Mon, 28 Sep 2020 05:03:58 +0000 Gills, plastic furniture, and other adaptations

LAST WEEK'S flash flooding in parts of north Trinidad shocked many. As Facebook reportage reached fever pitch, videos of a Cocorite highway submerged on both sides prompted incredulous reactions. "I never see Cocorite flood so in all my years." In Diego Martin where the day can go from dry to muddy deluge in 60 seconds, there were also videos hinting at the ravages of fleeting showers. Some days before, residents of Arouca recoiled in horror as vehicles and homes were submerged in turbid, fast-flowing water. Similarly, many said flooding on this scale in that part of the country was unprecedented. Sensing the knife needed twisting, a ministry official suggested that citizens need to adapt to flooding. Regrettably pinpointing the “modern way” of fabric furniture, the call-it-as-I-see-it ministry spokesman recommended that people get a different furniture – whatever that means. The idea of adaptation in a world of wild weather events is timely. However, adaptation doesn't mean abdication. Government agencies and citizens have a collective responsibility to combat flooding and develop creative ways to minimise the impacts of capricious, increasingly intense weather patterns. In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina made landfall in the US, it wasn't

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Mon, 28 Sep 2020 04:58:54 +0000 Tobago gas to defend claim

MANAGING director of Tobago Gas Trading and Logistics Limited, which was last week ordered to pay one of its suppliers $3.7 million after it failed to put in a defence in a claim for payment owed, says the company intends to defend its name in court. Last week, the Tobago-based company which obtained approval from the State to construct an LPG terminal at the Point Lisas Industrial Estate, was ordered to pay $3.7 million dollars to San Fernando-based supplier of industrial equipment, G. Singh Marketing Ltd (GSM). G. Singh filed a claim for payment of building material and commodities delivered to Tobago Gas but the latter failed to defend it and judgment was delivered in default, ordering it to pay the $3.7 million, which includes interest, owed. In an interview on Sunday, Tobago Gas MD Amin Gustave told Newsday, the company intends to file an application seeking to have the default judgment set aside and will also file an application seeking an extension of time to file its defence. He said what transpired was unfortunate. Gustave assured the project was slowly “getting back on track” despite the challenges the company faced because of covid19. “This US billion dollar project will bring back thousands o

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Sun, 27 Sep 2020 19:13:16 +0000 Closed IPO & APO restore life to market

Oversubscribed public stock issues were the most pronounced development in the Jamaican stock market for the past two weeks. Barita Investments raised $13.5 billion from the public offer of new ordinary shares in the previous week and was joined by Tropical Battery, with their IPO that closed on the same day of opening, with a […]

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Sun, 27, Sep, 2020 16:50:01 GMT NCBFG goes shopping with $40 billion debt raise ahead of financial year

With less than one week to the end of its financial year, NCB Financial Group (NCBFG) has decided to tap the capital markets through NCB Jamaica (NCBJ) and Guardian Holdings Limited (GHL) for debt raises of US$175 million (JA$24.8 billion) and JA$13.4 billion respectively.

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Sun, 27 Sep 2020 00:17:16 -0500 Companies get $4b tax write-off - Entity with $1.5b debt cleared among 86 to get CIT arrears pardoned since 2018

Since 2018, the Government has written off approximately $4 billion in taxes owed by 86 companies, including one entity which had $1.5 billion in corporate income tax (CIT) arrears, a Sunday Gleaner probe has found. The revelation comes as the...

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Sun, 27 Sep 2020 00:12:13 -0500 China aims to make one billion COVID-19 vaccine doses a year

A Chinese health official said Friday that the country’s annual production capacity for coronavirus vaccines will top one billion doses next year, following an aggressive government support programme for the construction of new factories. Capacity...

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Sun, 27 Sep 2020 00:07:06 -0500 $2.5b logistics ‘campus’ for Seprod

By the time Seprod Limited completes the build-out of its logistics centre, the company would have shelled out at least $2.5 billion to set up the distribution hub, according to CEO Richard Pandohie. The first tranche of $1 billion has already been...

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Sun, 27 Sep 2020 05:03:16 +0000 Shift education spending to prioritise pandemic

DARCELLE DOODNATH The outbreak of covid19 escalated to pandemic proportions in March 2020, and by mid-April, the World Bank estimated 1.6 billion students globally were out of school. Since early July, over 50 countries have begun to reopen schools, but still, more than 1.1 billion students are yet to resume classes. Jaime Saavedra, leader of Education Global Practice at the World Bank Group, argues that without aggressive public policy measures as a means of effective, remedial action when students return to school, this generation of students risks losing approximately US$10 trillion in earnings over their lifetime, having fallen short of achieving their full education, employment and earnings potential. While coping with the health and economic shocks of covid19, the World Bank forecasts that education spending is likely to stagnate in most countries, and fall significantly in some, as governments try to contain budget deficits. Yet, it maintains that the protection of education financing should form part of an effective pandemic response, with significant resources needed so that systems are prepared and learning can continue during school closures, and progress accelerated once schools can safely reopen. Amid our own covid19-dr

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Sat, 26, Sep, 2020 07:01:00 GMT Ministry disburses $1.4 billion to primary and secondary schools

THE Ministry of Education, Youth and Information has disbursed subventions totalling $1.4 billion to primary and secondary schools. Making the disclosure during a virtual press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister in St Andrew on Tuesday, Portfolio Minister Fayval Williams said this represents 100 per cent of the third tranche of regular grants to primary and secondary schools.

