August 6, 2020

SVG’s Public Debt Stands At $1.6 Billion Dollars

As of September 30th 2018, the total public debt amounted one billion, six hundred and fourteen million, six hundred and thirty-six thousand and fifty dollars ($1,614,636,050).

 This figure is 1.0 per cent less than the total disbursed outstanding public debt for the comparative period in 2017.

The total Domestic Debt which amounted to $528.2 million as at September 30th 2018 fell by 7.1 per cent or $40.2 million when compared with the domestic debt for the same period in 2017.

The external debt for the same period stood at $1.086 billion, an increase of 2.2 per cent or $23.9 million when compared with the external debt as of September 30th 2017.

The movement in the domestic debt was due mainly to the following:

  1. Total Government Bonds and Treasury Notes issued and outstanding over the period fell by 9.4 per cent or a $25.9 million at the same time the total Treasury Bills outstanding also fell by 39.9 per cent or $6.1 million.
  2. Over the period the balance outstanding on Overdraftsowed by the public sector contracted by $9.6 million or 16.8 per cent but Local Loans increased by 5.2 per cent or $8.1 million.

During the period September 30th 2017 to September 30th 2018, there was a net increase in the external debt by $23.9 million or 2.2 per cent.

The main driver accounting for this change in the external indebtedness of the Government is a $22.8 million or 29.4 per cent increase in External Fixed Rate Bonds.

  1. Additionally, net repayments were recorded on a number of external loans during the period. Some of the more significant ones are:
    1. $7.4 million repaid on a number of CDB loans;
    2. $7.8 million repaid on ALBA loans;
    3. $6.2 million repaid on loans owed to the IMF
    4. $3.8 million paid on loans from ROC
    5. $3.6 million paid to Scotiabank on loan for AIA tower and equipment.

The Public Debt as at September 30th 2018 is comprised as follows:

Type of Debt Amount  %  of total
Domestic $ 528.2 m 32.7 %
External $ 1,086.4 m 67.3 %
TOTAL $1,614.6 m 100.0 %

Total debt service for 2019 is estimated at $257.1 million or 40.8 per cent of the Current Revenue as a result of the maturity of two bonds that mature this fiscal year.

 The Debt Service requirements for 2019 are made up of:

Interest Payments $ 68.4 m

Amortization $137.4 m

Sinking Fund Contributions $  51.9 m

$257.7 m

Notwithstanding this, the external debt (the larger component) is mostly concessional (with low-interest rates and long maturities) with an average interest rate on external debt of 2.1 per cent and an effective interest rate averaging 3.1 per cent over the last two years.

More details on the public debt can be found on pages 721 to 727 of the Estimates.

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