Real rich: Bahamas denies reports that gov’t is “running out of money”

The Bahamas government Tuesday described as “false”, reports that it is “running out of money” and that the local currency is under threat of being devalued.

“Our economy has not survived and thrived for so long because of good fortune. As a country, we have historically taken a very prudent approach to fiscal and monetary policy to protect ourselves in situations like the emergency we face today,” Finance Minister K Peter Turnquest said in a statement.

He said the country’s foreign reserves are managed by the capable Bahamian professionals at the Central Bank of the Bahamas, which has “an exemplary record that should instill confidence in every Bahamian”.

The finance minister said that since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Central Bank has taken several “pre-emptive steps to shore up our reserves, and they will continue to take necessary action as needed.

“I echo the Central Bank’s statement today, indicating that monetary policies have already taken into consideration vital local needs, and any reports of devaluation threats are entirely misleading and without merit.

“The Government will continue to take the necessary steps to stabilise the economy and support the Central Bank in its mandate to preserve the integrity of the Bahamian dollar,” Turnquest added.

Central Bank Governor, John Rolle, said “contrary to the misleading report, 50 per cent of our demand liabilities determine the legal floor on external reserves.

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Central Bank Governor, John Rolle

“These move in close sync with reserves because they fund the balances. The Bahamian dollar is not facing devaluation threats. Policies already anticipate vital local needs,” he added.

The Central Bank had earlier this month announced several measures to shore up foreign reserves, including the suspension of resident access to exchange for international capital market investments through Bahamas depository receipts and the Investment Currency Market.