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Sat, 26 Sep 2020 05:08:54 +0000 Flambeaux tourism

Culture Matters OH SH--! A grown man fell off his chair. In that moment, he was petrified at the thought that the figure in white next to him could actually be La Diablesse. His fear was probably justified. The pitch dark of the night punctuated only by flambeaux, the white flowing robes, broad hat, pronounced limp and maniacal laugh were not for the faint-hearted. Children bawled and ran away. Other adults laughed nervously; you could see them logically repeating to themselves, “This is not real. It is only an actress. This is not real.” This week, there is an interesting confluence of commemorations. On Thursday, we celebrated becoming a republic. Tomorrow, World Tourism Day will occupy our attention. The theme of the day is significant. Not only does it place a focus on rural development, but seeks to highlight “the important role tourism plays in preserving and promoting culture and heritage all around the world.” In many ways, covid19 has triggered what common sense could not – forcing us to refocus on diversification and self-sufficiency. As we grow older, how do we empower our creative sector to be centre stage in a new type of tourism, as opposed to being mere spectators in the fantasy of someone else? It i

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Fri, 25 Sep 2020 13:28:02 +0000 President Moïse said the billions of dollars received in past decade was ineffective

Haiti President Jovenel Moïse criticized the government for misusing the several billions of dollars other countries provided for help over the past 10 years on Thursday during the 75th United Nations General Assembly Meeting.

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Fri, 25 Sep 2020 13:05:59 +0000 Exports from free zones fell 9.33% in 1st half

Santo Domingo.- Exports from the free zones show fell 9.33% between January-July 2020 when compared to the same period of 2019. In the first half, exports from the sector reached US$3.1 billion. According to the Trade Magazine published by Customs, 47.32% of these exports correspond to consumer goods, 37.73% to capital goods and the remaining 14.95% to raw materials. Consumer goods exports fell -US$467.58 million between January and July 2020, from US$1.95 billion in 2019 to US$1.5 billion in 2020. Likewise, capital goods posted a positive absolute variation of US$144.7 million when placed at US$1.2 billion during the first half of 2020, when in 2019 it was US$1.1 billion. Raw material exports went from US$468.34 million between January-July 2019 to US$468.7 million, an absolute variation of US$0.36 million in the […]

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Fri, 25, Sep, 2020 07:01:00 GMT Jamaica Producers Group sells most of its 32% stake in SAJE Logistics associated company

Jamaican conglomerate, Jamaica Producers Group (JPG), has offloaded most of its 32 per cent shareholding in its related real estate and property management company, SAJE Logistics Infrastructure Limited.

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Fri, 25 Sep 2020 00:16:47 -0500 Big spend for COVID

The Ministry of Health and Wellness has already spent $4 billion of the $5.6 billion it was allocated to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, which has so far claimed 77 lives and infected 5,588 Jamaicans. Permanent Secretary Dunstan Bryan said the $4...

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Fri, 25 Sep 2020 00:12:45 -0500 Jamaica Producers offloads stake in wharf property company

Food and logistics conglomerate Jamaica Producers Group Limited, JPG, inked a deal to sell its holdings in an associated property company for $1.9 billion. JP is offloading its 22.1 per cent interest in SAJE Logistics and Infrastructure Limited,...

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Fri, 25 Sep 2020 00:12:56 -0500 GHL hunting $13b from Jamaican investors to shore up subsidiary

Regional insurance powerhouse Guardian Holdings Limited, GHL, aims to raise $13.4 billion in a corporate bond offer in Jamaica that closes today, Friday. The company, based n Trinidad...

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Fri, 25, Sep, 2020 07:01:00 GMT $4B and counting

THE Ministry of Health and Wellness has so far exhausted $4 billion of its $5.6-billion income, with the bulk of it expended on drugs and personal protective equipment (PPE), permanent secretary in the ministry Dunstan Bryan has disclosed.

