by Linda Straker
- PetroCaribe debt stock is EC$372.1 million or 11.5% of GDP
- PetroCaribe is State-Owned Enterprise with the highest debt to government
The Ministry of Finance is reporting that PetroCaribe debt stock is EC$372.1 million or 11.5% of GDP making it the State-Owned Enterprise (SOE) with the highest debt to government. Recently it was announced that PetroCaribe as a creature of government is not functioning because of losing its contract to its only client and as well as the current turmoil in Venezuela.
According to the first quarter 2019 Public Debt Bulletin, as of the end of 2018, the more than 20 SOEs accounted for EC$30.0 million. “The total debt stock includes the debt obligations of PetroCaribe, which amounted to EC$372.1 million (11.5% of GDP),” said the bulletin which is published on the Ministry of Finance website.
“At the end of Q1 2019, the stock of total public debt was EC$1,960.5 million (60.7% of GDP1). It comprised 25.1% domestic debt and 74.9% external debt. Government guaranteed debt was negligible at 0.01% of external debt and there was no domestic government-guaranteed debt,” said the document which explains that the total public debt (domestic and external) includes Central Government’s debt and the government-guaranteed debt of Government of Grenada’s (GOGs) state-owned enterprises.
When comparing the first quarter of 2018 and 2019, the ministry said that for the same period the external debt varied. “External debt fluctuated as a result of disbursements and debt service payments whereas domestic debt decreased over the period, in line with GOG’s Medium-Term Debt Strategy (MTDS) which advocates the issuance of fewer short-termed instruments,” the ministry is reporting.
The stock of external debt at the end of the period totalled EC$1,469.2 million (45.5% of GDP) and consisted primarily of debt contracted from multilateral creditors. The external portfolio is dominated by loans contracted at fixed interest rates.
The Bulletin said that at the end of the first quarter of 2019, the stock of domestic debt stood at EC$491.2 million (15.2% of GDP). “The domestic portfolio is dominated by bonds. Non-bank financial institutions are the leading holders of domestic debt,” said the report.
For the period under review, the Bulletin which is produced by the Debt Management Unit said that the total loan disbursements amounting to EC$1.4 million were received, 93.6% of which were from multilateral creditors and 6.4% from a bilateral (non-Paris club) creditor.