Govt borrows US$600m from CAF

Government yesterday announced it had borrowed US$600 million from a Venezuela-based development bank over the past year.

It also increased its shareholding in the bank at a value of US$190 million in an agreement made on December 3.

The Ministry of Finance disclosed the details of TT’s investment in the Corporacion Andina de Formento (CAF), which has its headquarters in Caracas, indicating last week’s transaction took place during the bank’s 164th board meeting in Uruguay.

TT has invested US$519 million in CAF since it became a member in 1994, moving through the ranks from being a “Series C non-core member” with a share value of US$770,000 to its current status as an “A member”.

“With the increase in shareholding in CAF by Trinidad and Tobago to US$519 million, the indicative borrowing that can be accessed by Trinidad and Tobago is approximately US$2.2 billion,” the ministry said in a statement.

It gave the breakdown of the past year’s borrowing as follows: US$300 million on July 27, 2017; US$180 million on April 23, 2018 and US$120 million on August 29.

Finance Minister Colm Imbert, who attended last week’s meeting in Uruguay, became a member of the CAF board after TT became an “A member” on June 23, 2016. The Central Bank governor is an alternate director.