The Government of the Virgin Islands, as part of its bond covenant, made the $85 million debt service payment to holders of its Internal Revenue Matching Fund bonds Thursday.
Thursday’s debt service payment comes less than a week after Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. announced that he was suspending plans to pursue a transaction to refinance the Internal Revenue Matching Fund Bonds in pursuit of millions in debt service savings by capitalizing on lower market rates.
In a brief statement Thursday, the governor provided clarity on the benefits of the transaction that would have securitized the Internal Revenue Matching Fund Bonds.
“The effort we embarked on to refund those bonds was to achieve interest savings and to front-load those savings to address current, critical fiscal needs,” the governor said. “Had the transaction closed prior to October 1, we would have saved the $85 million paid to the bondholders today, and those funds would have been available to instead address critical needs like the GERS.”
The governor again thanked the senators in the 33rd Legislature, who approved the authorization to pursue the transaction for signaling support to appropriate the $85 million to the GERS.
“Although I could not appropriate the funds. Those senators who approved the initial authorization signaled their support for an appropriation of that amount to the GERS,” Bryan said. “We will continue our efforts to approve the credit ratings of the V.I. government and to gain full investment-grade access to the credit markets.”