$132M interest paid to banks on $30B GuySuCo bond

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Government has repaid some $132 million in interest owed on the $30 billion bond borrowed for the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) by the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL).

“The first payment came up on 24th of (May). We have been able to make that payment, with some stress. But we did make it, we didn’t default on it. The interest is $1.6 billion. The next payment is in November. Every six months,” Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan told Inews.

The SPU under NICIL secured the $30 billion through commercials banks, both in Guyana and the Region, as part of the diversification initiatives for the sugar industry.

The commercial lending rate for Guyana at the time was 13.0 per cent, while the NICIL bond was issued at 4.75 per cent, which is 8.25 per cent lower than the rate that most companies borrow at in Guyana.

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has previously said that in the case of the GuySuCo bond, “In five years, at a 4.75 per cent interest, which is 355 basis points above our treasury bill, the Government of Guyana will have to pay back from the proceeds of NICIL nearly US$40 million in about five years just to service $30 billion.”

He has also previously said that instead of selling off, steps should be taken to resuscitate the industry in full capacity so that the workers can start earning an income again.

Since this year began, no word has come from the Government as to the position of those four sugar estates it had shut down which had resulted in thousands of sugar workers being left jobless.

The four closed estates are at Rose Hall, Skeldon, Enmore and Wales.