Puerto Rico Requests Bankruptcy-like Restructuring Of $70 Billion In Debt

By Mark DeCambreMarketsMarketWatch Pulse

U.S. commonwealth Puerto Rico is planning to seek a court-supervised restructuring of some $73 billion in outstanding debt. The cash-strapped island's governor, Ricardo Rossell�, will petition the commonwealth's oversight board to enact rule Title III--a court-supervised bankruptcy-like restructuring process that would allow it to rework billions in debt owed to creditors, including hedge funds and banks. Puerto Rico is not technically a municipality and therefore isn't covered by U.S. bankruptcy law under Chapter 9, but a federal oversight board was created by a bill passed in Congress under President Barack Obama last June that grants the commonwealth bankruptcy-like protections. The move follows negotiations with Puerto Rico's obligations that have so far failed to result in an agreement. Puerto Rico's efforts to retool its debtload have been a longstanding problem for the island. "We are here to address the problems of Puerto Rico, not to look at the past, and I am convinced that our island will be able to resume the path of economic development with the correct steps by the government and the determination of each of its residents," said Gov. Rossell� at a news conference on Wednesday to discuss Puerto Rico's move.

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