PUERTO RICO BONDS SLIP; COMMONWEALTH LACKS RESOURCES TO PAY DEBTS

PUERTO RICO BONDS SLIP AS REALITY SETS IN THAT THE COMMONWEALTH LACKS SUFFICIENT RESOURCES TO PAY ITS HEFTY DEBTS

 

Reality set in for investors of Puerto Rico bonds as prices weakened significantly as the federal oversight board agreed with Puerto Rico’s Governor that you just can’t get blood from a stone. The oversight board created through the PROMESA legislation passed by the 114th Congress which empowered the board to craft and approve a financial recovery plan for the debt strapped island. The commonwealth has been struggling to cope with a $70 billion debt load from 13 distinct bond issuers on the island.

The board accepted Governor Ricardo Rossello’s assessment that the only path to closing the island’s perpetual budget deficit is to reduce the amount of payment of debt service to holders of Puerto Rico’s bonds. The cut of annual debt service to $800 million from the $3 billion owed each year is pretty draconian. Based on the proposal only 26 percent of debt service will be paid and principal payments stretched out across the next decade. The fact that there is a limited pie to work with will likely heat up ongoing battles between different bondholder groups; most notably the General Obligation bond holders who are pitted against the Puerto Rico COFINA bondholders. COFINA is also known as the Puerto Rico Sales Tax Financing Corporation.

The benchmark Puerto Rico General Obligation bond which carries an 8% coupon rate and matures in 2035 dropped in price from trading at approximately 72.5% percent of par to 67.5% in late trading on March 14.  Trading activity can be found on the MSRBs site EMMA.  The bond auction sites also appear to have heavy bid-wanted action with sellers looking to liquidate some of their holdings as they assess a future for the commonwealth that will likely include legal battles between not only different classes of Puerto Rico’s bondholders but also between bondholders, pensioners, and the balancing need for essential services in the face of financial austerity.

 

Source: Bloomberg LP Analytics

 

About Las Olas Wealth Management
Las Olas Wealth Management led by Dean Myerow and Sean Vesey (www.lasolaswealth.com) provides high-net-worth families and investment professionals with direct access to the municipal bond market.  Our approach to portfolio management is to combine customized computer assisted modeling to purchase and ladder kicker bonds, many of which are insured general obligation and essential service bonds. The results for our clients are short duration, high quality municipal bond portfolios which are diversified by sector and region.

 

Important Disclosures

The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.

All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.

Dean Myerow
Dean Myerow is a municipal bond market asset manager and along with partner, Sean Vesey the team structures institutional and high net worth investor portfolios at Las Olas Wealth Management of NatAlliance Securities LLC.

For 20 years Dean Myerow has been a professional in the field of municipal bonds. He has earned degrees from the University of Massachusetts School of Business and the University of Miami School of Law.

Check the background of this investment professional on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.


Author: Dean Myerow
<a>Dean Myerow</a> is a municipal bond market asset manager and along with partner, Sean Vesey the team structures institutional and high net worth investor portfolios at <a href="http://lasolaswealth.com">Las Olas Wealth Management of NatAlliance Securities LLC</a>. For 20 years Dean Myerow has been a professional in the field of municipal bonds. He has earned degrees from the University of Massachusetts School of Business and the University of Miami School of Law. Check the background of this investment professional on <a href="https://brokercheck.finra.org/">FINRA’s BrokerCheck</a>.

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