Sep 22, 2017 Last Updated 12:27 PM, Sep 21, 2017

The Minister of Finance & the Public Service

The Honourable Minister Audley Shaw CD, MP, Minister of Finance and the Public Service. He is a graduate of Northern Illinois University (NIU) with a Bachelor of Arts and Master of...

Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service

The Honourable Rudyard Spencer, CD, MP is Minister of State (Public Service), with the Ministry of Finance and Public Service. Minister Spencer studied Industrial Relations at Medg...

Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service

The Honourable Fayval Williams, MP, is Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service. Minister Williams is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), and holds an M...

Jamaica’s Stability Yields Dividends, Government Issues Debt Instruments at Investment Grade Rates

The Government of Jamaica has undertaken consistent measures to ensure a steadfast path of fiscal consolidation and debt reduction in order to build a strong and prosperous economy. We have had to make sacrifices to ensure this.The sacrifices have been deep and there is still more to be done. However, the Governmenicommitted to making it work and the pain is bearing fruit.

The most recent demonstration of the green shoots was the Governmentbold and successful entrinto thinternational bond markets in August,2017.

 

US$145 million of high interest rate shorter term global bonds were repurchased by the Government. US$869 million ilong term global bonds were also issuein the international bond market providing the funds utilized for the repurchase.

The Government also exercised its option tprepay US$526 million of USD bonds in the domestic market through utilization of some of the proceeds from the international bond market issue.

Market analysts marveled at the high level of over-subscription of the external bond issue(3.8times the take-up) and the historic low yields that are equivalent to rates that apply to investment gradissuers.The yields were:5% on bonds due in 2028 and 6.45% for those due in 2045.

Minister  Shaw  asserted, "these  are historically  the  lowest yields that the Government of Jamaica has been able to secure for long maturity global bonds.He explained that the interventions in the bond market were fulliconcert with overarching efforts to reduce the national debt; and extend maturities.

“Thiis a resounding vote of confidencin the on-going work to maintain macroeconomic stability and to reform the Jamaican economy.This includes fundamental changes inindependence of the Central Bank; exchange rate flexibility; public sector transformation; and reduced red tape for business activity. These are vital reforms but hardwork remains to be done to ensure that growth is strong and equitable.”

Minister Shaw expanded on the essential role of sparking growth to return Jamaica to prosperity and stability. He pointed out that private investors will be the engines of that growth.

This includes major projects to increase bauxite exports; accelerate the booming BPO sector; expansion and diversification of the hospitality  sector (stop over tourism is already booming); and important productive infrastructure enhancements (primarily ports,road ways and irrigation). Specific focus has been placed on the linkages between the agricultural sector and the tourism sector. The competitive exchange rate and free movement of capital already are contributing to powerful improvements in the current account.

These positive trends have served to increase employment to the highest level since the 2008 international financial crisis. Minister Shaw highlighted the strong performance of the tourism sector tcreate jobs.The recent Labour Force Survey showed that 35,800 new jobs were created between April 2016 and April this year. He stressed the fact that there was a marked increasein employment for women.

He pointed out the importance of the Governmentcontinued over-performance with regard to its commitment to maintain extraordinariltight fiscal controls.The result has been the lowest rates of inflation and interest  rates in over three decades.This stability in major economic indicators has been essential to preserve the hard won competitive exchange rate and to stabilize the foreign exchange market. Stable exchange rates are vital to investment decisions and to meeting the debt reduction targets.

Hclosed by reminding us that the sacrifices are being made by all Jamaicans,“these successes are vital to show the population that iis worth it. Jamaica needs stability as a vital condition for achieving the growth rates that will benefit everyone. It has been essential in encouraging the important private investments that will drive that growth.

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TamekGordon

Communication Advisoto the Minister of Financand the Public Service

Ministrof Financand the Public Service

30 National HeroeCircle Kingston 4,JamaicaW.I. Tel:(876)932-5503

CUG:(876)542-4422

Email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">tameka.gordon@mof.gov.jm

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