Caribbean Loans Slump

Sep 1, 2009

Loans to Caribbean companies for the first seven months have dropped by around 50% compared to the same period in 2008. Demand and supply remain weak.

by Taina Rosa

As financing from private banks became more expensive, multilaterals, especially the IFC, have stepped up to bat and extended credit to the Caribbean region’s private sector. Nevertheless, as risk aversion slowly subdues and bond markets show signs of opening up, the outlook looks slightly brighter.

“The financial crisis has been weighing on the Caribbean in extreme form,” says Wendell Mottley, managing director at Credit Suisse. “There was a withdrawal of capital for the whole Latin America and Caribbean region in the early stage of the crisis. No net debt flew back into the region for some time,” adds Mottley, who covers the Caribbean.  

Loan volume as of late July in the Caribbean was down by almost half compared to the same period of 2008. Dealogic data shows that as of July 28, only four loans worth $185.8 million had...

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