Guyana - Banking and securities



The Bank of Guyana is the central bank. In addition to the Bank of Guyana, seven commercial banks operate in the country. Three of them are foreign-owned, namely, Bank of Baroda, Bank of Nova Scotia, and The National Bank for Industry and Commerce (NIBC). In April 1994, the government sold its shares in the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI). In November 1994 the Demerara Bank (a private, domestic bank) and the Citizen's Bank started operations. Further liberalization of the financial sector occurred in April 1995 when Parliament approved the Financial Institutions Act of 1995. The new legislation aimed to tighten the supervisory and regulatory framework of the financial system. The NIBIC, one of Guyana's largest banks, was offered for privatization in 1996. By 2002, only one state-owned bank remained: the Guyana National Cooperative Bank (GNCB). The International Monetary Fund reports that in 2001, currency and demand deposits—an aggregate commonly known as M1—were equal to $139.3 million. In that same year, M2—an aggregate equal to M1 plus savings deposits, small time deposits, and money market mutual funds—was $513.2 million. The discount rate, the interest rate at which the central bank lends to financial institutions in the short term, was 8.8%.

While a number of firms with publicly issued share capital are active, no large-scale securities market has developed.

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