Islands of Plenty

Sep 1, 2001

The Caribbean republic of Trinidad & Tobago has created a vibrant capital market that seeks to act as a regional banking center, serving public - and priavte - sector institutions.

Foreign direct investment has poured into Trinidad&Tobago's energy industry and local companies have expanded aggressviely in the Caribbean in recent years. The small island republic now has a vibrant capital market, for the country aspires to become a regional banking center. But its markets need greater depth and transparency, and less stringent regulations to reach that goal.

Trinidad's stock market has 32 listed companies with a market capitalization of around $5.1 billion as of July. Last year, local investment banks raised some $1.5 billion for Trinidadian private-sector and public-sector companies and $195 million for governments and corporations across the Caribbean.

Trinidad&Tobago's first commercial oil field started operations off its coast in 1908 and over the years, the republic - comprises two separate islands, Trinidad and Tobago, with a combined population of 1.3 million - has become the wealthiest society in the Caribbean. It had one of...

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“The crisis has been a setback for reserve diversification."

Jan Dehn, Ashmore Investment Management