Seychelles Central Bank’s Head says Public Debt is to Fall on Economic Reform

Posted in Seychelles' statistics at 4:25 pm by Robert Klien

According to Central Bank of Seychelles Governor Pierre Laporte, the offshore juridiction expects public debt to shrink to 50% of GDP (gross domestic product) by 2017 on further economic reforms.

In an interview held on April 2, Laporte said: “We are back on track after implementing reforms and tightening monetary policy”. He explained that public debt has decreased to about 80% of GDP from 160% 3 years ago. According to the IMF, Seychelles’ external debt almost halved over the past 2 years to 48% of GDP.

In 2008, after missing interest payments on bonds and defaulting on privately placed securities, when higher oil prices and falling tourism crimped government revenue, Seychelles sought help from the International Monetary Fund. Consumer prices declined on an annual basis in February after reaching a peak of 63% in December 2008.

Laporte said that the country’s structural reforms are ahead of target, with the fiscal surplus at 9% of GDP in 2010. The surplus is to decline to about 4.5% in 2011, because of investment in key infrastructure projects. The Central Bank’s website says that gross international reserves have surged to $244 million from $11 million in the 4th quarter of 2008.

Laporte said that FDI (foreign direct investment) will probably fall by 54% to $149 million in 2011 compared with a year earlier. Economic growth may slow to 4%.


China gives Seychelles 20 years on debts repay

Posted in Business and Economy, Seychelles government at 1:10 pm by Robert Klien

China has agreed to let Seychelles pay the R321 million debt in 20 years, with a grace period of 10 years. This was announced by the Vice-President and the Minister for Finance and Trade Danny Faure on his return from China.

In China, Mr Faure led negotiations aimed to seek a rescheduling of the debts of Seychelles. During his visit to China, Faure was accompanied by his technical adviser Bertrand Belle and the director for public debt in the Ministry of Finance Brian Charlette.

Faure said that during the 10 years’ grace period Seychelles will need to pay 2% interest, which is about R500 000 a month (R6 million a year). He commented: “Within the next 24 months, the government will receive an injection of USD 3 million budget support from China as part of a package that is comparable to the treatment we have received as part of our negotiations with commercial banks, bond holders and countries belonging to the Paris Club group”.

On April 18, the agreements for the restructuring were signed in Beijing.

Faure said: “Even though China is the 2nd largest economy in the world, it remains a developing country and it has a principle to help other people in the world, and this is how we as a small nation are getting the money to invest in social infrastructure which help our country’s development from China”.


Government of Seychelles to sell shares in Savings Bank

Posted in Offshore Banking, Seychelles government at 7:02 pm by Robert Klien

As of April 20, 2011, people having accounts with the Seychelles Savings Bank (SSB) will be able to buy the government’s shares in this bank. This was announced by finance minister Danny Faure on April 14.

According to Mr Faure, during the 1st phase of the process, all applications will be processed from April 20. This will be over a period of 2 weeks and will close on May 5.

The sale of shares in the SSB was announced by President James Michel’s in his state-of-the-nation address in February 2011.

The government’s 40% share in the SSB amounts to 240 000 shares (equivalent to R24 million). Depending on the subscription received during the 1st phase, in the 2nd phase of the sale, the Ministry may offer for sale to the general public the remaining portion of the 240 000 shares.

The execution of the sale will be coordinated by the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of Seychelles and the Seychelles Savings Bank.


Seychelles’ Economic Programme is on track, IMF says

Posted in Business and Economy, International Organisations, International relations at 6:51 pm by Robert Klien

A visit to the Seychelles that was aimed to conduct discussions for the 3rd programme review under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF), has just been completed by an International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission.

The delegation that represented the IMF was led by Jean Le Dem. The IMF mission met with President James Michel, Vice President Danny Faure, Governor of the Central Bank of Seychelles Pierre Laporte, Principal Secretary of Finance Ahmed Afif, as well as other senior government officials, private sector representatives and parliamentarians.

According to Mr Le Dem, the Seychelles authorities go on making progress in the reform programme.

The IMF noted that economic recovery in 2010 strengthened – real GDP growth is likely to have exceeded 6% and consumer price index (CPI) inflation was almost 0. So, despite some technical delays in government payments to one parastatal, the programme is on track.

Mr Le Dem indicated that the modernization of the tax system is continuing, which includes important steps toward the launching of a VAT, scheduled for mid-2012. The introduction of the value-added tax is aimed to improve integration in the economy, broadening of the base, elimination of cascading, and increased efficiency and fairness.

The IMF EFF arrangement was approved on December 22, 2009 for SDR 19.8 million or USD 30.9 million. SDR 9.2 million out of this sum has so far been disbursed. SDR 3.52 million should be available upon completion of the 3rd review expected to be carried out in May 2011.


Professionals from Seychelles participate in African media forum

Posted in International relations at 1:02 pm by Robert Klien

Seychellois media professionals have returned from a 2-day conference in South Africa that focused on the role and responsibilities of media of Africa. The offshore jurisdiction was presented by 3 Seychellois professionals.

The forum was held from March 9-10at the University of the Witwatersrand. The event was organised and supported by the British and Canadian High Commissions in Pretoria and the British High Commission in Seychelles.

Topics under discussion included the right to know and access to information, transformation and democratisation in the media, models of regulation, issues in self-regulation, the role of government and society as well as mechanisms of accountability. The themes were exemplified by information from countries as diverse as the United Kingdom, Canada, Ghana, Tanzania, South Africa, and Nigeria.