The final figures aren’t in yet, but Communications Minister Stuart Young has said the National Investment Fund (NIF) appears to be oversubscribed.
“I don’t want to speculate but I think we are looking at a serious oversubscription,” Young said at the post-Cabinet media briefing at the Diplomatic Centre yesterday.
The subscription period for the bond’s initial public offer lasted just under a month, from July 12 until yesterday at 7pm. “It’s been a good month. We put a lot of resources behind it and hope all those who wanted to and were serious participated it,” Young said.
The IPO was conceived as a way for the government to raise the $4 billion it needs to balance the budget, and stimulate the securities market in the country. The bonds cost $1,000 each and are available in three tranches: five years at 4.5 per cent interest; 12 years at 5.7 per cent interest; and 20 years at 6.6 per cent.
Now that the subscription period is closed, notification of allotments will be on August 30, and refunds, if necessary, will be given on September 3. The bonds will be listed on the stock exchange on September 4. Individuals have priority, and bids by institutional investors will be prorated based on demand if oversubscribed.
Brokers have reported a steady flow of interested investors. Lead broker First Citizens Brokerage and Advisory Services (FCBAS) extended their opening hours because of the crowd, a bank spokesman said. Adrian Manmohan, head of West Indies Stockbrokers Ltd (WISE) said the firm had seen a wave of new clients with the NIF. “There was a big advertising campaign and a lot of people were aware. The NIF was a good opportunity for people to invest their money,” he said. Bourse Securities Ltd chief investment officer Sarodh Ramkhelawan also noted the influx of investors. “It initially started slowly but as the advertising campaign picked up and people got more information, market appetite and interest grew and it’s become quite hectic,” he said.