Interbank Market News Scan: Eastern Caribbean, foreign exchange …

10 June 2021

Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange

Today, the Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange reported that the following securities were exchanged on 9 June 2021:

800 East Caribbean Financial Holding Company Ltd shares traded at $4.00 per share, falling $.48, or 10.71%, from its previous price;

3,500 S.L. Horsford & Company Ltd shares traded at $2.00 per share with no change from yesterday’s price;

1,298 TDC shares traded at $1.25 per share, down 3.85% from its previous price; and

80 shares of Cable & Wireless St.Kitts & Nevis Ltd traded odd lot at $3.65 per share.

 On the Regional Government Securities Market, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda’s 365-day Treasury bill auction raised $10 million with a discount rate of 4.30622%.

Scheduled for today, the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica is expected to auction 91-day Treasury bills at EC$20 million at a maximum rate of 5%.

Source: Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange

Eastern Caribbean Central Bank

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank recently announced that DCash, the digital version of the Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC), is set to go live in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines by the end of June.  According to the ECCB:

“The immediate objective of launching DCash in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is to allow for the exchange of DCash for physical cash via the DCash Merchant-Teller network. These authorised entities will facilitate DCash to physical cash exchanges, thereby allowing faster, safer and cheaper cross-border person-to-person remittances. Emphasis will also be placed on establishing the DCash merchant network with focus on getting essential service providers DCash-ready. In addition, other DCash users will be able to send funds directly to users in SVG.”

Since 31 March 2021, the countries of St.Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, and Grenada, have been using DCash.

Source: Eastern Caribbean Central Bank

European Central Bank

Today, the European Central Bank reported no change in its accommodative approach to stimulating the European economy.  The ECB will maintain the rates for its main refinancing operations at 0%; its marginal lending facility at .25%; and its deposit facility at -.50%. 

The ECB indicated in its statement that there will be acceleration of asset purchases under the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP) at a total of EUR1,850 billion through March 2022.  The ECB hopes to balance purchase of assets and reinvestment of proceeds from the assets in such a way as to move as close to a two percent inflation point without exceeding that level.  Net monthly purchases under PEPP are expected to be maintained at EUR 20 billion through 2022.   

Source: European Central Bank

Foreign exchange rates of interest…. 

Source: OANDA

Currency PairsRates as of 11:30 am AST 10 June 2021Rates as of 10 June 2020Change in rates
XCD/EUR0.30400.3275(7.2%)
XCD/GBP0.26180.2915(10.2%)
XCD/USD0.37040.3704flat
XCD/CAD0.44810.4970(9.8%)
XCD/NGN152.4650143.05106.6%
XCD/CNY2.36632.6215(9.7%)
XCD/PLN1.35671.4530(6.6%)
XCD/PEN1.44281.257714.7%

Interbank Market News Scan: Eastern Caribbean and Trinidad and Tobago dollars see ups and downs over last 30 days …

Links you should follow …

Trading desks. As Beijing attempts to regulate and suppress the cryptocurrency boom, traders have been evading regulatory oversight by using over-the-counter trading desks. https://www.investing.com/news/cryptocurrency-news/chinese-traders-turn-to-otc-desks-amid-regulatory-crackdown-2519626

Trading desks. A study by UNSW Business School associate professors Elise Payzan-LeNestour and James Doran looked at how ambient sound affects financial traders’ abilities to perceive financial risks.  https://www.financialstandard.com.au/news/how-noise-impacts-trading-performance-179778519

 Interbank. Global financial regulators on Wednesday urged firms to stop using Libor by the end of the year, and said derivatives markets linked to the tarnished interbank rate should switch to “risk free rates” or RFRs compiled by central banks. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-g20-libor-regulator-idUSKCN2DE112

