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Jamaica to avoid international capital markets next fiscal year - Phillips

Published:Thursday | February 11, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Finance and Planning Minister Dr Peter Phillips says Jamaica will not need to seek funding from the international capital markets for the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

"At best, we may need to go to markets in the year 2017-2018. The only possibility of going into the markets in the fiscal year 2016-2017 would be to pre-finance anything for 2017-2018, when more payments become necessary on the NDX (National Debt Exchange) bonds," he said.

Phillips was speaking with Bloomberg News in New York on Wednesday, just before accepting Jamaica's award for the Latin America bond deal of the year, at the 2015 International Financing Review (IFR) Americas Award ceremony.

The US$2-billion dual-tranche bond, issued in the international capital markets in July 2015, is deemed by the IFR as "record-breaking" for the year.

Phillips told the Bloomberg journalists that the economic programme that the Government is pursuing will facilitate expansion of the capital side of the Budget and secure higher levels of growth.

"The fact is that greater levels of growth will lead to an ever-increasing momentum for employment and use of our available resources," he pointed out.

"I think what has been evident in New York is that the whole world, including the financial media and rating agencies, has sat up and begun to observe that an economic miracle is on the way in Jamaica," Phillips said.

Eleventh IMF test

The finance minister, who was also interviewed by Bloomberg radio and television, and the Financial Times, said Jamaica is on track to successfully complete its 11th review under the extended fund facility with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

He informed that the IMF team would arrive in the island in April to conduct the review.

While in New York, Phillips held discussions with foreign direct investors regarding the Government's economic programme, and the reforms that have been undertaken to make Jamaica more business friendly.

The finance minister was accompanied by Financial Secretary Devon Rowe and Technical Advisor Helen McIntosh.