Wed, 28 Oct 2020 12:43:35 +0000 Cooper blasts govt on borrowing; Turnquest responds to Moody’s

Responding to international credit rating agency Moody’s assertion that government’s gross borrowing will likely hit $2 billion, Progressive Liberal Party Deputy Leader Chester Cooper said government’s high coupon, $600 million foreign currency bond and the historic borrowing brought on by COVID-19 and Hurricane Dorian, will likely be a generational albatross around the neck of Bahamians …The post Cooper blasts govt on borrowing; Turnquest responds to Moody’s appeared first on The Nassau Guardian.

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Thu, 29 Oct 2020 05:30:29 +0000 The effect of pandemic domestic violence on productivity

Pandemics do not come properly one at a time, as they should if they were well-behaved. This is not flu season in the tropics, although the mimic men who need to find something to say are picking up the northern hemisphere statistics and making specious comments straight out of the Toronto Star beginning with: “As we move into the flu season…” no doubt about to give us advice on wearing long woollen underwear now that November is here. Flu season here is usually tied up with the arrival of people from “foreign” like Christmas and Carnival. But that and public-service truancy are not the only reasons that employment absenteeism rates have risen. I have a granddaughter who, unable to live any longer with the harassment she experienced on the streets of Port of Spain, left the country for good. This followed the discovery of the decomposing body of a young woman her age in a barrel in a building she walked past every day to buy lunch. She always wanted, as her goal in life, to get into the field of human rights, and having a master’s degree from Canada, she went to Toronto, where she now lives. She is working for the largest public-service trade union in Canada, heading a department dealing with public pronouncements, lobbying and prom

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Thu, 29 Oct 2020 04:26:55 +0000 Disaster descends on Ring Bang

DR RITA PEMBERTON The staging of the Ring Bang concert assumed great importance to the THA organisers because it was an international deal that appeared to be financially viable. It was an event for which the intellectual property rights were seen as a potential billion-dollar industry and some were of the view there would also be broadcast rights from the show. It was an investment which offered the highly desired and much needed, financial returns and was visualised as salvation from the squeeze of the tight-fisted central government. The investment partner promised that some of the returns would accrue from the 20,000 patrons whose attendance was assured and, in addition, local participation would be facilitated through an undertaking to shuttle people from Trinidad with the domestic carriers. The concert was supposed to be a part of the BBC/WGHB 2000 today Millennium Day live 24-hour global broadcast which was scheduled to begin at 10.30 am on December 31, 1999. The agreement also guaranteed that the island would receive a 39-minute feature on the BBC which would b

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Tue, 27 Oct 2020 12:09:56 +0000 Moody’s expects govt’s gross borrowing requirements to hit $2B

International credit rating agency Moody’s expects the government’s gross borrowing requirements will likely hit $2 billion as the fiscal deficit widens to 11 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), explaining that the recently closed $600 million foreign currency bond will meet one-third of government’s needs. Moody’s, in its latest report on The Bahamas, stated it …The post Moody’s expects govt’s gross borrowing requirements to hit $2B appeared first on The Nassau Guardian.

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Wed, 28, Oct, 2020 07:01:00 GMT No extra money

PRIME Minister Andrew Holness last evening said money will have to be reallocated from each ministry to fund repairs of extensive damage to the country caused by heavy rains associated with the outer bands of Tropical Storm Zeta as there is no additional financial resources available for what is already a mammoth task.

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Wed, 28, Oct, 2020 07:01:00 GMT US firms fund deforestation, abuses in Amazon — report

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AFP) — Major US financial firms are helping fund environmental destruction and indigenous rights abuses in the Amazon with billions of dollars in investments in questionable companies, according to a report published yesterday.

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Wed, 28 Oct 2020 06:45:19 +0000 Senator: Stop the covid politics

INDEPENDENT Senator Dr Maria Dillon-Remy appealed on Monday to the Government and the Opposition, to treat the covid19 pandemic as a national problem and not an opportunity to score cheap political points. She made her appeal when she contributed to the budget debate in the Senate. "This is not a PNM problem. This is not a UNC problem. This is a TT problem." Dillon-Remy also declared that covid19 does not care what an individual's political preference is. "Covid19 wears neither a red banner or a yellow banner. Take off your party hats." Referring to Opposition Senator Wade Mark's contribution in the debate on October 23, Dillon-Remy said the UNC needs to accept what happened in the August 10 general election. "The election is over. They (the people) have made their choice." After saying no one could have predicted the world would be in a pandemic now, Dillon-Remy said it is clear that no country has a blueprint of how to overcome covid19. She stressed that TT needs leaders at all levels who have vision and integrity. These leaders, she continued, must be purpose-driven, principle-centred and value-driven. Dillon-Remy identified courage, humility and honesty as some of the values those leaders must possess.

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Wed, 28, Oct, 2020 07:01:00 GMT WhatsApp Business adding paid services

WHATSAPP Business is introducing paid services. The company said it will also start charging businesses for some services, “which will help WhatsApp continue building a business of our own while we provide and expand free end-to-end encrypted text, video and voice calling for more than two billion people”.

