Headline — 09 August 2013 — by Adele Ramos
$20 million approved for National Bank of Belize

The National Bank of Belize was established this April and today, the House of Representatives approved a motion for the Minister of Finance to execute the necessary documents to channel $20 million into the new financial institution, which Government asserts is intended to provide concessionary credit to public officers, teachers and other needy Belizeans.

The $20 million will purchase for the Government of Belize 200,000 shares in the National Bank of Belize.

A statement sheet provided to the media at a press conference held by Prime Minister Dean Barrow, Minister of Finance, earlier this year, indicated that the start-up capital for the bank would come from funds on-lent from the Petro-Caribe funds.

These are funds which the Government earmarks for special use, as a credit provided by Venezuela. Whenever Belize receives shipments of fuel and fuel products from that country, the monies due to Venezuela are set aside in a fund for special programs here; and the Government can repay Venezuela under a long-term payment scheme at a minimal rate of interest.

The Government has indicated that apart from the initial $20 million injection of funds, “the plan is to seek out further funding sources including through our evolving partnership with Venezuela, and from local sources, and to recycle for further lending.”

The bank has an authorized share capital of $100 million, divided into 1 million shares at $100 each.

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