The Regional Debt Coordinating Committee (RDCC) has reported that the five member governments of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) which issued securities on the Regional Government Securities Market (RGSM) in 2014 raised capital amounting to $1.2 billion in maturities ranging from 91 days to 15 years.
The RGSM provides a platform for the ECCU governments to widen their sources of finance and for residents to diversify their investment portfolios.
The RDCC, which comprises the financial secretaries of the eight countries of the ECCU and the Governor of the ECCB, has direct oversight for the RGSM and provides a forum for enhancing the overall debt management capabilities of the member governments.
At its 33rd Meeting, which was held on 28 April at the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank Headquarters in St Kitts, the RDCC also reported that the Governments of Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines participated on the RGSM in 2014. The governments benefitted from the positive developments on the RGSM in 2014 which included: the lowest interest rate (1 per cent) for 91-day Treasury bills and the issue of a 15-year bond. The low interest rates on 91-day Treasury bills led to a steepening of the ECCU weighted average yield curve that allowed the governments to minimise their cost of borrowing.
Notwithstanding the decline in interest rates, the RGSM provides additional investment opportunities for citizens and residents of the ECCU as the interest rates on government securities are expected to remain above the savings deposit rates offered by commercial banks in light of the reduction in the Minimum Savings Deposit Rate from 3.0 per cent to 2.0 per cent.