Putting Closure on a Crisis

Mar 1, 2002

Jamaica has paid a heavy price for its botched financial sector liberalization of the 1990s. Omar Davies, Jamaica's finance minister, estimates the 1997 banking crisis cost the country J$125 billion ($2.5 billion). Now, nearly six years later, the crisis is finally coming to a close.
The Financial Sector Adjustment Company (Finsac), which the government set up in 1997 to consolidate Jamaica's banks, sold the Jamaican government's 75% stake in National Commercial Bank of Jamaica to Canadian fund manager AIC Limited in January for J$6 billion ($175 million). Patrick Hylton, managing director of Finsac, says the organization will cease to exist at the end of this year.

The government has pumped around $411 million into NCB Group since 1997, spending $285 million to inject liquidity into the bank and buying its...

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