Superbond deal close to “win-win” solution

Superbond deal

Creditors count on Belize using its lower interest rate to get on track for economic recovery.

PRAYER ALERT on Superbond deal. On March 6, creditor representatives endorsed Belize’s latest proposal to restructure its $2.3 billion debt. This comes as a relief to Belize after its creditors rejected its January proposal for a Superbond deal. Belize then missed its $26.6 million payment due on February 27. But it gained another delay till March 10. Belize’s latest proposal offers an interest rate of 4.9375% instead of its January offer of 4%. That rate beats the current rate if 5% by a fraction, but the upcoming August 20 6.76% rate by a wide margin. It allows Belize to save $50 million on its interest payments.

Moreover, the new Superbond deal allows Belize to make a huge cash flow saving of $600 million. It postpones the payment on the principal (the original amount of the loans) for 11 years from 2019 to 2030. But it will work only if, beginning in 2030, Belize makes five big annual payments until 2034. Our creditors like the fact that Belize now agrees to finish payments on the whole Superbond deal by 2034 instead of by the previous deadline of 2038. That’s why Channel 5 quoted one creditor representative as calling it a win-win solution.

Still, Belize must save enough by 2030 to start making those payments. Its cash flow savings of up to $600 million (more than one-quarter of the Superbond debt of $2.3 billion) gives Belize a great opportunity to do so by 2030. Will Belize squander this opportunity as it did the recent low-interest PetroCaribe loans from Venezuela? If so, the new Superbond deal says Belize must let the IMF (International Monetary Fund) prescribe corrective measures. IMF already does that yearly, but Belize rarely heeds them.

Each year Belize sinks deeper into debt. Likewise, the IMF antidotes grow more harsh and painful. In September the IMF called on Belize to raise taxes, cut wages, reduce pensions, stop corruption, and manage its dwindling funds more strictly. But unions demanded higher wages and pensions. Businesses protested impending tax hikes. And so far the new UN Commission Against Corruption has made little progress.

We expect creditors to vote on “win-win” Superbond deal this Friday, March 10. We must not only pray that they approve it—the third restructuring of Belize’s debt in a decade. But to also pray that God gives us grace to pay off our other daunting debts. And that God guides Belize down the narrow road to full recovery and prosperity in the grace period between now and 2030.

PRAY WITH US: Father God, we look to the cross for forgiveness of our sins and debts. Despite many warnings we have continued our sinful and reckless ways. The IMF is already prescribing painful measures for paying our debts. But Your prescription is Jesus. He told us to pray, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” We thank You that He took the punishment that brings us peace. We thank You that His wounds heal us.

So we place Belize under the cross. Through the fullness of His grace we have received one blessing after another. We ask for the blessing of forgiveness. Show Belize Your narrow way out of debt and into recovery. Make Your people shine Your light along that way. Help us live the abundant life that will show Belize how to prosper. Not only that, but reveal how we can save enough to pay our debts and invest in our future. We seek Your plans to prosper us and not to harm us. We rely on Your plans for our future and a hope. And let everyone know that our ultimate hope rests with Jesus alone. In Jesus’ name, amen.

DailyInsight. Prosperity gives you more opportunity to sin. Poverty forces you to seek a greater power (See Mt. 5:3).

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