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Jamaica mulls adopting Israel bond model
2013-01-24 16:37:56 | (0 Comments)
The Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) will provide a window for members of the diaspora to fund local projects and benefit from certain tax benefits, but needs to be accredited by the various jurisdictions.
Courtney Betty, an attorney from Toronto, Canada said they have just started the accreditation process in Canada, which will be the pilot, and thereafter it will be expanded to the United States and other countries.
He said they are currently looking at the legal issues that need to be resolved to get that accreditation.
“The process has now begun and we are working to get it done. When this happens it means that investors in Canada can have immediate tax benefits in Canada,” he said, speaking at the JSE conference at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston yesterday.
He said the JSE will operate similar to Israel bonds, where funds are sought from among Jamaicans living abroad to fund local projects identified by the government.
Israel bonds are debt securities issued by the government of Israel and largely sold to the diaspora Jewry, although investors now include several states in the U.S., as well as financial institutions, pension funds, labour unions, corporations and insurance companies, among others.
Betty said that people in the diaspora have expressed a willingness to invest in Jamaica but they are discouraged by the lack of transparency and accountability that currently exists.
“Jamaicans in the diaspora have expressed an interest in providing funds for projects in Jamaica but they are completely hesitant about doing so through the Consolidated Fund,” added Robin Levy, deputy general manager of the JSE.
Betty explained that the Israel bond model would target the Jamaican diaspora and based on studies more than US$2 billion can be accessed from them.
“The Israeli’s have been doing it for many years and that is the model I would like to see implemented in Jamaica. This will address the issue of how we bring capital back to Jamaica,” he said.
“We don’t have to reinvent the wheel, we can do what we see the Israel doing. They have been doing it for many years and it works,” he said.
Source: The Gleaner/Power 106 News
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