Jamaica Development Bank to Ramp up Lending

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Apr 2019
Jamaica, April, 04 2019 - Jamaica's 2019-20 budget, approved March 23 and going into effect April 1, includes a major push from the government to boost lending to MSMEs as well as tax cuts, measures that look to produce an increase in loan applications.

The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) expects to facilitate investments amounting to around 26.4bn Jamaican dollars (US$208mn) as well as make 220 new business engagements over the course of the new fiscal year, which started April 1.

Under budget guidelines, the entity's activities are expected to yield loan disbursements totaling about J$7.6bn, up from J$3.8bn for the just-concluded financial year.

As reported in government news service JIS, the DBJ mandate for 2018 places emphasis on "developing an entrepreneurial ecosystem, correcting market failures in the financial sector, divesting government assets, and facilitating public-private partnerships."

Jamaica's 2019-20 budget, approved March 23 and going into effect April 1, also includes a major push from the government to boost lending to MSMEs as well as tax cuts, measures that look to produce an increase in loan applications.

"We certainly expect an increase, as there's a certain confidence and positive outlook for the future, particularly in the MSME space," said Milverton Reynolds, managing director of DBJ, in an interview with local news outlet The Daily Gleaner.

"When you look at what we are doing, and it's not only us - there are other institutions as well, such as the Jamaica Business Development Corporation - it's really to ensure that we move the sector, so that they can, in fact, create the jobs and we can see the economic growth in the country," added Reynolds.

DBJ has 23 approved financial institutions that have networks across the island. Over the last 10 years, it has lent about J$21bn to more than 2,000 borrowers. There are also 13 accredited microfinance institutions through which funds are provided for lending.

For the previous fiscal year, that ended March 31, DBJ was projected to have issued J$1.8bn in loans to the microfinance sector, building on the roughly J$8.4bn in microloans over the last decade, as reported in The Daily Gleaner.

Among other initiatives for 2019-20, DBJ will work towards further divesting the government of non-core assets and improve utilization of current state assets to reduce the administration's expenditure through public-private partnerships, reported JIS.

DBJ forecasts a net operational surplus of J$412mn, nearly doubling the J$238mn generated in the 2018-19 fiscal year, according to the JIS report.



 

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