AAFAF: All funds received for annual COFINA debt payment

By John McPhaul

Financial Advisory Authority and Fiscal Agency Executive Director Omar J. Marrero Díaz announced Tuesday that the Puerto Rico Sales Tax Financing Corp. (COFINA by its Spanish acronym) has received all of the funds for making the annual payment to its bondholders.

The funds come from the initial collections of 5.5 percent of the sales and use tax (IVU by its Spanish acronym), in accordance with the COFINA Adjustment Plan.

Marrero Díaz, who is the top financial official of the island government, said COFINA has received and deposited in Mellon Bank of New York, as trustee of the COFINA bonds, the income from the IVU for fiscal year 2021.

“Our government is committed, not only to seeking financial aid for all of us who live on this island, but also to fulfilling its fiscal responsibility,” Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced said. “We want to get out of bankruptcy as soon as possible, and steps like these are important in order to achieve that.”

COFINA revenues collected from July 1 through Oct. 19 totaled $454,472,448.

“Once again we highlight our commitment to the restructuring agreements reached, coupled with the effectiveness of our tax administration, which is reflected in the collection for payment to COFINA bondholders,” Marrero Díaz said. “This management is another significant step on our fiscal path and toward access to capital markets.”

Puerto Rico Treasury Secretary Francisco Parés Alicea noted meanwhile that the island government completed the payment to COFINA that is made under the Adjustment Plan less than four months into the current fiscal year, which began July 1.

“Having successfully achieved this goal a second time and in record time is a source of great satisfaction for us,” he said.

COFINA Executive Director Carlos M. Yamín added that “COFINA’s independent board of directors and its management highlight as an achievement that [COFINA] has reached this goal for the second consecutive year.”

“With this, the success of COFINA’s restructuring is demonstrated,” he said.

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