Large number of T-bills purchased by Champa Brothers: Finance Minister

Minister of Finance Abdullah Jihad has said that since T-bills went on sale for private companies, the largest number of T-bills was purchased this year by Champa Brothers.

Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) commenced sale of T-bills to private groups in August 2012.

The Minister said this in response to a question by a member of the Budget Review Committee.

The Committee members followed up by asking the amount of T-bills he was referring to, however, the Minister responded by saying that it was “a considerably large amount” and that it was “difficult to indicate a number on the spot”.

“Details can be provided later if needed,” he said.

Sun Online understands that Champa Brothers has purchased T-bills worth about $11 million (MVR169.6 million).

Committee members raised deep concerns over the sale of T-bills to private groups and the increase in domestic loans every year. They said that this could result in a decline in funds for private sector investments, thereby further weakening the private sector.

T-bills are government securities issued to finance the state deficit. They have to be repaid with interest within a defined period of time.

Governor of MMA Fazeel Najeeb said earlier on the subject of T-bills, that efforts were under way to introduce an instrument to solve the problem of foreign exchange shortage.

MMA currently auctions T-bills once a week. This includes T-bills of maturity dates of 28 days which are sold at 7.73 percent interest, 91 days at 7.70 percent interest, 182 days at 7.55 percent interest, and 364 days at 7.70 percent interest.