The Central Bank said yesterday it has pumped US$500 million into the banking system to make it easier for businesses and individuals to access foreign currency.
“The Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago is aware of the difficulty some businessmen and members of the public have been experiencing in obtaining foreign currency, in particular US dollars from commercial banks,” the bank said in a statement.
It said it has been “actively and aggressively taking steps to address this situation”.
In the last three and a half months Central Bank has sold US$500 million to the banking sector to “alleviate tensions in the domestic foreign exchange market”, the statement added.
The following is a breakdown of these sales:
November 2013: US$160,000,000
December 2013: US$40,000,000
January 2014: US$160,000,000
February 2014: US$140,000,000
Total sold as of yesterday: US$500,000,000
The Central Bank said it typically supplies 25 per cent of the total foreign exchange needs of the market, with the remaining 75 per cent supplied by the banking system.
“The Central Bank is assuring the public that other initiatives are currently being pursued to strengthen the operational efficiency of the domestic foreign exchange market,” the statement said, adding: “The bank continues to monitor developments in the foreign exchange market and will take appropriate action as needed.”