by Linda Straker
- Successful refinancing of approximately EC$5 million of MNIB debt
- Lien on Pack House property located at River Road removed
- Payment to unsecured creditors intended by 1 December 2023
Six months after announcing that Government has launched a Comprehensive Debt Restructuring for the Marketing & National Importing Board (MNIB), the Ministry of Finance disclosed a successful refinancing of approximately EC$5 million of debt the statutory body owned to a local commercial bank.
In April 2023, Government announced that it was seeking to undertake a comprehensive and collaborative restructuring of MNIB debts by the end of May 2023. This included the repayment or refinancing of MNIB since its scale down of service in February 2023. The Ministry of Finance said at the time that restructuring of the debts will be on terms and conditions that are consistent with Government’s fiscal space.
The terms of the new arrangement, according to a news release disseminated through the Government Information Service (GIS) are
- Consolidating all outstanding principal balances of debt owed by MNIB at an interest rate of 4.0% to be repaid over a period of 10 years
- An interest-free loan for all outstanding interest to date to be repaid over 10 years; and
- Release of all existing securities to be replaced with a charge on the Consolidated Fund
“These terms represent a significant improvement compared with the previous conditions applied to MNIB facilities at the bank. Specifically, the current interest rates stand at 6.5% and 7%,” said the release which explained that a clause in the loan which provides for property which was used as collateral for the MNIB loan, will no longer be tied to the restructured arrangement.
“This major accomplishment not only halts a further accumulation of arrears, but also strengthens Government’s ability to successfully reform the MNIB by removing the lien on the Pack House property located at River Road, St George,” the release said.
With regard to unsecured creditors, the Cabinet has approved the payment of all outstanding claims of $2.5 million. The intention is to conclude the payment to unsecured creditors which includes farmers and agro-processors by 1 December 2023.