15 Mar 2011

New Fiji bonds seen as burden for future generations

4:20 pm on 15 March 2011

Fiji's interim administration is being criticised for burdening future generations with debt after raising about 250 million US dollars in foreign bonds.

The money was needed to repay a bond of 150 million US dollars due later this year.

But an extra 100 million was raised with an interest rate for the entire amount of nine percent.

An economist at the University of the South Pacific, Waden Narsey, says a cheaper IMF loan might have been available if budgetary changes were made:

"There is very strong conditionality attached to it and I suspect that the Banimarama government did not want to abide by the conditionality rules, I presume they would have had to cut back on their budget deficit which means they would have had to cut government expenditure, recurrent expediture and especially I suspect on the military budget."

USP Economist, Waden Narsey.

The interim Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, says there was a great deal of interest in the bond issue and that it is a good indication of investor confidence in Fiji.

The ratings agency, Standard and Poor's, gave the bond a recovery rating of four which indicates an expectation of a 30 to 50 per cent chance of recovering the funds if the payer defaults.