NIR steady despite BOJ sales

Jamaica’s Net International Reserves slipped by just US$32 million in September according to data just released by the country’s central bank – Bank Of Jamaica ( BOJ).
According to BOJ the NIR stood at US$3.027 billion at the end of September down marginally from US$3.027 billion at the end of August. Reserves amounts to just over 19 weeks of Goods & Services Imports, the central bank states.
The change comes against the back ground of sale of US$41 million in B-FXITT weekly auction of foreign currency.

Huge surge in NIR mostly temporary

Jamaica’s international reserves surged to $4.25 billion at the end of August, with net reserves climbing to $3.67 billion, up from a net of US$2.74 billion at the end of July.
The increase came from a number of sources with the inflows from the issue of bonds by the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) as well as inflows from the foreign exchange market.
“The increase in the NIR of US$933 million in August 2017 was attributed mainly to receipts from Eurobond of US$834.4 million by GOJ, net purchases of foreign exchange by BOJ from authorised foreign exchange traders and issuance of BOJ USD CDs,” Bank of Jamaica confirmed in response to an IC’s query.
“Notably, the impact of the large inflow from the GOJ Eurobond is transitory. During September, GOJ will pay approximately US$530 million (principal and interest) to investors on prepayment of two USD Bonds,” the BOJ’s response concluded.
Data for the first two weeks in September suggest that there is likely to be no new net inflows for the month from the regular foreign exchange market and the NIR could end at just about US$3.1 billion after the payout of the GOJ bonds, if BOJ does not issue new CDs to mop up the liquidity that would flow from the payout.

Jamaica’s FX Reserves jump in December

Jamaica’s Net International Reserves shot up by US$163 million in December to hit US$2.72 billion with gross reserves climbing to US$3.29 billion.
The increase for December is just US$15 million less that the net inflows of foreign exchange, the financial system generated in the month. The reserves represent 38.40 weeks of imports of goods and 22.27 weeks of goods and services. Data of daily trading of foreign exchange collated by IC show that net inflows of all currencies, amounted to a surplus of US$178 million in December last year.
Jamaica started 2016 with net reserves of US$2.437 billion, strong demand between April and May saw the amount dipping to a low of US$2.265 billion in June, as the country’s central bank sold funds into the market to meet demand.

Devaluation pushed by NIR build out

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Ja$5000Net inflows into Jamaica’s foreign exchange market amounted to US$167.5 million in September, in a month that usually results net outflows with the ending of the peak tourism summer months.
The heavy net inflows did not prevent the value of the Jamaican dollar from slipping during the month from a selling rate of J$127.57 to the US dollar to J$128.27 at the end of September.
For the entire month, there was only one trading day when there was less foreign exchange bought by dealers than the amount they sold with net sales of US$5 million. In contrast, for September 2015, net inflows amounted to just $6.5 million with 11 trading days of negative flows.
The net purchases for September bring the surplus from July to date to US$436 million.
In July and August, the NIR grew by $250 million to US$2.5 billion, well ahead of the target agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), but the IMF is saying the central bank must continue to build up the NIR which is well off the target of the IMF.
The IMF states “Net international reserves (NIR) stood at US$2.4 billion at end-July, nearly US$500 million above the program target, while gross reserves stood at nearly 80 percent of the IMF’s reserve adequacy metric at end-2015. The BoJ’s FX market sales have declined in recent months, and the net FX purchases including the surrender requirement has been about US$388 million in 2016 (up to end-July).”

BOJ reserves climbs by US$250M in early August.

BOJ reserves climbs by US$250M in early August.

“International reserves remain somewhat below recommended prudential needs. Reserves are expected to reach around 85 percent of the IMF’s reserve adequacy (ARA) metric by end-2016, still below the recommended range of 100-150 percent. Moreover, a substantial share of the reserves accumulation was driven by international bond and central bank US dollar CD issuances. The BoJ should continue to steadily purchase FX from the market and limit FX sales to periods of high currency market volatility, while maintaining a market-determined and flexible exchange rate. To further develop the FX market and promote price discovery, the BoJ is working (with the help of IMF TA) on introducing a standard multiple price-auction mechanism for FX sales and purchases with the goal of eventually phasing out FX surrender requirements and using market-based auctions for FX sales and purchases.”
In October 2014 and January 2015 Bank of Jamaica required commercial banks to surrender, in total between thirty percent (30%) to thirty-five percent (35%) up from 25% to £0 percent of foreign currency purchases daily. The surrender requirement to the BOJ for cambios was increased by 5 percentage points to twenty-five percent (25%) of their daily gross foreign exchange purchases from commercial

Jamaica’s NIR jumps by US$250M

US$ bungleJamaica’s Net International Reserves (NIR) benefited from buoyant flows during the summer months to shoot up by US$250 million, taking the net reserves US$2.52 billion at the end of August. The reserves shot up by US$124 million in July and jumped by US$126 million in August, as the banking system raked in much more foreign currency over the two months than they sold.
In spite of the net heavy inflows during the period, the local dollar declined marginally by less than two percent against the critically important US dollar, with the selling rate moving from $125.46 at the end of June to $127.57 at the end of August.
The build-up of the NIR took place over the period when bankers net purchasing of foreign currency amounted to just under US$300 million in July and August.
The reserves at the end of August are above the 2016 peak of US$2.42 billion at the end of March, just before the central bank intervened by selling to the market, pulling the reserves to a low of US$2.265 billion in June.
The build in the NIR places the country’s central bank in a good position to control of the foreign exchange market in the months ahead, before the next period of higher inflows starts in mid-December.

