Published On: Mon, Dec 29th, 2014

CBA enters 2015 with confidence

Task Force for project financing

WillemstadWILLEMSTAD – The board of the Curaçao Bankers Association (CBA) sees plenty of reasons to look forward to the new year 2015 with new confidence, even though 2014 did not bring what was expected of it. The renewed optimism requires some explanation.

For CBA, 2014 is a year to forget. The economy was bad. Crime was rampant. And if that was not enough, just about every family had to do with a Chikungunya case. Also for the banking sector, 2014 was a year to forget. In an economic recession, there are always customers who get into trouble and cannot pay their debt. Moreover, there were hardly new (large) projects initiated. And if new projects were initiated by the government, they were funded by the Dutch Government through bonds (hospital infrastructure / Schools / neighborhoods).

Tax Plan

Yet CBA thinks it will get better in 2015. This optimism is based on the following. First, the banks expect that the construction of the new hospital in 2015, after a year of (necessary) preparatory work, will enter into a phase where it is really built and hundreds of people will go to work. In the second place, they understand that the 60 million guilders, borrowed by the government to invest in infrastructure, schools and neighborhoods, will be spent, to a large extent, in 2015. Moreover, CBA is confident that the tax plan proposed by Minister Jardim, after it is modified on a number of points, will bring a solid relief for citizens, with the result that people will have more purchasing power in 2015. Last but not least, the halving in oil prices that began in the last months of the year, translates into in a substantial increase in the disposable income of citizens, while it is also a very positive development for the balance of payments.

Investment Projects

Even though the community is still confronted with robberies, it seems that the "Ta basta Awor" action that began under the leadership of Minister of Justice, Nelson Navarro had a positive effect and that the number of robberies in the second half have significantly decreased relative to the first half of the year. It is hoped that this trend will continue in 2015.

Faced with a declining loan portfolio, the financial sector consisting of banks, insurers and pension funds put their heads together and created a Financial Task Force. The main task of this group is to work with investors in the (semi-) public and private sector, government and others to evaluate the large investment projects in the coming years, what the problems are related to financing and together try to seek for solutions. The idea is to guarantee now that besides the construction of the hospital and after completion thereof other major projects will come to stimulate the economy.

Renewed confidence

What is still missing now to make 2015 a successful year is that the private sector regains its confidence. For several years, the confidence of the private sector in the government and the economy was lacking and for all sorts of reasons. What CBA is concerned, it's time to leave this distrust behind and look with confidence to the future.

The Board of the Curaçao Bankers Association, on behalf of the members, wishes the population a healthy and prosperous 2015.

Click Tag(s) for Related Articles: