Member Governments Assess Performance of Regional Government Securities Market (RGSM) Amidst Corona Virus Pandemic

At a virtual meeting convened on 4 March 2022, the Regional Debt Coordinating Committee (RDCC) discussed the performance of the Regional Government Securities Market (RGSM), noting its positive impact on the economic and financial development of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU), in spite of the negative impact of the Corona virus pandemic.
The RGSM has provided an opportunity for ECCU member governments to diversify their sources of financing and has continued to be beneficial to member governments as a source of financing, though rates gradually increased during the pandemic period. Governments have raised EC$16.5b on the RGSM since its inception in November 2002.
Bids on the RGSM have been mainly from financial institutions, particularly the commercial banks. However, governments and related institutions have also increasingly utilised the RGSM to diversify their investment portfolios. Planned issuances in 2022 indicate continued reliance on Treasury bills to meet short term financing needs. Activity on the secondary market has remained subdued.
The RDCC welcomed a presentation on the launch of the Finance for Acting on Climate in the Eastern Caribbean (FACE) Project. The Project’s goal is to generate savings through debt work out mechanisms for investment in climate adaptation and mitigation projects and programmes. Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) is providing support for the project. Antigua and Barbuda is the pilot country for this initiative. It is expected that lessons learned would help to advance the debt-for-climate instrument as a viable option for ECCU member countries.
The RDCC, which comprises the Financial Secretaries of the eight member states of the ECCU and the Governor of the ECCB, has direct oversight for the RGSM. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development, Physical Development, and Energy, Grenada, Mike Sylvester, chaired the 45th meeting of the RDCC.