Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis - The five governments in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU), which issue Treasury bills and bonds on the Regional Government Securities Market (RGSM), raised $1.2 billion from a record 59 auctions in 2017.
The funds raised by the governments were used mainly for debt refinancing. Participation in the RGSM was predominantly from the financial institutions which accounted for 86.0 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 63.0 per cent in the last five years to $114.3m.
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 3.0 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 governments which currently participate on the RSGM are: Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
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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