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Puerto Rico Gov. Padilla’s Spins For Hope and Prayers

Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla published an article in the Huffington Post’s Latino Voices section today spinning his administration’s accomplishments in the past year. He claimed “Puerto Rico’s Economy Is Stronger Today Than It Was a Year Ago.” He cited the so-called improvements in pension reform, revenue improvement and restructuring of public corporations as the reason for his claims. The article read more like another politician speech than a realistic account of the state of the economy on the Island. The constitutionality of the pension reforms measures are under review by the Supreme Court. He claimed that his administration created over 25,000 jobs but the latest federal report indicated that Puerto Rico has lost more than 40,000 jobs over the last year. He didn’t say anything about the Government Development Bank’s latest Economic Activity Index report that the economy continued to contract in November 2013 over 5.7% on a year-to-year basis (the 12th consecutive monthly contraction in the last year). The Puerto Rico economy has been contracting in greater and greater amounts every month over the last year. Nor did he say anything about the fact that his own administration had dropped its own expectations for any growth this year. He was also silent about the fact that revenues from the sales and use tax (funding the Covina bonds) are also short of estimates this year. Nor did he say anything about the $688 million increase in the fiscal budget for this year. And so, what is his basis for the spin? Hope and Prayers?

Notwithstanding the Governor’s positive spin, we believe all of the credit rating agencies will still be downgrading Puerto Rico debt securities later in the Spring. Maybe the Governor’s comments were based on the pop in the net asset value of the UBS Puerto Rico bond funds! Not a very reliable index since the UBS Puerto Rico trading desk controls the pricing. Up, down and sideways, however they feel that day. The most recent NAVs, published January 15, 2014, put the value of the funds as follows:

The fund NAVs have steadily declined over the last several months until this week. One can be sure the financial advisors at UBS Puerto Rico, Santander Securities, Popular Securities, Merrill Lynch and Oriental will be citing the Governor and the latest NAVs as a basis for recommending additional purchases of Puerto Rico debt. Be careful investors, they simply have no reasonable basis for their recommendations.

Have you suffered losses in a Puerto Rico closed-end bond fund investment? If so, call Robert Pearce at the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. for a free consultation. We have associated with an attorney in San Juan, Puerto Rico, namely Lcdo. Julio Cayere-Quidgley, who will meet with you and discuss your case at no charge. Mr. Pearce and Mr. Cayere are accepting clients with valid claims against UBS Puerto Rico, Santander Securities, Popular Securities, Merrill Lynch and Oriental for misrepresentations, overconcentration and/or unsuitable recommendations of its bond funds.

The most important of investors’ rights is the right to be informed! This Investors’ Rights blog post is by theLaw Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., located in Boca Raton, Florida. For over , Attorney Robert Pearce has tried, arbitrated, and mediated hundreds of disputes involving complex securities, commodities and investment law issues. Attorney Adam Kara-Lopez habla español. The lawyers at our law firm are devoted to protecting investors’ rights throughout the United States and internationally! Please visit our website, www.secatty.com , post a comment, call (800) 732-2889, or email Mr. Pearce at pearce@rwpearce.com for answers to any of your questions about this blog post and/or any related matter.