Belize Announces New Debt Restructuring Terms

The government of Belize proposed new terms to restructure the country's $544 million in debt Tuesday in an offer that extended the maturity of the debt and reduced coupon payments, Dow Jones reported. In an address to the nation's House of Representatives, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said the terms of the new plan extend the defaulted bond's maturity to 2038, from 2029, while they reduce the coupon to 5%, from 8.5%. The agreement would provide the country $247 million in relief over the next 10 years, Mr. Barrow said. Belize and its creditors have been negotiating a debt restructuring ever since the Central American country defaulted in September, when it failed to make a $23.1 million interest payment. The proposed deal marks a major concession to creditors, who in August were asked to choose between a combination of concessions, including writing off 45% of the principal they were owed, allowing the country to delay any debt payments for 15 years, and reducing interest payments. Read more. (Subscription required.)