MPLT looks at its option if LOC request is OK’d

Posted on May 23 2019

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Using the future interest of the line of credit as guarantee is one of the options being looked at by the Marianas Public Land Trust board, if it gives the Torres administration’s the money it needs to enable the CNMI government to address its bond obligations and payment to the NMI Settlement Fund.

This was one of the options that Jason B. Miyashita, managing director of Raymond James Investment Services, and practice business coordinator Amanda Gima presented to the Marianas Public Land Trust board and two CNMI Legislature members—House Speaker Blas Jonathan T. Attao (R-Saipan) and Rep. Marco T. Peter (R-Saipan)—if they approve the line of credit.

It was Attao who introduced House Bill 21-44 that pledges the amount that MPLT regularly remits to the Commonwealth government’s general fund as security if ever a line of credit is extended to the CNMI government. H.B. 21-44 remains pending.

If ever MPLT grants the CNMI government’s request, if the CNMI government fails to repay the loan, MPLT can then withhold the remittance of interests to the general fund.

Attao said that having the interests that MPLT remits to the general fund be made the guarantee is one option that the board might consider in approaching the administration’s request.

“Just look at all the different angles and see what the best option for MPLT is, to take care of their fiduciary responsibility and not get sued. It only takes one [Northern Mariana descent] to file a lawsuit,” Attao said.

He said that he introduced H.B. 21-44 with the understanding that negotiations were already done. “We want to hear from your [legal] counsel, to make sure not laws are violated and your [MPLT board] fiduciary duties are not compromised.”

MPLT board chair Martin B. Ada said that the meeting with representatives of Raymond James is for the board to know what the impacts would be if they grant the administration a $7.5 million, $10 million, or $15 million line of credit.

“Today [Wednesday] is the cause impact analysis of the investment side. [Miyashita] just presented the portfolio balancing and optimizer and tomorrow [Thursday] will be the financial side. The board will be meeting with MPLT financial consultant Bruce MacMillan,” said Ada, who added that the Miyashita just presented options on where they can get the money for the LOC.

“We’re continuing to address this and gather the information, because Jason [Miyashita] is only available today [Wednesday]. We will continue to meet with Bruce [MacMillan] via Skype and discuss about the impact. The trustees need to make an action, whether to approve or disapprove,” said Ada. “If we approve, how much is the amount and we will take it from there. Once that is done, we will ask for [Attao] to join us again and discuss the debt service terms, we need more information from the Secretary of Finance and a representative from the Executive Branch to clear things up.”

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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