Trinidad and Tobago Central Bank moves to address foreign exchange woes

500-us-dollar-billPORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Tuesday March 3, 2015, CMC – The Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago Monday announced that it sold US$250 million to the banking system, completely offsetting a US$154 million foreign exchange gap experienced in February.

In a brief statement, the Central Bank, which has come under severe criticism for its new foreign exchange policy, said that demand for foreign exchange from the business community and public totalled US$592 million in February 2015, while supply of foreign exchange, mainly from energy sector companies, amounted to US$438 million, resulting in the overall gap of US$154 million.

“In keeping with its strategic foreign exchange management programme, Central Bank sold US$250 million to the banking system, completely offsetting the gap and providing just over US$95 million in excess supply to be used in early March 2015.”

It said that conversions by the energy sector contributed 71 per cent or US$310 million to total foreign exchange inflows for February 2015.

“Demand was mainly driven by the Retail and Distribution (US$141 million), Manufacturing (US$38 million), and Automobile (US$19 million) sectors. Net credit card sales amounted to US$19 million.”

The Central Bank said that Trinidad and Tobago’s net official reserves currently stand at US$10.7 billion, representing one year worth of import cover.

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