Puerto Rico Oversight Board overrules legislature on PREPA privatization spending

Link: https://fixedincome.fidelity.com/ftgw/fi/FINewsArticle?id=202105141647SM______BNDBUYER_00000179-6c0f-d5f6-a179-7e4fb2ce0001_110.1


The Puerto Rico Oversight Board voted to overrule the territory’s House of Representatives on spending for the privatization of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority transmission and distribution system.

On Wednesday the House voted 43 to 0 with 2 abstentions against authorizing a revision to this year?s General Fund budget allocating $750 million for the privatization.

On Thursday the board said it had used its budgetary powers in the Puerto Rico, Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act to overrule the House vote. On Saturday the board had sent a letter to the leadership of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives and Senate asking them to approve the funding and saying that if it did not the board would act without their approval.

The board said the monetary allocation was ?to ensure the necessary levels of working capital to operate PREPA?s electrical grid and comply with the agreement between LUMA Energy, PREPA and the P3 Authority, by which LUMA is to assume the operation and management of PREPA?s transmission and distribution system on June 1.?

Author(s): Robert Slavin

Publication Date: 14 May 2021

Publication Site: Fidelity Fixed Income News

Puerto Rico bond negotiations slog toward seventh year

Link: https://fixedincome.fidelity.com/ftgw/fi/FINewsArticle?id=202101251023SM______BNDBUYER_00000177-2bc5-dd67-a377-7bede5980001_110.1


Negotiations on Puerto Rico?s central government and electric power authority debts have extended for several years, leaving participants with clashing views of the length of time they have taken and the lack of resolution of the island’s debts.

A Feb. 10 deadline looms for the Oversight Board to at least submit a bond deal resolution proposal and several participants expect progress in the coming year.

Since the signing of PROMESA, the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act, Puerto Rico has been hit or at least shaken by Hurricane Maria, political protests forcing the exit of Ricardo Rossell?, earthquakes, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Author: Robert Slavin

Publication Date: 25 January 2021

Publication Site: Fidelity Fixed Income

Virgin Islands governor warns about worsening pension crisis

Link: https://fixedincome.fidelity.com/ftgw/fi/FINewsArticle?id=202101261722SM______BNDBUYER_00000177-4023-d154-a1f7-44abf1540001_110.1


U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Albert Bryan warned the territory’s underfunded pensions were becoming critical and said help is coming for the ailing power system.

Bryan addressed these and other financial topics in his annual state of the territory speech Tuesday evening.

The Virgin Islands government has about $3.35 billion of net pension liabilities.

“Last year, the Government Employees Retirement System sold off about $120 million in assets,” Bryan said. “There is now less than $455 million remaining in the portfolio. This year we will likely sell off even more. The system is in an accelerating death spiral. And for every day that goes by without taking definitive action to reverse the failing of the Government Retirement System, the decisions that ultimately need to be made become more painful and more costly.”

Author: Robert Slavin

Publication Date: 26 January 2021

Publication Site: Fidelity Fixed Income