…from US$825M in 2012 to US$498.5M in 2018
Guyana’s net foreign reserves, held by the central bank in foreign currency notes, has fallen to its lowest point since 2008, a recent report from the bank has highlighted.
As of March 2018, the foreign reserves stood at US$498.5M. In contrast the reserves in 2012 stood at US$825M.
A perusal of the Bank of Guyana’s statistical abstract shows that from the lows of US$298.8 million ten years ago; Guyana’s foreign reserves were built up to 2012’s sum and then it started dropping, going to US$751.2 million in 2013 and US$652.2 million in 2014.
The slide continued with the foreign reserves being recorded at US$594.7 million at the end of 2015, before picking up in January of 2016 and being recorded at US$621.1 million. While the year 2016 saw the reserves fluctuate, it never strayed below the US$500 million mark until the end of the year.
In 2017, the reserves plunged well into the US$500 million range. By November of last year, the reserves were recorded at US$562 million and as of March 2018, for the first time since 2008, the net foreign reserves fell to below the US$500 million benchmark.
At a press conference last month, Finance Minister Winston Jordan had admitted that from the 2017 end of year economic report, the economy grew by 2.1 per cent. Sugar, bauxite and gold all underperformed, and experts are positing that this may be playing a part on the drop in foreign reserves.
The foreign reserves is not the only thing that has declined. According to the bank’s statement of assets and liabilities, its total assets as of March 28, 2018, were $206.4 billion. This includes $1.9 billion in gold reserves, $82.1 billion in capital market securities and $5.6 billion in money market securities.
This is a reduction from the gold reserves the bank recorded in June 2017. According to the bank’s Half Year Report last year, it had $4.8 billion worth of gold in its foreign holdings as assets.
The gold reserves have steadily been declining with each passing year. At the end of 2016, the bank had $7.4 billion in gold, while at the end of 2015 the gold reserves stood at $14.2 billion. At the end of 2014 the bank of Guyana had $25 billion in gold as assets.
In the case of total assets, that has also seen a marked decrease.
At the end of 2014, total assets were $207.9 billion. It reduced in 2015, being recorded at $188.7 billion in December of that year, before recovering by 2016 year end and being recorded at $220 billion. At June 2017, total assets were $221.8 billion, before the drop recorded in this year’s figures.