Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 March 2022, 15:53 by Denis Chabrol
The Guyana government is on the verge of licensing a new merchant bank that will target the rapidly emerging large business sector, officials said.
Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo first announced the formation of the financial institution at a meeting with residents of Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam). “We just licensed a merchant bank- a Guyanese guy who got it, the licence- and they are setting up a bank; it’s not a depository taking bank but they can probably do discounting and things like that,” he said.
Governor of the Bank of Guyana, Dr Gobin Ganga told Demerara Waves Online News that negotiations started about one year ago with the principals to set up the new merchant bank here. He said the licence was being finalised and the location has been already identified. “I can confirm that we are in the process of finalising the requirements for such a licence,” he said. Dr. Ganga said the Bank of Guyana would be conducting an onsite inspection.
Merchant banks seek to mobilise monies to invest in Guyana in various ways for large corporations.
Dr. Ganga declined to confirm or deny whether United States-based Guyanese Financial Analyst, Floyd Haynes obtained the licence for the merchant bank. Mr. Haynes could not be reached immediately for comment, but well-placed sources in the local financial sector have confirmed that he has gotten the nod to set up the financial institution secondly only to Guyana Americas Merchant Bank, a subsidiary of the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI).
The Central Bank Governor said a merchant would require an asset requirement of at least US$500,000.
Noting that there was no large scale government facility to give very large loans, Vice President Jagdeo said government might have to extend guarantees which would require changes to the Central Bank Act and the structures related to commercial banks.
The Bank of Guyana Governor said there are other pending merchant bank applications.