Foreign exchange rates of interest; 30-day range from 2 May 2021 to 2 June 2021

Currency PairsRates as of 10:30 am AST 2 June 2021Rates as of 2 May 2021Percentage Change
XCD/EUR0.30290.3080-1.7%
XCD/GBP0.26100.2679-2.6%
XCD/USD0.37040.3704flat
XCD/CAD0.44630.4551-1.9%
TTD/EUR0.11880.1203-1.2%
TTD/GBP0.10230.1046-2.2%
TTD/USD0.14520.1446+.41%
TTD/CAD0.17500.1776-1.5%
GYD/EUR0.00380.0038flat
GYD/GBP0.00330.0033flat
GYD/USD0.00460.0046flat
GYD/CAD0.00560.0056flat
Source: OANDA

The Eastern Caribbean region saw its foreign exchange rate decrease or remain flat between the European Union, Great Britain, the United States, and Canada.  The Euro price for the Eastern Caribbean dollar fell 1.7% to EUR 0.3029 from EUR 0.3080 on 2 May 2021.  The pound price of an Eastern Caribbean dollar fell 2.6% to EUR 0.2610 from its 2 May 2021 level of EUR 0.2679. The Canada dollar price of the XCD fell 1.9%.

The Trinidad and Tobago dollar was a mixed bag over the same 30-day period.  The Canada dollar price for TTD fell 1.5% from CAD 0.1776 to CAD 0.1750.  The Euro price of the TTD fell 1.2% to EUR 0.1188 from EUR 0.1203. Meanwhile, the pound price of the TTD fell 2.2%.

The price for the Guyanese dollar remained flat over the period 2 May 2021 to 2 June 2021.

Interbank Market News Scan: The Caribbean, foreign exchange, and interdealer …

Links you should follow …

Interbank. The overnight Shanghai Interbank Offered Rate (Shibor), which measures the borrowing cost of China’s interbank market, decreased 4 basis points to 2.187 percent Tuesday.  http://www.china.org.cn/china/Off_the_Wire/2021-06/01/content_77540607.htm

Interbank. The Korea Interbank Offered Rates (KORIBOR) as posted by Yonhap Infomax, the financial news and information arm of Yonhap News Agency, at 11:00 a.m. https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20210601004000320

Interbank. Chile’s peso outperformed Latin American peers on Monday as prices for the country’s top export, copper,rose on supply concerns, while the Peruvian sol fell ahead of final round presidential elections on June 6. https://www.reuters.com/article/emerging-markets-latam/emerging-markets-chiles-peso-outperforms-perus-sol-drops-ahead-of-elections-idUSL2N2NI1E4

Interdealer. Dealers saw some buying on the first day of June, perhaps motivated by the Bank of Japan not making any changes to its bond buying plan, but flows in the interdealer market were very light. With no JGB auction or BoJ bond buying operations scheduled for today, the market may be waiting for the US bond market to reopen after yesterday’s Memorial Day holiday and provide near-term direction to JGBs. https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/jpn-govts-close%3A-jgbs-do-little-all-day-interdealer-market-very-quiet-2021-06-01

Foreign exchange. China’s central bank said on Monday that it would raise the amount of money that financial institutions must set aside as reserves for their foreign exchange deposits, in the latest move to curb the yuan’s recent rapid appreciation. https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3135520/chinas-central-bank-moves-slow-yuans-rise-concerns-rise-over

Foreign exchange. The dollar hovered near five-month lows on Tuesday as investors waited for euro zone inflation data and a U.S. manufacturing survey, while the yuan steadied after China’s central bank took steps to limit its appreciation. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/01/forex-markets-dollar-us-federal-reserve-british-pound.html

Foreign exchange rates of interest: Eastern Caribbean, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago …

Currency PairsRates as of 10:30 am AST 1 June 2021
EUR/XCD3.2959
GBP/XCD3.8319
USD/XCD2.7000
CAD/XCD2.2364
EUR/TTD8.1434
GBP/TTD9.4676
USD/TTD6.6710
CAD/TTD5.5257
EUR/GYD245.1550
GBP/GYD285.0200
USD/GYD200.8310
CAD/GYD166.3500
Source: OANDA

Interbank Market News Scan: Canada sees no rush to issue a central bank digital coin …

Links you should follow ….

