• The Star Staff

Gov't, agencies fail to pay interest on bonds

By The Star Staff

The Puerto Rico government and several of its agencies failed to make bond interest payments that were due on Jan. 1 and Jan. 4.

The revelations come as the government is in negotiations toward a new debt agreement, for which an update must be provided by February.

They are contained in five separate filings filed Tuesday to the municipal markets through the Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA).

The Puerto Rico Public Buildings Authority missed its Jan. 1 debt service payments on bond Series 2002C, 2002D, 2002F, 2002G, 2004I, 1993L, 2007M, 2007N, 2009P, 2009Q, 2011R, 2011S, 2011T and 2012U bonds, according to one of the filings.

The commonwealth failed to make a $288.6 million bond interest payment due Monday, by virtue of rollover from Jan. 1, that was supposed to have been made by Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, which serves as registrar for the bonds.

The Puerto Rico Employees Retirement System missed a total of about $13 million in interest payments connected to its bonds. The amounts are divided into $8 million for Series A, $4.4 million for Series B, and $1.5 million for Series C bonds, according to an EMMA filing.

The Highways and Transportation Authority (HTA), which is in bankruptcy, failed to pay $53 million in interest payments, but the amount was paid by its insurance policies.

The Puerto Rico Convention Center District Authority, meanwhile, noted that the Bank of New York Mellon, the trustee, did not pay $8 million in interest payments on Series A hotel occupancy tax revenue bonds. As in the case of the HTA, that amount due was also paid by several insurance policies.

Meanwhile, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority also informed the markets on some $36.9 million in interest in one set of bonds and $128.6 million in another set. Several draws were made on various insurance policies to make the payments on the bonds.

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