Bahamas Government Begins Trading Its National Debt via BISX

Pictured from left: Acting Financial Secretary Marlon Johnson, CEO of BISX Keith Davies, Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Finance the Hon. Peter Turnquest, and Central Bank Governor John Rolle. (Photo/Ministry of Finance)

Dep. Prime Minister & Minister of Finance the Hon. K. Peter Turnquest announced that the first trading session including Bahamas Registered Stock (BRS) closed on The Bahamas International Securities Exchange on Thursday, July 9, 2020. “With the addition of 220 government securities, the number of investment offerings on the national stock exchange have more than tripled; history will record July 9 as the official launch of electronic trading for government bonds and other securities on BISX,” DPM Turnquest explained at a press conference at the Ministry of Finance on Thursday. He commended The Central Bank of The Bahamas and BISX for their cooperative efforts with the Min. of Finance in achieving a new and critical milestone in the development of Bahamian capital markets.

“We are proud to be one of the first Caribbean nations to trade our public debt via our national stock exchange, and we look forward to working with BISX on other projects that benefit Bahamian investors.”

Deputy Prime Minister Turnquest stated that the collaborative effort seeks to create a centralized marketplace for all Government domestic bond issues. The total face value of the 220 BRS instruments is $3.6B, with maturities ranging from one year to 30 years. This represents the entire portfolio of outstanding securities dating back to 1999. “This long-awaited move was contemplated from the establishment of BISX. It will improve the country’s financial market infrastructure and increase accessibility to Government-backed investments for all Bahamians.

“It falls in line with the Government’s strategy to accelerate critical reforms with an emphasis on modernization & digital transformation.” He said this is another milestone in the evolution of the Bahamian capital markets.

It makes good on a key component of the government’s overall initiative to strengthen the public debt management framework and promote the development of the Government bond market. “In the long term, it will help to reduce the Government’s overall funding costs associated with the issuance of these securities.

Investors will also benefit from the greater ease of purchasing,and
transacting these instruments and this will have the effect of allowing
more and more Bahamians to undertake and benefit from these very
stable investment instruments.”

The DPM added that the move to BISX will help the Government to obtain more efficient, market-determined pricing of its securities, which will be a key input into the pricing of other private and public sector issuances. The Governor of the Central Bank, John Rolle; Acting Financial Secretary, Marlon Johnson; and BISX officials also attended the press conference.

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