According to the Ministry of Finance, Guyana ended 2019 with US$1.3B in external debt. While this is a considerable amount, the Ministry was keen to note in its End of Year Outcome Statement that the debt is actually 4.7 percent below the projected amount of approximately US$1.4.B.
The Ministry said this difference was mainly due to a US$50.7 million debt reduction granted by Kuwait, after the finalization and signing of a bilateral debt settlement agreement in March 2019.
Kaieteur News understands that this agreement culminated extensive bilateral debt negotiations between the two parties. In addition to this, the debt relief received from Kuwait reduced Guyana’s outstanding debt to Non-Paris Club Creditors in arrears, significantly, by approximately 34 percent. The Ministry was keen to note that efforts are currently in progress to negotiate and finalize mutually acceptable debt settlement agreements with the remaining Non-Paris Club bilateral creditors in arrears. Overall, external public debt accounted for 77.3 percent of the total public debt stock as at December 31, 2019.
Turning its attention to the domestic public debt stock, the Ministry noted that this stood at US$383.6 million, which is 7.1 percent below the US$412.8 million projected at Budget 2019. This variance was primarily attributable to principal repayments on some fiscal Treasury bills, which matured but were not reissued. The share of domestic public debt was 22.7 percent of the total public debt stock, as at the end of 2019, 0.4 percentage points below the Budget 2019 projection.
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