STATEMENT ON LATEST GOVERNMENT BOND OFFERING – Chester Cooper

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PM Minnis and MP Chester Cooper.

I note that the Government of The Bahamas today listed a $225 million bond offering at 8.95 percent in US financial markets, which ultimately drew a rate in the region of 8.25 percent.

We note that there was nothing previously communicated about the government’s intent to do this.

This would bring the total borrowed from US financial markets to more than $800 million in six weeks.

We are, of course, well past $1billion in net borrowing so far this fiscal year. The projected borrowing for the entire year was $1.3 billon.

We are certain to exceed that number at this current clip as we are also borrowing locally.

We noted the high interest rate, as anticipated following the recent downgrades.

We spoke to this extensively at the recent borrowing of the $600 million sourced a few weeks ago.

The public deserves to know how much money the government intends to source from international markets and what total the borrowing is expected to actually be.

We note that there was no communication on this matter in Parliament today.

I call on the minister of finance to disclose the details of the latest bond offering in Parliament so the public can be clear on what its government is obligating them to in the interest of transparency and accountability.

End