Central Bank’s high liquidity represents lack of investment opportunity
During the recent debate in the House on Colonial Life Insurance Company (CLICO) Guyana, Minister of Housing and Water, Irfaan Ali, lauded the government’s management of the financial sector and boasted of an exceedingly high liquidity level at the Bank of Guyana but this position was quickly debunked as nothing to shout about by Member of Parliament, Everall Franklin.
According to Franklin, while a safe level of liquidity was necessary to have an excessive amount just sitting in a bank, it was indicative of lack of investment opportunities.
He posited that cash sitting in a bank does nothing for a country given that it is not being invested in projects, upgrading business among others which would also allow the cash to benefit the country and increase revenue base given that interest would have to be paid to the bank as the money borrowed is returned.
Franklin posited also that apart from the excessive liquidity suggesting an unhealthy investment climate he posited that it could also mean that the cost attached to borrowing from the Central Bank was too much.
He noted that the cost of borrowing is not embedded only in the interest rate but also in the terms attached to the loan.
At the end of February, the total Capital and Liabilities at the Bank of Guyana stood at $158.5 billion.
Public deposits was $41.3 billion, bankers’ deposits $29.4 billion, deposits of International Financial Institutions and Central Banks $21.1 billion, with other deposits totaling $20.1 billion.
There was also some $32.6 billion in paper currency in circulation in Guyana while coins in circulation were $598,947,253.