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Gold Board slashes central bank deficit from $14.7B to $6.7B

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The Guyana Gold Board (GGB) has reduced its deficit at the Bank of Guyana from $14,469,024,924.00 in November 2016 to $6,764,937,380.00 in November 2017 as a result of the agency’s capitalization on the spike in gold prices and through tighter spending control measures.

According to a statement from the agency, the deficit was incurred in 2012 and 2013 when the Gold Board borrowed large sums from the national treasury to trade in gold, which resulted in massive losses.

“Since coming into office the APNU+AFC administration has been working assiduously to bring the debt down and to better regulate the sector. These efforts have shown success,” the Gold Board noted.

The Gold Board explained that a ‘buffer stock’ of gold was maintained and kept readily available whenever there were spikes in gold prices. The agency said this proved to be a redeeming feature which yielded much revenue over the period. It explained that another method utilized was not to wait for huge profits but to access profitability of at least USD5.00 per ounce.

The GGB also said it engaged in conservative derivative instruments as a means of generating additional revenue.

The cost-cutting measures included a reduction in the number of flights between Georgetown and Bartica; streamlining international gold shipments; stringent inventory controls; and effective management of operational cost.

In 2018, the Board said it plans to employ more of the same strategies among other things to bring an end to the existing deficit and move the agency towards greater profitability.

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