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JDX take-up nearly 100%

Published:Monday | February 22, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Ceniqua Davis rings a bell, the symbolic rallying call of the ruling Jamaica Labour Party, while Deputy Leader Audley Shaw addresses an Area Council One meeting at Papine High School in St Andrew on Sunday. - Rudolph Brown/Photographer

WITH THREE days left before the rescheduled closure of the Jamaica Debt Exchange (JDX), Finance Minister Audley Shaw is reporting 99 per cent participation by bond holders.

The finance ministry had previously announced a 92 per cent participation in the debt exchange, but yesterday Shaw announced that at the close of business last Friday, the number had inched up as more bond holders agreed to the terms.

The JDX transactions, which close on Wednesday, cover a voluntary swap of approximately $700 billion in domestic debt for lower-priced bonds with extended maturity dates.

In providing details on the level of participation yesterday, Shaw argued that the JDX was part of the Government's plan for a sustainable reduction in interest rates.

Shaw also announced thatthe central bank has already collected US$640 million of the US$1.3 billion it should get from the International Monetary Fund under a standby agreement; US$170 million from the Inter-American Development Bank; with the World Bank scheduled to approve a US$200-million loan for Jamaica this week.

With the strong inflow of low-cost money, Shaw said the stage has been set for an extended period of low interest rates.