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Thu, 24 Sep 2020 17:11:25 +0000 Scotia Q3 profit sinks 63%

Scotia Group, with its commercial banking, investments and insurance operations showed the negative impact of the COVID 19 virus from the April quarter with flat revenues and lower profit in the at period but, profit after tax fell sharply for the July quarter by 63 percent, from $4.2 billion in 2019 to $1.55 billion in […]

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Thu, 24 Sep 2020 05:50:23 +0000 Mc Clashie energised to make a difference in La Brea, Labour Ministry

Being elected as an MP and given the task of leading the Ministry of Labour has been quite an eye-opener for Stephen Mc Clashie. As MP he has encountered situations he never knew existed and people who have all kinds of strange requests and expectations of him. His goal, he said, is to make a little difference every day so tomorrow somebody’s life would be better. He has seen first-hand the depression in La Brea in the few weeks he has been in office and on his pre-election walkabout, including unemployment, poverty and lack of opportunities, and he wants to give it his best shot to bring about some kind of improvement to the people who elected him. “As I begin my five-year term, it has given me a very new perspective on some of the real issues people have and what they are looking for – and answers are not readily available," he admitted. “Therefore, when I encounter these people and their problems, it depresses me in the first instance, but in the second instance it energises me to try to really make a difference to really create avenues for jobs. “When you have children, ages 12 and 13, who are working to send themselves to school because of absent parents, and I am talking about girls, and all the attendant problems

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Wed, 23, Sep, 2020 07:23:08 GMT Pandemic crushes Guyana's dreams of big oil

THIS year was supposed to bring great things for Guyana.ExxonMobil discovered massive oil deposits off the South American country's Caribbean coast in 2015, and Guyana sold its first cargo of crude oil this February. As production ramps up, its first stage offshore wells were projected to produce 750,000 barrels a day by 2025, tripling the size of Guyana's economy, from US$3.4 billion to $13 billion.

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Wed, 23, Sep, 2020 07:43:44 GMT Barita completes $13.5-billion raise in additional equity despite COVID-19

FOLLOWING an oversubscription of its initial $9-billion additional public offering (APO) of shares last week, Barita Investment Limited said it has raised the record $13.5 billion in capital, after an upsizing of the offer.

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Wed, 23 Sep 2020 00:14:41 -0500 Nike shakes off pandemic blues with surging online sales

Nike appears to have recovered from its pandemic slump, posting a solid quarterly profit driven by soaring online sales of its sneakers and workout apparel. The world’s largest sports apparel maker on Tuesday reported a net profit of US$1.5 billion...

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Wed, 23 Sep 2020 04:53:54 +0000 ‘Fire sale’ of state assets coming

OPPOSITION Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar said Government is planning to have a “fire sale” of state assets. She said it was not a seller’s market but a buyer’s market and predicted these assets will be sold to government’s friends, family and financiers. She spoke of the CL Financial assets of Long Circular Mall and Trincity Mall and predicted these would be sold at an undervalued price to financiers. Finance Minister Colm Imbert a week ago reported a valuation was being done of the two malls but no decision has been made to sell them. Speaking on Monday, she expressed hope that when the October 5 budget is presented, Government will come with concrete plans but she is expecting them to “beg, borrow and sell.” She noted the Finance Minister has said he intends to implement property tax and she stressed it was not only for the upper class but “every citizen will feel the burden.” She explained that businessmen will pass of the cost unto customers and those renting properties will find a way to pass it on. “In every area there will be hardship and it will be double fold.” She reiterated it was not mandatory to register properties and if people do register, it will encourage the Government to take their money.

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Wed, 23 Sep 2020 05:19:54 +0000 Govt should do like the NYC mayor

THE EDITOR: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and staff are to take one-week furloughs. The symbolic move will save the city US$860,000 as it faces a budget crunch. Perhaps this initiative is something for our Minister of Finance to consider since we are short of $15 billion to balance the budget. In our … Continue reading Govt should do like the NYC mayor The post Govt should do like the NYC mayor appeared first on Trinidad and Tobago Newsday.

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Wed, 23 Sep 2020 05:22:04 +0000 TTSEC launches EASi platform

THE TT Securities and Exchange Commission (TTSEC) launched on Tuesday, its online business solution to the securities market which it expects will revolutionise the way the securities industry is regulated. The Electronically Advanced Submission interface or EASi platform will enable market players to navigate the system, from submission and renewal of applications, to disclosure filings among other mandatory services. In her address at the launch, which was held via Zoom and streamed live via TTSEC’s social media pages, Lystra Lucillio, Chief Executive Officer (Ag), noted that “The securities market has, and continues to, contribute significantly to our economy’s GDP. To date, we have over 570 registrants. “Our data also indicates that as at July 31st, 2020 the securities market was valued at over TT$325 billion – approximately twice the size of Trinidad and Tobago’s GDP for 2018.” She further stated, “It is therefore quite fitting that we launch our EASi platform during this covid19 global pandemic, when the demand for contactless delivery of services is critical to slowing the spread of the corona virus and saving lives. “We are fully cognisant of the realities of our time and will c

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