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Puerto Rico to Redraw Plan for Ending Debt Crisis Due to Storm

  • U.S. board also to approve contracts following Whitefish pact
  • Puerto Rico debt has tumbled on speculation of deeper losses
A resident rides a bicycle in front of stores damaged from Hurricane Maria on a muddy road in Barranquitas, Puerto Rico, on Oct. 18.
A resident rides a bicycle in front of stores damaged from Hurricane Maria on a muddy road in Barranquitas, Puerto Rico, on Oct. 18.Photographer: Xavier Garcia/Bloomberg

Puerto Rico’s federal oversight board has given the island about seven weeks to revise its financial recovery plan to account for the devastating damage suffered in Hurricane Maria, raising the possibility the territory will need to impose deeper losses on owners of its $74 billion debt.

The panel on Tuesday also said that Puerto Rico will need to seek approval for any contract over $10 million, significantly expanding its supervision. The step came after widespread scrutiny of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s decision to grant a crucial $300 million rebuilding contact to Whitefish Energy Holdings LLC, a tiny Montana company that had just two full-time employees before beginning its work in Puerto Rico.