Foreign exchange rates for wide-ranging discussion

Last Updated on Saturday, 9 September 2023, 11:15 by Denis Chabrol

Representatives of the banking sector and the business community are next week Monday scheduled to hammer out ways of addressing concerns about the availability of foreign exchange, President Irfaan Ali said Saturday.

He said he has instructed the Minister of Finance Dr Ashni Singh to convene a stakeholder meeting with the private sector, the Bank of Guyana, all commercial banks and other key stakeholders. “We’re going to have everyone in the room and to discuss this issue in a holistic manner and to bring to me a report based on those consultations so that we can further examine this matter,” he told a news conference.

Dr Ali said figures from the Bank of Guyana and the cambios as well as reviews by the Central Bank Governor and the technical team show that “they have sufficient foreign currency to satisfy the exiting demand.” The Central Bank conducts daily surveillance and reporting on the clearance of the foreign exchange market, he added.

On Saturday, foreign exchange was being traded at GY$202 for US$1.00 (buying) and GY$216 for US$1.00 (selling). A number of cambios have opted not to post the selling rate on their boards.

Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo recently observed that a number of Trinidadian businesses had been using Guyana’s foreign exchange market to buy their goods for export to Port-of-Spain because of the prolonged foreign exchange crisis there.

Commercial banks have strict rules about the purchase of or wiring of foreign exchange overseas.

Guyana has a floating exchange rate, but under the coalition-led government, the Central Bank had ordered cambios to trade the United States dollar within a GY$3.00 spread for the buying and selling rates.