The government closed on about half a billion in financing in the past two months, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest and Acting Financial Secretary Marlon Johnson both revealed yesterday, adding that the government will soon go to the capital markets to access more financing when market conditions are right.
Turnquest revealed in the House of Assembly during an address outlining the fiscal state of the country that a transaction with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) was closed only that morning for $200 million.
He added that a $40 million facility with the Caribbean Development Bank was also recently closed, while in August government accessed $248 million as part of a $300 million bridge financing deal approved by Parliament for the fiscal year 2020/2021 budget.
Turnquest said the capital market transaction and other financing avenues under consideration will ensure budgetary requirements for this fiscal year are covered.
“Notwithstanding the country’s formidable economic challenges, the domestic and international markets continue to have confidence in The Bahamas,” said Turnquest.
“The success of the government in raising the necessary funds is a testament to this confidence.”
Johnson said that $500 million is a drawdown against the $1.3 billion government plans to acquire and refinance this fiscal year.
Turnquest also explained in his address that the country’s external reserves remain “fairly healthy” at $2.1 billion.
“The position of the Public Treasury is secure and the viability of the Bahamian dollar and the exchange regime remain robust,” he said.
“We intend to continue our commitment to not raise taxes. The economy is still in a fragile position and adding additional taxes to that is not going to help with the growth and expansion that we need or the stabilization of the existing economic base.”