Belize’s government proposed extending maturities and cutting the coupon on the country’s $544 million of defaulted debt as part of the Central American nation’s second debt restructuring since 2007.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s plan would extend the maturity on the defaulted bonds to 2038 from 2029 and lower the current coupon to 5 percent from 8.5 percent. Barrow, speaking to the lower house in Belmopan, said the agreement would provide the country $247 million in relief over the next 10 years.
“There is no reason to fear that with this massive package of debt relief, there can be any chance of Belize defaulting again,” Barrow said.
Belize missed a $23 million coupon payment on its bonds in August. It later paid half the amount as talks with creditors continued.
The House of Representatives will vote on the terms of the agreement today, followed by a Senate vote tomorrow, Barrow said.
The price on Belize’s 2029 debt fell 2.4 cents to 57.14 cents on the dollar at 1:19 p.m. New York time.
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