Treasury Bills as an Investment in the Gambia

15 Things You need Know

Treasury bills is an investment product that offers you utmost security as it is backed by the Central Government. It is one of the highest yield and liquid investment in the Gambia. However, many young people and small businesses are not making use of this liquid and secure investment product. Why? Most people do not understand the benefits of investing in treasury bill. They do not know how to go about investing in treasury bills in the country. Like any government in the world, Gambia government also uses Treasury bills to control the flow of money in the economy which impacts the interest rates. Treasury bills or T-bills are also used by many governments to raise money from the public.
So then, what are the key features and benefits of treasury bills investment in the Gambia? Here we list 15 for you.

Treasury billsPhoto credit :

Features of Treasury Bills Investment

  1. Treasury bills are securities issued at a discount and are redeemed at their face value at maturity.
  2. They are direct obligations of the Government of The Gambia, and the Central of Bank Gambia issues the instrument on behalf of the Central Government under the laws of The Gambia. Treasury bills are therefore different from Central Bank bills.
  3. Central Bank bills are securities issued at a discount, are redeemed at their face value at maturity and have maturities of not more than one year. Central Bank bills are direct obligations of the Central Bank of The Gambia. They are issued under the Central Bank of The Gambia Act.
  4. Primary Dealer (PD) concerning Gambia banking system means an institution authorized to trade in Government securities and Central Bank bills in the primary market. The primary market is where the dealers buy the financial instruments in this case Treasury bills from the issuer. Currently most and if not all the commercial banks are primary dealers.
  5. The minimum face value of treasury bill investment is D25,000 and after that in multiples of D5,000. This means you can invest a face value of D30,000, D35,000 but not D32,000.
  6. There are two types of biddings. Any investment with a face value below D1million is auctioned through noncompetitive bidding. Non-competitive bidders are allocated the weighted average price of competitive bids that are accepted. However, investments of D1 million and above are auctioned through competitive bidding and the investors are expected to quote their price for every D100. Please note CBG is not necessarily obliged to accept the bidder’s price.
  7. Investors with bids equal to or more than five million Dalasi (D5.0 million) are allowed to submit and settle their bids directly to Central Bank. In another word, if your investment face value is more than or equals to D5 million, you do not have to invest through a primary dealer.
  8. Proof of ownership – Treasury Bills certificate are issued in “book-entry” form. This means that the certificates of holding treasury bills are kept in electronic record by the Central Bank and is adequate proof of ownership of Treasury Bills by the registered owner. This also implies that Central bank does not issue a physical certificate of investment. However, primary dealers can issue investment advice letter.
  9. Treasury bills in the Gambia have three buckets of tenors. You can invest for 91 day, 182 day or 364 day Treasury bill.
  10. Treasury bills are purchased for a price that is less than their face value; when they mature, the government pays the holder the full face value. Effectively, your interest is the difference between the purchase price of the bills and what you get at maturity. For example, if you bought a D25,000 90-day Treasury bill at the cost of D24,100 and held it until maturity, you would earn D900 on your investment. This differs from coupon bonds, which usually pay interest semi-annually.

If you want to buy treasury bills in the Gambia, then click here to learn more.

Benefits of Treasury Bills Investment

  1. Earns higher interest – As of the time of writing this article, treasury bills in the Gambia earns a higher return than savings and fixed deposit accounts. Whiles savings and fixed deposit are paying 5% to 11%; Treasury bills are paying between 17% – 21% ( as at 20th Jul 2015).
  2. Those account holders who left a significant amount of their funds in savings accounts are losing money due to inflation. If inflation is 7% and banks are paying you 5% on savings, then you are losing money (-2%) in term of real return.
  3. Liquidity – You can terminate your investments on call usually through your primary dealers.
  4. Collateral – Your treasury bills investment can be used as a collateral for borrowing money in many banks.
  5. There is no withholding tax on the interest earned from Treasury bills investments. The central bank or commercial bank will not withhold any interest or amount due on your Treasury bills investments.

Whiles treasury bills earn more return than term deposits and savings account; it still pays a lower return on investment if compared to the commercial bills or debts. Why? Credit quality. The credit quality of government is assumed to be better than that of commercial companies and individuals. For example, the government can easily generate cash by raising the tax rates, but commercial companies cannot just increase their price.

