The Regional Government Securities Market (RGSM) marked a milestone yesterday, 17 August as it issued its 500th auction.
The RGSM is a regional market which was established in 2002 as a platform for the participating governments of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) to issue Treasury bills, Notes and Bonds with varying maturities. The Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange (ECSE) provides the platform, which is fully electronic. The securities issued on the RGSM are backed by the full faith of the governments of the respective issuing member countries.
The main objectives of the market are to supplement the financing needs of the ECCU countries; minimise their cost of borrowing; and assist the governments with debt management.
Deputy Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, Trevor Brathwaite says the RGSM allows the participating governments to borrow at competitive prices which results in significant cost savings.
Since the inception of the RGSM, six of the eight ECCU governments have raised a total of $10.08b on the market. Of the 500 auctions issued on the market, 429 were Treasury bills and 71 Notes and Bonds. The 500th auction was a 91-day Treasury bill by the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines.
The average discount rate on Treasury bills in 2015 was 4.25 per cent, compared with an average of 9.50 per cent on overdraft facilities at commercial banks, resulting in cost savings to the governments of approximately 5.2520 per cent.