Antigua to benefit from record auction on securities market


Five Caribbean governments have raised EC$1.2 billion (One EC dollar-US$0.37 cents) from a record 59 auctions of Treasury bills and bonds on the Regional Government Securities Market (RGSM), the St. Kitts-based Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) has announced.

It said that the funds raised by the governments of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines were used mainly for debt refinancing.

ECCBaAccording to the ECCB, participation in the RGSM was predominantly from the financial institutions which accounted for 86 per cent of the bids in 2017.

“The Regional Debt Coordinating Committee (RDCC), which has direct oversight for the RGSM, said it was also heartened by the growing number of bids from businesses and households which has grown by 63 per cent in the last five years to EC$114.3 million,” the ECCB said.

The bank said that while the interest rates on government securities declined in 2017, especially on short-term instruments, the rate of return remained higher than most alternative investments in the Eastern Caribbean.

The average rate on 91-day Treasury bills declined to three per cent from 3.8 per cent in 2016. The rates on 10-year bonds also declined to 7.3 per cent from 7.5 per cent in 2016. The decline in the rates was due to the overall improvement in the government’s fiscal and debt performance.

The RGSM is a regional market established in November 2002 for the issuance of debt instruments of the ECCU government member. The RGSM assists participating governments with supplementing their financing needs.  It also minimises the borrowing costs and assists with overall debt management, thus supporting the governments in the implementation of their respective Medium-Term Debt Management Strategies (MTDS).

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