Social Security Board Seeks to Expand Investments with Over $100 Million in Liquidity
The Social Security Board has over one hundred million dollars in liquidity and is looking for areas of investment. The board’s Investment Committee has developed a strategic plan to expand its investment portfolio, which is part of its mandate to support economic development in the country. SBB CEO, Deborah Ruiz, explained that any business person can approach the board to request a loan under specific guidelines and criteria. She says there is no limit on the number of investments made each year but the board is hoping to capitalize on the excess of cash.
Deborah Ruiz, CEO, Social Security Board: “Right now we have excess liquidity of over $100 million so once we don’t have any more money to invest then there is a limit but we are aiming to do our best to find a place for this money to make some interest for us so that we can be assured that the money is being put to effective use but we do have a threshold in terms of proposals that we accept. We are asking at this time for a minimum of $350,000 proposal so we are still open for investments and we are looking for affordable investments that meet our criteria in terms of businesses who are willing for one, because that is the first hurdle that most people don’t want to go through our requirement that we have to publish in the newspapers how you found out about the BWS that we intend to invest most challenge is that they don’t want their public business out there so that is a first hurdle for us and of course we compete with the banks in terms of the interest rates so those are challenges as well. And of course the bottom line is that we have to make sure that investments are as safe as possible and that we look at all the different risks that we need to bear in mind to ensure that we are making prudent investment as one of the requirements of the investment framework.”
Ruiz also stated that while Belizean MSMEs may be unable to access financing from the SSB due to its strict loan criteria, there are considerations being made to determine whether its loan threshold should be lowered.
Deborah Ruiz, CEO, Social Security Board: “It would be a complete change of scope because the more loans you have the greater the risk so I think it was mentioned in the Senate hearing in terms of treasury notes and so those are preferred passive investments that are safe if we are going into competing with the DFC because they manage the lower and they take on that risk in terms of doing all this administration work which comes at a higher cost. For us we kind of have to hedge our bets in terms of where we are going to fit in the market but that is something that is under discussion and review and we’ll see where we go from there because at the end of the day as you rightly said how many people can afford to access and the requirements that are needed in terms of financial audits and all of these things that are required to make sure that the proper accountability is in place. So it is a bit of a process to go through a loan application.”
We have more from SSB and its investments in tomorrow’s newscast.