARICOM official representative visits Belize

Monday, October 29th, 2012

During the two-day official visit of secretary-general of CARICOM Irwin LaRocque to Belize, he had meeting with Belizean private sector, encouraging them to use the opportunities provided under the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). He talked to the Belizean businessmen about the measures that are being undertaken for the growth of trade within the Caribbean Community, and the arising opportunities for higher volumes of exports to other markets.

During the meeting, the discussions also related to the role of Belize jurisdiction as a possible way to increase trade and business relationship between CARICOM and Central America. The Belizean business community talked about their concerns and brought forward suggestions how to improve the trading relations within the organization.

Irwin LaRosque also had meetings with youth representatives, and a long interaction with Belizean media during which discussed the ways how to improve information flow in Belize with respect to the Caribbean Community.

Belize PM aims for creditor superbond deal within month

Friday, October 5th, 2012

On October 2, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said that Belize hopes to strike a deal with creditors to restructure its $550 million ‘superbond’ within one month.

It should be reminded that the jurisdiction missed a $23.5 million interest payment on the sovereign bond in August and made a partial payment of $11.7 million on Sept. 20 when a 30-day grace period ended.

Creditors agreed in September to grant Belize a second 60-day grace period as a sign of good faith as talks continue.

Barrow said: “We actually hope we can reach a point with the bondholders where we can launch the debt exchange offer by the end of October … not later than very early in November”. He also added that he does not see any difficulty we would have in meeting the deadlines.

After the interest rate on the superbond rose to 8.5% this year from 6%, Belize said it could not afford to service its debt. The government of Belize has laid out 3 proposals for rescheduling its bond payments, shocking analysts with its suggestion that they take a haircut of up to 45% on their investment. It has asked the Inter-American Development Bank for a partial guarantee on its debt and Barrow ruled out any possibility of a bailout from the IMF.

Belize government paid part of its debt

Monday, October 1st, 2012

After missing the US$23 million payment on the debt issue on August 20 and failure to make any payments on US$544 million bond deal during the monthly grace period that expired on September 19, Belize has paid US$11.7 million – almost half of the owed sum.

This payment has given Belize a 60-day time period, during which major creditors have reportedly agreed to refrain from taking legal remedies against the country, to allow restructuring negotiations to continue.

AJ Mediratta of Greylock Capital Management, co-chair of the committee representing the majority of bondholders, said: “The government’s decision on the coupon payment was taken in consultation with the (bondholder) committee and we consider it a material and good faith step in the right direction.”

The Belize government has given three proposals for rescheduling its bond payments, which were not agreed with by creditors. However, by words of financial adviser to the committee, bondholders are hoping that an agreement that balances the interests of both parties could be reached in the nearest term.