Puerto Rico’s Dwindling Cash Level May Get Harder to Measure

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It may become harder to see how quickly Puerto Rico’s going broke.

The commonwealth’s Government Development Bank, which lends to the island government and its localities, may stop posting monthly disclosures of its liquidity levels as it veers toward running out of cash by Sept. 30. The GDB serves as a measure of Puerto Rico’s available funds.

The bank in October began releasing the data in the middle of each month on its website. When the bank sold tax-and-revenue anticipation notes last year, it agreed to release such information on a monthly basis, according to lending documents. The GDB payed off the last of that debt in June.

It’s unclear whether it will keep up the monthly practice.

“We will continue the provision of periodic liquidity reports,” Melba Acosta, president of the GDB, said in an e-mailed statement Thursday.

The development bank had $778 million of net liquidity as of May 31, down from $2 billion in October. To avoid running out of cash by Sept. 30, the bank wants to exchange its notes for longer-maturity debt.

Commonwealth securities have sold at distressed levels for two years on concern the island won’t repay all of its debt on time. General obligation debt maturing July 2035 and originally sold at 93 cents on the dollar traded Thursday at an average price of 72.6 cents on the dollar, down from 87.1 cents in January, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The average yield was 11.5 percent.

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