This morning the Chief Financial Officer for the Santander Sugar Group, Andres Ayau (A-YO) announced that Santander is no longer interested in the twelve million dollar loan from the Social Security Board. Since Love News broke the story that SSB had agreed to lend Santander the twelve million dollars million at an interest rate of seven percent last week Thursday, the matter has garnered much attention, mainly negative feedback from several parties including the Opposition, People’s United Party, Belize Progressive Party, Belize Youth Movement and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize. The original plan was to have the SSB to be one of the many participants in a syndicated loan but since the news hit the airwaves, Ayau, believes that it has taken a political tone in nature and not an economic tone, something that he desired. Ayau announced that due to the politics surrounding the matter, it has been converted into a controversial financial contract, Santander Sugar Group has decided to cancel the loan agreement with SSB and source the needed funds from an international entity.
Ayau says that out of the 900 workers, 700 are Belizeans for which they have paid over three million dollars in Social Security contributions and taxes. With Santander Sugar Group cancelling its loan application, did the Belizean Economy lose out on what could have been great benefits?
Ayau did assert that this is not the end of the financial relationship they have with SSB as the door to other financial ventures has been kept open.
He clarified that the Santander Sugar Group is in no way affiliated with the Santander Financial Group from Spain.