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Alba Bank grants SVG $88.1 million debt forgiveness

Alba Bank grants SVG $88.1 million debt forgiveness

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The external debt of this country has been reduced because of debt forgiveness of $88.1 million from the Government of Venezuela.

Delivering the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure in Parliament on Monday, Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves said that apart from the external debt going down because of repayment, loans outstanding to the Alba Bank declined by $88.1 million, owing to debt forgiveness.

The loan which was forgiven was incurred for the construction of the Argyle International Airport (AIA) which opened in February, 2017.

“The Government and people of St Vincent and the Grenadines are extremely grateful to the Government and people of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for this selfless act of kindness and solidarity,” said Gonsalves.

He said that during the period September 30, 2016 to September 30, 2017, there was an increase in external debt by $16.6 million or 1.5 per cent, and one factor contributing to the rise in external debt included the $35 million bond raised to repurchase the Bank of St Vincent and the Grenadines (BOSVG).

Also carrying down the External Debt were repayments amounting to $14.1 million on outstanding balances owed to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the CDF and the Bank of Nova Scotia.

$24.1 million was repaid to the CDB, while $5.1 million was repaid on other loans.

These loans were contracted for a variety of purposes, including disaster recovery and rehabilitation, electricity generation and the construction and equipping of the AIA tower.(LC) 

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