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#141343 - 01/24/02 04:55 AM Currency
divein Offline
How's stable is the Belize currency?

Is it advisable to have a Belize Bank account in Belize Dollars?? I understand the interest rates are pretty good on Belize Dollar accounts.

What about USD Accounts???

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#141344 - 01/24/02 08:05 PM Re: Currency
ChrisW Offline
There was a thread on this topic a while back. You might try searching for it. Also, there have been occasional related articles in the Belizeans papers.

On the surface, the Belizean currency is pegged to the dollar so it appears very stable. In reality, there is pressure on the peg and rumblings that it may not hold.

Also it is easy to exchange US dollars to Belizean dollars, but going the other way may be more difficult.

The most common set-up for most Americans living in Belize seems to be using US bank accounts and only transferring what they need when they need it into Belizean dollars.

If you are interested in *ahem* "sheltering" your money in Belize, that is a different story, but it normally involves lawyers, corporations, trusts, etc... and requires a large amount of money to make it worth your while.

[This message has been edited by ChrisW (edited 01-24-2002).]

[This message has been edited by ChrisW (edited 01-24-2002).]

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#141345 - 01/25/02 04:48 AM Re: Currency
divein Offline
Thanks Chris

After posting my message I continued to check other web locations for info.

It appears that you are correct and that the "Peg" as you state will not hold.

I found an IMF memo (Article IV) that states that the Belize Dollar is really worth $.03 cents and that the only reason for the 2:1 exchange rate is an arbitrary number established by the government and actually has no basis. Sounds weird to me.

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#141346 - 01/25/02 05:08 AM Re: Currency
bobby grimes Offline
Some time back I questioned why Belize banks did not pay interest on USD Accounts (I was told when I tried to open an account that they would be glad to open the account but it would be a non-interest bearing account.

Based on the information I received I did not open the account (who wants a savings account that pays no interest)

I now read that businesses cannot get US Dollars to fulfil their import requirements.

Perhaps hard times are ahead for the BZ$. I wounder if the banks still refuse to pay interest on USD Accounts

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#141347 - 01/26/02 12:00 AM Re: Currency
Mike and Daphne Ryan Offline
divein --

The "$.03 cents" is simply wrong (some misprint or mis-read). It was probably supposed to say 2.03BZ to the dollar. No currency can be that far out line.

You have to look at the balance of trade to get a handle on the pressure on the BZ$. When tourism picks up, more US$ will come in, and the peg may be more supportable. I hear that the shortage of US$ can push the price up to $2.30BZ to 1 US$ sometimes. These must be private transactions -- I think there would be some legal barrier to a lot of this sort of trade. ... But perhaps it's winked at. Lan would know this sort of thing.

Lan?

Mike Ryan

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#141348 - 01/26/02 04:45 AM Re: Currency
divein Offline
The reference to the value of the Belize Dollar was taken from the IMF Year 2000
Article IV Consultation brief found on the internet.

The calculation was based on the amount of
currency issued divided by Foreign Currency, in this case US Dollars, held in reserves.

In the case of Belize it came out to 0.03 cents US.

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#141349 - 01/27/02 01:30 AM Re: Currency
Marty Online   happy
Its sliding to 2.4 or so in some areas of Belize....
with the money changers...

if you go to the banks though they give you closer to 2:1

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#141350 - 01/27/02 10:06 PM Re: Currency
susangg Offline
I don't know why you are asking this question, but presumably it is because you own or are considering buying property in Belize or living in Belize.
My advice to you is to use Belizean money and banks only on an "as needed" basis, transferring only as much money into BZ dollars as you absolutely need to, for things that you must write checks for rather than pay cash.
Do not under any circumstances allow higher interest rates on savings paid by Belizean banks to lure you to transfer your assets.
The Belizean dollar is like the Cuban currency: It is worth ZERO anywhere in the world except Belize.
Yes, it is possible to get a US dollar account if you are a US citizen but they will nickel and dime you to death with fees for every little thing, and the fees may even exceed the fraud known as "exchange fees" that the Belizean banks ding you for. Unless you are in the retail trade in Belize there is no reason to have one and lots of reasons not to. Keep your money in the US and bring US dollars to spend in Belize as needed.
If you have any need to conduct any kind of financial transaction with a Belizean bank, I recommend you consider using only the Atlantic Bank.
If you have occasion to obtain any kind of loan from a Belizean bank, be aware that the loan documents will state that you may be required, at the bank's option, to repay it in US dollars. (And try to avoid doing this if possible...if you must borrow, do it in the US if at all possible.)
_________________________
Susan Guberman-Garcia, Attorney at Law. Phone: 510-792-2639
Fax/Voicemail:: 510-405-2016 Email: susangg@garcia.mpowermail.com

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#141351 - 01/28/02 01:59 AM Re: Currency
bobby grimes Offline
Sounds like all of the recent discussions
about using USD in place of Belize Dollars
is somewhat valid although I am sure that most Belizeans would protest based on their nationalizm.

I was in Panama years ago when the Balboa was replaced by US Currency and it worked very well....Prior to this the value of the Balboa was all over the board, no one wanted them outside of Panama and the interest rates shot through the ceiling.

In Aruba and other CARICOM nations the US Dollars is a readily accepted as is the local currency and you can have bank accounts in a variety of currencies and these accounts pay interest based on the interest rate of the country the currency is issued by.

It seems to work well for them and they don't have a problem with black market banking or with having a sufficient amount of FX in their banking system to support there import and other FX needs.

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#141352 - 01/28/02 02:09 AM Re: Currency
divein Offline
If things are a Marty says, and I know he is knowledgable in many areas, then why in the world would anyone want to take their dollars to the bank to exchange them.

If people go to the money changers the banks will not take in the dollars they need and the treasury's USD reserves will be depleted thus killing the import business unless they buy dollars on the back market pushing up the exchandge differential even more.....A widening circle that could eventually cause....????.

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