Controller of Exchange

Are Bahamians permitted to invest in financial securities abroad?

Yes, Bahamians are permitted to invest in financial securities abroad, but they must purchase the foreign currency required to make such investments through the medium of the Investment Currency Market. The Banking Department of the Central Bank operates the market in investment dollars.

Established in 1972, the Investment Currency Market was prescribed for the purchase of foreign currency securities from non-residents and direct investments outside The Bahamas. In late 1989, the Bank assumed responsibility for the administration of the ICM, which at the time was almost illiquid.

From the Central Bank's perspective, investment currency bid and offer transactions attract a premium of 10% and 12.5%, respectively vis-a-vis 6.75% and 13.0% in 1974. This means, therefore, that a resident who wants to purchase foreign currency securities today may acquire them by purchasing investment currency from the Investment Currency Market at a premium of 12.5%. If they were to sell the proceeds of the securities as investment currency, they would realize a premium of 10%.

  1. Are Bahamians permitted to open foreign currency accounts?
  2. Are Bahamians permitted to invest in financial securities abroad?
  3. What should I do if I wish to send funds to someone attending school outside of The Bahamas?
  4. As a non-resident am I permitted to enter into loan agreements denominated in Bahamian dollars?
  5. As a temporary resident in The Bahamas, would I be permitted to send funds to family etc. in my home country?
  6. Are there special provisions in respect of property transactions that involve non-residents?
  7. I am a Bahamian citizen who plans to take up residence outside of The Bahamas. Would foreign exchange restrictions still apply to me?
  8. How are external (foreign currency) reserves managed?
  9. How can we tell if external (foreign currency) reserves are 'too low'?
  10. How have external (foreign currency) reserves changed over the past few years?

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