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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Puerto Rico News Digest For September 23, 2015


Water levels at the La Plata reservoir, which serves several towns including
parts of the San Juan metro area, increased by 74 centimeters overnight due
to yesterday's rains. Puerto Rico's water utility, AAA, expects that once the
reservoir rises another 1.28 meters, the water rationing plan that La Plata
users are currently subject to will go from two days without water to only
twenty four hours of interruption at a time. More rains are expected for the
area this afternoon. According to AAA's President, Alberto Lázaro, ration-
ing for the La Plata zones can come to an end entirely once the reservoir rea-
ches 40 meters. La Plata serves Bayamón, Guaynabo, Toa Baja, Toa Alta
and Cataño, as well as parts of San Juan, Corozal, Naranjito and Dorado.


From The San Juan Daily Star:

A group of New Progressive Party (NPP) aspirants to legislative seats made a
commitment Monday to file legislation in the upper or lower chamber to enable
an admission process for Puerto Rico as the 51st state, as proposed by NPP Pre-
sident Pedro Pierluisi. The aspirants also closed ranks in support of Pierluisi’s
run for the NPP’s gubernatorial candidacy. Among the candidates for seats in
the House of Representatives who support Pierluisi’s aspirations and legislative
agenda are Jackeline Rodríguez (District 25), Carlos Flores (District 20), Hiram
Torres (District 4), Roberto Soto (District 17), Mari Carmen Mas (District 19),
Samuel Pagán (District 35), and Ramón Ramos (District 21).


From Caribbean Business:

The U.S. Senate Finance Committee is reportedly expected to hold a hearing on
Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis. According to Bond Buyer, committee Chairman Orrin
Hatch (R.-Utah) said Tuesday a public hearing will take place Sept. 29 to discuss
the “dire financial situation” in Puerto Rico. On July 17, Hatch asked U.S. Trea-
sury Secretary Jacob Lew for the Obama administration’s take on various Puerto
Rico-related issues, such as the island’s fiscal and economic woes.


From News Is My Business:

The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority announced Tuesday it has reached
an agreement in principle regarding the economic terms of a restructuring of
approximately $700 million in matured debt with all of its fuel line lenders.
Under the deal, the fuel line lenders will have the following two options: Con-
vert existing credit agreements into term loans, with a fixed interest rate of 5.
75 percent per annum, to be repaid over six years in accordance with an agr-
eed upon schedule; or Exchange all or part of principal due under existing cre-
dit agreements for new securitization bonds to be issued on the same terms as
PREPA’s agreement with the Ad Hoc Bondholder Group announced on Sept.
1, 2015 (including a 15 percent principal reduction and five-year principal ho-


From Int'l Business Times:

Groupon, the daily deals and e-commerce site, is all set to shut down its
operations in six countries as well as Puerto Rico. Headquartered in Chica-
go, Illinois, and co-founded by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Eric Lefko-
fsky, Groupon will reportedly lay off 1,100 jobs mainly from the sales and
customer service operations of the company. Groupon Chief Operating Offi-
cer (COO) Rich Williams revealed this restructuring in a blog post stating,
“We believe that in order for our geographic footprint to be an even bigger
advantage, we need to focus our energy and dollars on fewer countries. So,
we decided to exit a number of countries where the required investment and
market potential don’t align.”

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