Foreign exchange. Luis Costa outlines commodity currencies that he is trading. This strategist outlines which currency commodities he’s trading (msn.com)

Foreign exchange. The Bank of Canada is thinking in more concrete terms about how its digital currency might look and work but it does not currently see a strong case for issuing one, a deputy governor said on Wednesday. Bank of Canada does not see currently see strong case for issuing digital currency | Nasdaq

Foreign exchange. After more than a year of slumber, investors are preparing for currency volatility to come roaring back to life. Currency FX Volatility Set for a Comeback on Looming Policy Shifts – Bloomberg

Foreign exchange. A dovish Federal Reserve and accelerating growth abroad are weighing on the dollar, a move that could be a boon for stocks and other assets. Analysis-Floundering dollar falls to bottom of global currency heap (msn.com)

Foreign exchange, cryptocurrency. ‘Bitcoin isn’t even a reliable hedge for risk-off events, let alone inflation shocks. It’s actually highly pro-cyclical…In difficult times, crypto assets don’t go up; they go down.’— Nouriel Roubini. Bitcoin isn’t a currency or financial asset, but ‘looks like a bubble’: Roubini (msn.com)

Foreign exchange rates of interest …

Changes in currency tails comprised of the euro, US dollar, and Canadian dollar and currencies out of the Eastern Caribbean, Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Jamaica remained relatively flat over the last 24 hours. Any tightening of rates on the part of major central banks is expected to have a significant impact on Caribbean currencies thus the purchasing power and cost of remittances sent back to the Caribbean.

Currency PairsRates as of 12:00 pm AST 27 May 2021Rates as of 10:45 am AST 26 May 2021
EUR/XCD3.30073.3055
USD/XCD2.70002.7000
CAD/XCD2.22492.2402
EUR/JMD182.7800181.2040
USD/JMD147.9460148.0130
CAD/JMD122.3780122.8050
USD/DOP56.479956.4454
USD/HTG88.663488.6591
Source: OANDA

Interbank Market News Scan: American bank CEOs squaring off with Senate banking committee at 10:00 am EST

Links you should follow …

Banks.  Chief executives of the six largest U.S. banks will testify in Congress Wednesday on oversight topics that include their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, diversity efforts and cryptocurrencies. CEOs of 6 biggest U.S. banks to testify in Senate about COVID-19 moves, culture – UPI.com

Central banks. New Zealand followed in the footsteps of Canada to flag a potential interest-rate increase next year as central banks begin to tip toe away from their emergency monetary settings. Slowly But Surely, Central Banks Are Signaling Policy Shifts – Bloomberg

Banks. Wells Fargo & Co. has invested in The Harbor Bank of Maryland and a Washington, D.C., institution as part of a 2020 plan to commit $50 million to Black-owned banks around the country. Wells Fargo & Co. invests in The Harbor Bank of Maryland in commitment to Black-owned banks – Baltimore Sun

Central banks. Regional Federal Reserve Banks are taking an increasingly “alarming” stance on politically charged issues like racial justice, according to Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican from Pennsylvania who is the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee. Wokeness at Fed’s regional banks puts central bank independence at risk | Fox Business 

Banks. Bitcoin’s price has continued to fluctuate, falling by $3,000 in a matter of hours, with big banks divided on how to approach the cryptocurrency. Bitcoin Price Rollercoaster Continues as Banks Unsure How to Approach the Crypto (msn.com)

Central banks. Eric Robertsen of Standard Chartered Bank sees some upside for commodity currencies with inflation rising. He doesn’t expect the Fed to have any “concrete announcement” on tapering before September. A few G10 central banks will ‘dial back’ bond purchasing programs later this year: Standard Chartered (msn.com) Payment systems. Commercial and central banks across the world are now using blockchain technology for payment processing and issuing of their digital currencies. The technology enables cross-border payments that are less expensive and faster as compared to traditional systems. Rapid Demand for Digital Payment Systems Being Fueled by Increasing Market Growth In Blockchain – MarketWatch

