Bank of Guyana Intervenes to address foreign currency challenges

In response to challenges with accessing foreign currency in the local market, the Bank of Guyana has taken decisive action following discussions with commercial banks, as disclosed by Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo during a news conference on Thursday (June 6, 2024) at the Office of the President.

Jagdeo outlined that escalating demand for foreign currency, driven by importation and other financial transactions, had caused prolonged waiting times and a significant disparity between supply and demand within the banking sector.

Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

“We’ve seen a situation where we’ve had a short-term mismatch and we’ve asked the central bank…to make a major interjection in the foreign currency market and this morning most people said that the market is entirely cleared,” he said.

He emphasized the government’s vigilant oversight of the banking sector, underscoring its readiness to intervene when necessary.

Addressing the timing of the intervention, Jagdeo clarified, “Previously, we had seen that overall, the market was clearing itself. Although there was a wait list for… number of importers, the market was clearing itself because on a daily basis, we watch the aggregate foreign currency available to the bank and their aggregate demand. We don’t want the rate to appreciate too much because that will lead to another set of problems, but we don’t want the rate to depreciate too much.

Notably, Guyana’s import expenditure for 2024 has surpassed $5 billion, with a significant portion originating from the United States.

In the latest exchange rate update provided by the Central Bank, the buying price for USD stands at $207.98, with a selling price of $210.45.

Additionally, the buying and selling prices for Canadian dollars are listed at $152 and $152.76, respectively. EURO’s exchange rate is reported at a buying price of $225.89 and a selling price of $228.79.