Contrary to some media reports, the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) is already drawing down on the $30B Republic Bank Bond Facility that was secured by the government. In fact, it has received $2B to cover operational expenses for three estates. There are the Albion Estate, Blairmont Estate and Uitvlugt Estate.
Making this clarification a few moments ago was the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited/Special Purpose Unit (NICIL/SPU).
In its statement to the media, the Special Purpose Unit reminded that NICIL was mandated to seek financing for a smaller-sized sugar corporation. This was being pursued even as work was being done to privatize and divest the four estates at Skeldon, Rose Hall, Enmore, and Wales.
Through local financing, arranged by Republic Bank Limited, NICIL reminded that it managed to successfully negotiate a Bond Facility for $30B, with significant input from the Ministry of Finance. It said that a full $30B has been secured but it requested $17B in the first tranche.
NICIL said, “We will receive the remainder on request. It was structured in this manner for is not to incur unnecessary costs. It must be noted that half of the bond amount would be provided for in local currency while the remainder would be disbursed in USD.”
“This bond facility is the largest ever for the country and is clear evidence of the capacity of our local state agency and financial institutions, with the negotiations very complex in nature.”
Under the arrangements, GuySuCo must submit applications that are vetted to make sure it meets the approved criteria of the bondholders with two disbursements made so far— one for $880M and another for just over $1.1B.
NICIL said that the monies from the bond facility will be used to purchase equipment for plantation white and co-generation plants, operational expenses, including the purchase of nine tractors.
NICIL made it clear that the monies obtained from the bond facility were not obtained to facilitate the payment of debt as was ventilated time and again by the Minister of Finance and stakeholder.
The entity made it known that GuySuCo is yet to complete its procurement process for the mentioned capital items. It concluded, therefore, that GuySuCo is not in a position to draw down on additional secured funds.