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Scotia Investments GM: $8.3bn looking for a home

Thursday, December 5, 2013

By the first three weeks of September 2013, there was a record “build up of commercial banks’ excess reserves” totalling $8.3 billion, Scotia Investments general manager Karrian Hepburn told the Business Guardian in a telephone interview on November 21. She was speaking two days after an in-person interview at the bank’s head office on Richmond Street in Port of Spain, where she had said: “What I see is that the market is very liquid. There is about $8 billion in excess liquidity in the market. People call every day looking for somewhere to park this cash, and the options are right now, quite limited. I’m sure if you thought about it for a little bit, you could come up with all the TT dollar options that are available right now.”



Hepburn, and Bevon Alvarez, one of her senior portfolio managers, were interviewing by the Business Guardian on Scotia Investments’ new TT dollar mutual funds. The bank had only US dollar mutual funds previously. Hepburn said: “Issues coming to market are few and far between, both from the government and corporate sides, so there’s a lot of cash looking for a home.”



Only a day after the interview with Hepburn and Alvarez, Minister of Finance and the Economy Larry Howai went to Parliament with a similar problem. Howai spoke to the Lower House about $6 billion in excess liquidity that the Central Bank wanted approval from lawmakers to mop up through the issue of treasury bills (T-bills) and treasury notes (T-notes). Howai had said the $6 billion figure was what he was told by the Central Bank, but added that the commercial banks would have a higher number.




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