Western Hemisphere > Belize

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Mr. Tamon Asonuma, Mr. Michael G. Papaioannou, Eriko Togo, and Mr. Bert van Selm
This paper examines the causes, processes, and outcomes of Belize’s 2016–17 sovereign debt restructuring—its third episode in last 10 years. As was the case in the earlier two restructurings, in 2006–07 and in 2012–13, the 2016–17 debt restructuring was executed through collaborative engagement with creditors outside an IMF-supported program. While providing liquidity relief and partially addressing long-term debt sustainability concerns, the restructuring will need to be underpinned by ambitious fiscal consolidation and growth-enhancing structural reforms to secure durable gains.
Mr. Tamon Asonuma, Gerardo Peraza, Kristine Vitola, and Mr. Takahiro Tsuda
This paper examines the causes, processes, and outcomes of the two Belize sovereign debt restructurings in 2006–07 and in 2012–13 that occurred outside of an IMF-supported program. It finds that the motivation for the two debt restructurings differed, as the former was driven by external liquidity concerns while the latter was motivated by a substantial increase in the coupon rates and future fiscal solvency concerns. Despite differential treatment between residents and non-residents, both 2006–07 and 2012–13 debt exchanges were executed through collaborative engagement, due in part to the existence of a broad-based creditor committee and the authorities’ effective communication strategy. However, while providing temporary liquidity relief, neither of the debt restructurings properly addressed long-term debt sustainability concerns. Going forward, the success of the 2012–13 debt restructuring will still depend on the country’s ability to strengthen fiscal efforts and public debt management framework.