JIS News

Preliminary indications are that up to yesterday (January 26), there was a 91 per cent participation rate in the Government’s debt exchange initiative. Making the disclosure at the Jamaica Customs Department’s stakeholders symposium at the Jamaica Conference Centre, in Downtown Kingston, today (January 27), Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, described this development as “successful by any standard of measurement.”
“The level of participation and support for the debt exchange is extraordinary and what it tells me is that the Jamaican people understand the predicament that we are in. It’s very heartwarming,” Mr. Shaw said.
The Government launched the programme on January 14 as part of its debt management strategy. The debt exchange is aimed at securing fiscal savings by exchanging existing high-cost debt for new instruments that have lower interest and longer maturities. A financial system support fund will also be put in place to assist financial institutions that are participating in the exchange.
“The plan is 100 per cent participation and we are well on our way,” Mr. Shaw said.
Meanwhile, he noted that the deadline for the initiative would be extended by a few more days beyond January 26, to allow individual bond holders to complete the process to come on board.
Addressing the House of Representatives yesterday (January 26), Mr. Shaw had pointed out that there was no negative development, over the last week, leading to the extension of the deadline, but the Ministry had received several requests from retail brokers, which make up a large percentage of the total brokerage, to extend the submission deadline to allow them additional time to work with their retail clients.
The symposium provided an update on the operations and achievements of Customs, and allowed key stakeholders, such as employees, managers, clients and partners of the department, to raise their concerns and discuss issues integral to the development of the services provided by the entity.

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