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Government pays in $31 million to Development Finance Corporation

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Posted: Monday, September 6, 2021. 3:59 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The Government of Belize says it has made the largest investment in the history of the Development Finance Corporation (DFC), $31.1 million, to allow it to increase developmental lending to support national recovery, including $8 million for the agricultural sector.

The DFC investment is one of equity, meaning the Government increased its share capacity within the company by 3,115,559 as a result of a Debt-to-Equity Swap and a Conversion to Equity of two agency accounts namely, the European Union Sugar Cane Replanting Program (SCRP) and the Belize Rural Credit Fund Program (RCF). Each share is valued at 10 dollars.

The new investment helps the DFC as a development finance institution, said General Manager Natalie Ewing Goff, to “create the capital space needed for the DFC to assume increase risks and increase lending, as needed. This new equity investment, when combined with debt financing, aided in reducing the cost of funds that has enabled DFC to reduce its lending rates. Since April, DFC has launched new product lines with lower rates in the housing, tourism, and MSE sectors, so far. New product lines for the agriculture sector, again at lower rates, will be unveiled shortly.”

Added Chairman Henry N. Anderson, “This investment immediately gives DFC the financial stability required to attract additional funding to fast track the implementation of government’s Plan Belize policy framework, to restore and transform Belize’s economy with particular attention to earning and saving of foreign exchange, climate resiliency, gender mainstreaming, and supporting MSE’s an investment by youth entrepreneurs.”

And Minister of State for Finance Christopher Coye noted, “… this injection ‘will facilitate on-lending primarily in the agriculture sector, at lower interest rates, and with fewer restrictions and conditions.’”

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