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Bahamas central bank lifts investment currency market suspension

The Central Bank of The Bahamas recently announced that it has lifted its suspension on the Investment Currency Market (ICM), which had halted between B$50 million and B$100 million in foreign currency outflows.

The central bank had suspended the ICM, which allows locals and residents to invest in international securities and real estate, at the height of the novel coronavirus pandemic to protect the country’s foreign currency reserves.

The International Monetary Fund building in Washington, DC, USA disbursed B$247 million to The Bahamas as part of a Special Drawing Rights. (File photo)

According to the regulator’s Monthly Economic and Financial Developments report for July, the country’s external reserves grew by B$36.7 million to B$2.6 billion during the month, a massive turnaround from the B$45.5 million reduction in the previous year.

The regulator further indicated that the Bahamian Depository Receipts (BDR) programme, which facilitates pooled investments in foreign securities, will also be resumed.

Both the ICM and the BDR programme will be accessible beginning October 1, 2021. However, the bank noted that annual access limits will be accessible beginning January 1, 2022.

Central Bank of The Bahamas (File photo)

Late last month, the central bank received a B$247-million boost to its external reserves through a special International Monetary Fund (IMF) facility.

The central bank said at the time that in an effort to assist countries in their response to the shock from the pandemic, the IMF had allocated B$456 billion in Special Drawing Rights (SDR) to its entire membership of countries, in proportion to their shareholding.