Foreign exchange rates of interest …

Currency PairsRates as of 10:45 am AST 26 May 2021
EUR/XCD3.3055
USD/XCD2.7000
CAD/XCD2.2402
EUR/JMD181.2040
USD/JMD148.0130
CAD/JMD122.8050
USD/DOP56.4454
USD/HTG88.6591
Source: OANDA

The banking system and community reinvestment

The following comment was filed today with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve:

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Docket No. 12-1723 and RIN 7100-AF94

Comment

Introduction

The following comment is filed in response to an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“ANPR”) issued by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (“Board”).  This comment addresses Question 1 in the ANPR which asks the following:

“Does the Board capture the most important Community Reinvestment Act (“CRA”) modernization objectives? Are there additional objectives that should be considered?” 

The answer to this question is no, the Board does not capture the most important CRA modernization objective and that an additional objective should be considered.  The most important objective this modernization initiative should capture is to expressly define what is meant by the word “community.”  Neither rule or statute defines the word “community”, and the Board should use its rulemaking to expressly define the term.  By expressly defining “community”, targeted credit will be created leading capital to flow to its most productive use, generating returns for community resources and the lending banks, and aiding the Board of meeting its dual mandate of price stability and full employment.

Argument

No amendment to 12 CFR Part 228 Community Reinvestment (Regulation BB) can be made until the term “community” is properly defined.  The lack of clarity in the definition could result in capital not flowing to entities that can leverage capital to produce income, employment, and returns to and of capital. 

To create a sustainable, stable, and prosperous Caribbean American community in the United States, it is important that banks, as information search agents and intermediaries between savers and entrepreneurs, be able to identify the resources that can be employed to generate stable income and returns to capital. Race, ethnicity, and even income itself should not be the prime information targets for banks.  Banks should be targeting communities that are built on resources i.e., mining, farming, creative associations, manufacturing, etc., where the controlling interests of these resources or activities are controlled primarily by minority groups and employment resulting from exploitation of these resources or activities flow to members of minority groups with controlling interest in the resources or activities.

Targeting capital and credit merely toward income groups will dilute the impact capital and credit can have on increasing income for and employment of minority groups tied directly to resources and activities that generate income.  In other words, it would be a waste of capital merely to approve credit for any borrower who does not have an ownership interest in the resource that the community relies on.

In addition, from a cost-benefit perspective, there would be less waste of funds where credit is targeted to a resource based on present value of a future income stream from a community-owned asset.  The Board would be able to better quantify returns on the investment by accounting for jobs created by the exploitation of a community-owned asset.  By accounting for returns to the investment and jobs created, the Board has another factor to consider when meeting its mandate of full employment and stable prices.

Conclusion

To get to this point, where the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, helps the Board meet its dual mandate, the Board should recommend changes in the statute that expressly defines community as an association of ethnic minorities built on the ownership or control of an income-generating resource or asset.  This stricter definition would better target credit and capital to an activity that is generating income and employment for an ethnic group on a whole.  

As of 11:34 pm AST, the US dollar in terms of Caribbean currencies is flat to strengthening with some volatility …

Pairs OANDA as of 18 December 2020 OANDA as of 23 December 2020 Notes 
USD/BBD 2.00 2.00 Pegged to the US dollar 
USD/TTD 6.6719 6.68062 Dollar strengthening 
USD/JMD 141.803 141.973 Over the last 30 days, exchange rate fell from 145.825 
USD/XCD 2.70 2.70 Pegged to the US dollar 
USD/GYD 205.239 205.570 Although risen from 204.934 on 23 November, the rise has been accompanied by volatility. 

Source: OANDA

Legal/Political events impacting US-Caribbean foreign exchange

President Trump modifies Harmonized Tariff System to reflect extension of Caribbean Basin Initiative

On 22 December 2020, President Donald J Trump announced a modification of the Harmonized Tariff System for the purpose of including the extension of the Caribbean Basin Initiative signed into law last October. The proclamation read as follows:

“The Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act, as amended (the “CBERA”), (title II of Public Law 98-67, 97 Stat. 384 (19 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.)), instituted a duty preference program that applies to a product of a Caribbean Basin country that has been designated by the President as a beneficiary country. On October 10, 2020, the President signed into law the Extension of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (Public Law 116-164, 134 Stat. 758), which extends certain preferential tariff treatment accorded under the CBERA to September 30, 2030. I have determined, pursuant to section 604 of the Trade Act, that it is necessary to modify the HTS to reflect the extension of the CBERA.”

