PM Douglas: ‘Government Treasury Bills are safe,’ debt restructuring poses no threat

St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Right Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas at Wednesday’s Press Conference (Photo by Erasmus Williams)

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, MARCH 1ST2012 (CUOPM) – St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Right Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas says Government Treasury Bills are safe and the restructuring of the government’s debt portfolio does not pose a threat to the local banking sector.

“One of the greatest concerns is that we wanted to make sure that there is no threat to the banking sector or the financial sector because we know that the financial sector in St. Kitts and Nevis is a commanding financial sector when it is looked at in the rest of the Eastern Caribbean,” said Prime Minister Douglas during his monthly Press Conference on Wednesday.

Dr. Douglas said that the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in providing a Stand-by facility is to provide the necessary financing in the event of that possibility.

“I want to say thank God there has been confidence demonstrated in the financial sector in terms of what the Government is doing. Although there is always a threat, we do not think that we have not made sufficient provisions for that threat,” said Prime Minister Douglas, who pointed out the agreement with the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) to provide a guarantee of US$12 million “so that if there is a shortage of money.”

Prime Minister Douglas, who is also the Minister of Finance, gave the assurance to creditors that Government has the money to pay.

“I have the money here to pay, because we don’t want any threat and that is why I keep saying time and time again to our creditors, our investors in Treasury Bills in St. Kitts and in Nevis, don’t take on the political distracters or detractors who want to create instability. Don’t take them on. People have demonstrated confidence in the Treasury bills as they are safe and sound.

Dr. Douglas pointed out that during the restructuring, several governments in the Eastern Caribbean have successfully gone to the market to raise capital.

He has reiterated that Government Treasury Bills in Nevis and St. Kitts are not included in the restructuring of the national debt.

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