NIR shoots up in July

US$ bungleNet International Reserves of Jamaica shot up by US$124 million in July, to end at US$2.39 billion. The build-up has taken place over the period when bankers purchased US$100 million more than they sold, with the amount climbing to US$116 million up to the first week in August and US$124 million including Monday’s intake.
The reserves are just slightly below the amount of US$2.42 billion it was at the end of March at the 2016 peak, just before the central bank had to intervene by selling to the market with the reserves declining to a low of US$2.265 billion in June, just above the US$2.2 billion at the end of January.
With August being another month when inflows of foreign currency is high, the prospects are good for further build-up of funds in the system, before the end of the month and could place the country’s central bank in full control of the foreign exchange market in the months ahead before the next period of higher inflows starts in mid-December.

NIR climbs US$94m in December

Jamaica enjoyed a week of strong net inflows on the FX front

Jamaica enjoyed a week of strong net inflows on the FX front

Net International Reserves increased by $43.3 million with loan inflows provided by IMF and from the surplus funds purchased from financial system in December.
The inflows brought the net inflows to US$93.9 million for the month, moving the reserves to $2.437 billion from $2.34 at the end of November.
Reserves now amount to 33.37 in Weeks of Goods Imports, up from 31.80 weeks and 22.98 weeks in reserves of Goods & Services Imports up from 21.90 weeks from the November amounts a release from Bank of Jamaica disclosed.
Bank of Jamaica confirmed that for the December 2015 quarter the net purchase by them amounted to US$137.48 million. The intake by the bank helped to build up the reserves.

Major gains in Jamaica’s current account

Petroleum imports help cut trade deficit to June

Petroleum imports help cut trade deficit to June

There was major improvement in Jamaica’s current account deficit, provisional data for the June 2015 quarter show, relative to the similar quarter in 2014. The deficit came in at US$86 million, an improvement of US$185 million compared to US$271 million for the corresponding period in 2014.
For the March 2015 quarter, the Current Account enjoyed a surplus of US$39.4 million, an improvement of US$149.5 million over the similar period in 2014 as a result the current account for the year to June is negative US$45 million versus a deficit of US$398 million in the first half year in 2014.
The outturn for the June quarter reflected improvements on all sub-accounts except the Income sub-account which was almost unchanged. Net private and official capital inflows were, however, insufficient to finance the deficits on the current and capital accounts. As a result, there was a drawdown of US$177 million in the Net International Reserves of the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ).
There was a reduction of US$80 million in the deficit on the merchandise trade largely associated with a decline of US$133 million in imports and a reduction of US$53 million in exports. “The reduction in payments for imports mainly reflected lower expenditure for fuel and raw materials. Consumer and capital goods imports rose. The decline in exports mainly reflected lower earnings from non-traditional exports and sugar. Notwithstanding the overall fall in exports, there were higher earnings from alumina exports for the quarter” the BOJ report states.
Hilton Rose Hall -Sagicor X Fund recent acquisition

Hilton Rose Hall -Sagicor X Fund recent acquisition

Services enjoyed the increased surplus US$65 million, reflecting improvements in travel, transportation and other services. Regarding transportation, there was a decline in freight payments associated with the reduction in imports while the improvement in other services was due principally to reduced payments for insurance services. Within the current transfers sub-account, the increased surplus mainly reflected growth of 4.6 per cent in gross private remittance inflows. There was a marginal increase in the deficit on the income sub-account stemming primarily from a reduction in inflows associated with compensation of employees.

Jamaica’s NIR passes US$2b

NIR_YELLOW280x150Jamaica’s Net International Reserves (NIR) now exceeds US$2 billion as it sits at US$2.18 billion, up by US$805 million during July. The increase reflects the US$800 million bond, the government raised recently on the international market.
The gross amount of the reserves is US$2.8 billion, up by US$793 million during July, of this amount US$606 million is due to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and represents primarily, funds obtained from the IMF for liquidity support for the financial system, when the JLP government undertook the first debt exchange, back in 2010.
Reserves of Goods Imports amount to 28.13 weeks and 20.30 weeks of Rreserves of Goods & Services Imports.

NIR jumps US$211M to US$1.376 Billion

NIR_YELLOW280x150The net International reserves (NIR) jumped US$211 million in June to reach US$1.376 billion. The NIR now represents 19.90 weeks of goods imports and 14.57 weeks of goods and services imports.
The Gross NIR amounts to US$2.016 billion at the end of June. During the month the central bank offered a series of US dollar based bonds and this would have helped to swell the numbers.