According to the U.S. International Trade Commission, the Harmonized Tariff Schedule is made up of a hierarchical structure for describing all goods in trade for duty, quota, and statistical purposes.

Sources: Executive Office of the President; U.S. International Trade Commission

Price of the Eastern Caribbean Dollar …

How to read the chart:

XCD/USD: If you come to the United States with one Eastern Caribbean Dollar (XCD)and wish to sell it for a US dollar (USD), the market price is 0.37037 USD.

USD/XCD: If you take a US dollar (USD) to a participating Eastern Caribbean nation and wish to sell it for a Eastern Caribbean Dollar (XCD), the market price is 2.70 XCD.

As of 6:40 am AST this is the price of the Eastern Caribbean Dollar in various currencies:

XCD/USD=0.37037 USD/XCD=2.70

XCD/GBP=0.27581 GBP/XCD=3.62517

XCD/EUR=0.30526 EUR/XCD=3.27557

XCD/PLN=1.36501 PLN/XCD=0.73179

XCD/TRY=2.89327 TRY/XCD=0.34509

XCD/JPY=38.57 JPY/XCD=0.02592

XCD/XAF=200.284 XAF/XCD= 0.00499

XCD/TTD=2.46504 TTD/XCD=0.39101

XCD/BBD=0.74074 BBD/XCD=1.35000

XCD/JOD=0.26259 JOD/XCD=3.80818

XCD/CHN=2.42224 CHN/XCD=0.41276

Source: OANDA

Political/Legal Events impacting Eastern Caribbean Dollar:

U.S. awaits release of unemployment report

The U.S. Department of Labor is scheduled to release today its jobs situation report which will provide the U.S. and economies trading with the U.S. with insights into the American economy and its ability to consume exports.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

As of 9:36 am AST 3 December 2020, Foreign exchange rates between U.S., select countries in East Africa, West Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia, and BitCoin; Federal Reserve sees increased bank delinquencies in 2021 …

As of 9:36 am AST, 3 December 2020:

How to read the chart:

CAD/USD: If you come to the United States with one Canadian dollar (CAD)and wish to sell it for a US dollar (USD), the market price is .77302 USD.

USD/CAD: If you take a US dollar (USD) to Canada and wish to sell it for a Canadian dollar (CAD), the market price is 1.29344 CAD

CAD/USD=0.77302   USD/CAD=1.29344

CNH/USD= 0.15265   USD/CNH=6.54972

EUR/USD= 1.20787   USD/EUR=0.82781

DKK/USD =0.16225   USD/DKK=6.16157

NGN/USD= 0.00262   USD/NGN=377.841

JPY/USD=0.00957   USD/JPY=104.50

INR/USD=0.01357      USD/INR=73.5849

JMD/USD=0.00678    USD/JMD=144.553

GYD/USD=0.00469       USD/GYD= 204.916

GHS/USD=0.17049     USD/GHS= 5.82649

XCD/USD=0.37037        USD/XCD= 2.70

KES/USD = 0.00897      USD/KES= 109.505

BBD/USD = 0.50000     USD/BBD = 2.0000

TTD/USD = .14488         USD/TTD= 6.65179

BTC/USD= 17444.40     USD/BTC= 0.00006

Source: OANDA

Major political/legal event impacting foreign exchange

Federal Reserve releases its Beige Book finding moderate, modest US expansion

Yesterday, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System released its final Beige Book for 2020.  The Federal Reserve determined that US economic expansion is either moderate or modest at best.  A number of districts, including the Philadelphia district, have observed a slow down in growth with a spike in COVID-19 cases since early November.  Banks expect the number of borrower delinquencies to increase in 2021.  

Source: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System