Shaw reiterates call for banks to lower interest rates

Friday, November 17, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Minister of Finance and the Public Service Audley Shaw has reiterated his appeal for financial institutions to provide low-interest funds to the productive sector.

Shaw said that for business innovation to strive, money loaned to the sector should not be at more than seven and eight per cent.

Shaw, who was delivering the keynote address at the launch of the May Pen Business Improvement District (BID) in Clarendon on Wednesday, said the Government s is committed to ensuring that "cheaper money" reaches the business community.

He noted that Jamaica was able to raise US$1 billion on its most recent foray into the international capital markets at 4.5 per cent and five per cent rates of interest, which was used to liquidate a number of high-interest loans.

He informed that the Government was initially looking to source US$300 million, but, due to the improved management of the economy, up to US$3 billion was on offer.

"If the Government can borrow on the international capital markets at 4.5 and five per cent, it means that we must be able to deliver money to the private sector at less than 10 per cent," Shaw contended.

BID is an initiative of the Clarendon Municipal Corporation to manage the town's growth thrust. The BID is also an economic development tool that brings together business leaders, the Corporation, and other stakeholders to craft solutions for the district.

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