Puerto Rico government sells $246 million in bond anticipation notes to help refinance debt

Puerto Rico's government has sold $246 million in bond anticipation notes to refinance part of its short-term debt and help generate more money for the financially strapped island.

The notes issued by Puerto Rico's Infrastructure Financing Authority were bought by Canadian RBC Capital Markets as part of a deal aimed at rescuing the island's Highway and Transportation Authority. It is one of several heavily indebted public corporations in the U.S. territory.

Officials said Tuesday that the notes are backed by an increase in the island's petroleum excise tax that Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla signed into law just days ago.

The announcement comes as Puerto Rico prepares to sell up to $2.95 billion in bonds as it struggles with $73 billion in public debt.