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Belize plays hardball with lenders of $544 million

Monday, August 20, 2012


Belize, a Central American nation with an economy the size of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, is running out of money to pay its debts. But the tiny country is playing hardball with its lenders.

Belize is insisting that creditors forgive 45 percent of what they are owed, or allow it to delay any debt payments for 15 years.

Otherwise, it says it won't make its next payment of $23.1 million due today. And if Belize and its bondholders don't reach a deal by September 19, the country will default on its $543.8 million in outstanding debt—making it the first sovereign default since Greece forced creditors to take a 53.5 percent loss in March.

Source: Wall Street Journal