Zero Hedge
0
All posts from Zero Hedge
Zero Hedge in Zero Hedge,

Puerto Rico Makes Only 1% Of Required Payment On Public Finance Corporation Bonds - Full Statement

Over the weekend Puerto Rico was supposed to make a modest principal and interest payment of some $58 million due on Public Finance Corp. bonds, which however few expected would be satisfied. As a reminder, on Friday, Victor Suarez, the chief of staff for Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla, said during a press conference in San Juan that the government simply does not have the money.

Moments ago Melba Acosta, president of the Government Development Bank, confirmed as much, when he announced that only $628,000 of the $58 million payment, or just about 1%, had been paid.

Below is the full statement from Acosta on the service of PFC Bonds:

Today, Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico ("GDR") President Melba Acosta Febo issued the following statement on the service of Public Finance Corporation (PFC) bonds:

 

Due to the lack of appropriated funds for this fiscal year the entirety of the PFC payment was not made today. This was a decision that reflects the serious concerns about the Commonwealth's liquidity in combination with the balance of obligations to our creditors and the equally important obligations to the people of Puerto Rico to ensure the essential services they deserve are maintained.

 

"PFC did make a partial payment of Interest in respect of its outstanding bonds. The partial payment was made from funds remaining from prior legislative appropriations in respect of the outstanding promissory notes securing the PFC bonds. In accordance with the terms of these bonds, which stipulate that these obligations are payable solely from funds specifically appropriated by the Legislature, PFC applied these funds—totaling approximately $628.000—to the August 1 payment."

In other words, small or not, PR has failed a mandatory principal repayment and is now in default under the PFC bonds. Up next, as per Bloomberg's preview "the default promises to escalate the debt crisis racking the island, where officials are pushing for what may be the biggest restructuring ever in the municipal market."

“An event like this is significant enough that it could hurt prices for Puerto Rico bonds,” said Richard Larkin, director of credit analysis at Herbert J Sims & Co. in Boca Raton, Florida. “I can’t believe a default on debt with Puerto Rico’s name will go unnoticed.”

It is unclear if creditors will now threaten the commonwealth with a "temporary" expulsion from the dollarzone as part of their hardball negotiating tactics.