Well, these are the 15 points on Gambia treasury bills, is there any other thing you want to know about Treasury bills investment in the Gambia? Share your question or comment.

About Ebrima Sawaneh 118 Articles
My Name is Ebrima. I write about personal finance, small business, and The Gambia to support young people. I am an accountant, banker, and Amazon international bestselling author. Feel free to drop a message or download my free eBooks - HERE read


  1. Hi I am a Gambian student abroad and I want to know how much 50,000 Gambian dalasi will yield in interest. Also what is the difference between the treasury bills and fixed deposit and which is more profitable . I literally have no clue about these things and would love your input. Thanks in advance

    • Thank you Bella. It depends on the tenor and ongoing rate. If we use the rates from last, you can get following amount with D50,000
      For 3 months Tbills – D640 income
      For 6 months Tbills -D1,750 income
      For 1 year Tbills – D4,900 income

      Tbills are different from fixed deposit in number of ways, but here are few. Tbills are lending to government while fixed deposit are placement with commercial banks. In the Gambia, Tbills generally pay higher interest than fixed deposits.
      Let me know if you need any further info.

  2. Hello Ebrima ,
    I’m in the Gambia and wish to invest 100,000 dalasis in T bills. How much will I gain in 91 days?

      • Thanks for the swift response But I don’t understand how can a 25,000 yield 900 in three months whilst 100,000 yield only 1,270

  3. Hi Ebrima,

    Thank you for the advise above very informative.

    I am a student living in the UK. I am interested in investing in Treasury bills in the The Gambia but I have limited knowledge about investments and treasury bill or how to go about investing in treasury bills in the Gambia. I have a few questions;

    1- Is there an eligibility criteria in other to invest in treasury bills, if so what are they?
    2 – how do I apply?
    3- I do not have a bank account in the Gambia, can I open one solely for the investment?

    Many Thanks,

  4. Hello Ebrima Sawaneh,
    Whe have a bankaccount at the Standard Chartered in the Gambian. Whe are intrest in t-bills. Can i buy this only by the central bank of Gambia ore also by my own Standard Chatered bank.
    Greetz Tieme

    • Hi Tieme, you can invest through your bank, Standard Chartered. All commercial banks are serving as an agent for central bank for treasury bills investment purposes. As at last week, the yield on 91, 182 and 364 days were
      16.04%, 16.85% and 20.04% respectively. Let me know if you require any further clarification.

  5. Hello Ebrima Sawaneh I am very grateful to God who enabled me to find your website…it’s such a great site!
    I pray that more Gambians specially the youth gets to know your site. Cause many aspire to achieve great things but have little know how in terms of finance.

  6. Hi,
    I live in England and just wondered if I can set a bank account up over the internet.
    Also do you have to be a business owner in The Gambia to buy the T- Bills

    Once the bills mature can I transfer the amount made in interest back to my English account and would it be subject to tax,

    I would then buy more T bills and repeat the process is this allowed

    Could you give me an idea how much £25,000 would make in interest over 3 month period

    • Hi Neil,
      With the right documentation, some banks may allow you to open account over the net..
      You do not have to own a business for you to buy T-bills.
      Treasury bills incomes are not taxable in the Gambia; yes you can transfer the amount. However, note the bank charges, exchange rate fluctuation and tax in England.
      Yes, you can advise your agent to re-invest at maturity. No limit.
      GBP25k could yield an interest of about GBP1k for 3 months.

      Thank you.

    • There is no restriction of investors. However it means you have to open your bank account and register with the relevant bodies. I assumed you would first set up a firm and then the firm will invest.

  7. Thanks for your useful imformation, just asking how much if u deposit D1,000,000 for three months, what will be the profit

    • Thank you Ebrima
      There are two options to this:
      1. If you want to receive D1 million (face value) in 3 months time, it means you will invest D958,700 (cost) at the beginning. That will give you an interest (profit) of D41,300 within 3 months.
      2. You can also invest D1,001,841.50 (cost) at the beginning, you will then receive D1,045,000 (Face value) at the end of 3 months. That will give you an interest (profit) of D43,158.50 .
      I used the latest 3 months yield of 17.28%

      Let me know if you need further information.

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