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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Puerto Rico News Digest For July 15, 2015


The executive president of the Puerto Rico Aqueduct & Sewer Authority (Prasa), 
Alberto Lázaro Castro, reinterpreted a statement made Monday by Jim Millstein, 
of Millstein & Co., during the Puerto Rico government’s meeting with its credi-
tors, where he alluded to a possible increase of the water bill. Although water ra-
tes are expected to rise beginning in 2018 as part of the utility’s long-term opera-
tional plan, a sooner-than-expected hike could be seen if Prasa fails to finalize a 
bond deal for much-needed liquidity to fund its capital improvement program, 
among other needs. According to Lázaro, what Millstein said at the Government 
Development Bank (GDB) meeting with investors had to do with Prasa's "finan-
cial model, which in agreement with its bondholders and its own organic law, in-
cludes possible rate adjustments." He added that "this is done in all offer docu-
ments to show what would happen if projections are not met."


From The San Juan Daily Star:

Puerto Rico government officials told creditors Monday that a lengthy litigation
process against the commonwealth will have a negative effect on the economy
that will hurt tax collections, which are the source of debt payments. “We are
trying to pre-empt that with an open transparent process with you all,” one of
the government advisers told creditors during a question-answer portion of Mon-
day’s meeting with creditors as part of the process to convince them to renego-
tiate new debt repayment terms for the $72 billion debt.The event was live-strea-
med from a Government Development Bank (GDB) link. GDB President Melba
Acosta, former World Bank chief economist and former International Monetary
Fund (IMF) deputy director Anne Krueger, as well as economist and American
University Prof. Andrew Wolfe briefed members of the investment community
on Krueger and Wolfe’s recently published report on Puerto Rico’s fiscal condi-


From News Is My Business:

The Center for Investigative Journalism filed a civil suit Monday against the go-
vernment over its refusal to provide the names of the hedge funds that are getting
ready to renegotiate or demand complete payment of Puerto Rico’s public debt. The
lawsuit filed in San Juan Superior Court names Gov. Alejandro García-Padilla and
Government Development Bank President Melba Acosta as defendants and asks the
court to order them to turn over documents and information about the hedge funds,
the amount of bonds they hold, the names of the investors who make up the so-ca-
lled Ad Hoc group negotiating with the government, as well as certain other docu-
ments. In the nine-page document, the CPI, as the nonprofit is known by its initials
in Spanish, details how it has spent the last four months unsuccessfully requesting
information from the government, including lawmakers, about the identity of the
groups behind Puerto Rico’s $73 billion debt.


From Fox News Latino:

Almost 7,000 sardines have died over the last two days in a reservoir in northern
Puerto Rico due to the drought that has been shrinking the water supply for two
months, making this the third massive dying off of this fish species in less than
two weeks. The secretary of the Natural and Environmental Resources Department,
Carmen Guerrero Perez, reported the situation Tuesday in a statement that said the
fish perished in the Wildlife Refuge of La Plata Reservoir in Toa Alta. "We ask ci-
tizens not to consume or come in contact with these dead fish, since they decompose
rapidly and can put their health at risk," Guerrero said.

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