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Wed, 28, Oct, 2020 07:01:00 GMT Seprod reports record $1.28-billion Q3 profit

With sugar operations no longer holding down the company's bottom line, manufacturing and distribution company Seprod set a record net profit of $1.28 billion in its third quarter and $2.48 billion for the nine months which outperformed its entire 2019 financial year (FY).

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Wed, 28 Oct 2020 00:11:02 -0500 Strong drug sales, vaccine hopes propel earnings for Merck

Drugmaker Merck, bouncing back from a US$1.6-billion hit from the coronavirus pandemic in the second quarter, boosted its third-quarter profit by 55 per cent and blew past Wall Street expectations. The strong result was due to sales slightly higher...

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Wed, 28 Oct 2020 00:11:35 -0500 Pfizer revenue dips, earnings fall

Drugmaker Pfizer saw its third-quarter profit plunge 71 per cent, mainly due to an US$8.1-billion gain a year earlier from selling its consumer health care business to a GlaxoSmithKline joint venture, but managed to top Wall Street expectations....

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Wed, 28 Oct 2020 00:10:40 -0500 Caribbean Cement headed for best year in negative times

Caribbean Cement Company, supplier to a resilient construction market, made $2.2 billion over three quarters to September, reflecting a one-third growth in earnings amid the pandemic. Not only has Caribbean Cement outperformed its nine-month...

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Tue, 27 Oct 2020 18:20:54 +0000 Judge: Shocking betrayal by PP Government over Point Fortin highway review

A "shocking betrayal" was how a High Court judge described the People's Partnership administration reneging on a promise to abide by the findings of a study on the construction of part of the San Fernando-Point Fortin highway. In a written decision on Monday, Justice James Aboud held that the legal challenge of environmentalist Dr Wayne Kublalsingh and the Highway Reroute Movement (HRM) against the Debe to Mon Desir portion of the highway disclosed “egregious conduct on the part of the Government.” He also labelled as “shocking betrayal” and “unconscionable” the broken promises of the Kamla Persad-Bissessar government to Kublalsingh and the HRM, which was made up mainly of homeowners who stood to lose their property. “The first promise of a review was made by a person no less than the prime minister. This surely must have been received as a promise coming from a believable and genuine source. The promise was repeated on other occasions by another minister of government and other public officials. "It seems to me that these representations were disingenuously made for the purpose of gaining a tactical advantage and diffusing a complex predicament,” Aboud said. He ruled that the State breached Kublalsingh and the HRM’s legi

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Tue, 27 Oct 2020 14:58:26 +0000 Barrick Gold eyes US$1.3B to extend Dominican mine

Santo Domingo.- Barrick Gold Pueblo Viejo president Juana Barceló, on Monday said they’ve yet to finish paying the dividends of the first investment by the shareholders worth US$4.5 billion. She said despite not completing the payment, they would request an additional US$1.3 billion from the partners to extend the mine’s life. “Of the investment of 4.5 billion dollars, we have not finished paying our investors but we are asking them to give us an additional 1.3 billion dollars to be able to extend the life of the mine,” Barceló told local media. She revealed that the miner is conducting research and studies in the area to increase its production. She assured that though the procedures “are quite positive,” they have yet to be completed. Barceló added that the mining company […]

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Tue, 27 Oct 2020 14:58:26 +0000 Barrack Gold eyes US$1.3B to extend Dominican mine

Santo Domingo.- Barrick Gold Pueblo Viejo president Juana Barceló, on Monday said they’ve yet to finish paying the dividends of the first investment by the shareholders worth US$4.5 billion. She said despite not completing the payment, they would request an additional US$1.3 billion from the partners to extend the mine’s life. “Of the investment of 4.5 billion dollars, we have not finished paying our investors but we are asking them to give us an additional 1.3 billion dollars to be able to extend the life of the mine,” Barceló told local media. She revealed that the miner is conducting research and studies in the area to increase its production. She assured that though the procedures “are quite positive,” they have yet to be completed. Barceló added that the mining company […]

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Tue, 27 Oct 2020 14:47:54 +0000 ‘2020 budget deficit $23b, not $16.8b’: Kamla wants answers

OPPOSITION Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar said the budget deficit which Finance Minister Colm Imbert estimated to be $16.8 billion for 2020 is really more than $23 billion. From a virtual platform at the United National Congress (UNC) Monday Night Forum, Persad-Bissesar challenged Imbert to say why he made the deficit to be less than it really is and explain where the extra $23 billion went. “Since they (People’s National Movement Government) came in, they have been running deficits higher and higher and higher. Always overspending, squandermania, spending on contracts for wives and families.” Referring to page 183 of the Review of the Economy, she said Imbert clearly stated it was $16.8 billion. However, she said, page 5 of the Estimates of Revenue 2021, under Heads 10 and 11, which tells about how much money was needed to finance the budget also told what was the deficit. “And in there it was, over $23 billion in deficit for fiscal 2019/2020, not the $16.8 billion Imbert said with his own mouth.” “He lied. Minister Imbert, I ask you to tell us why you lied to the country, why you tried to hide the depth of the hole we are in in terms of deficit. “And even more important, what did you do with this extra $23

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Mon, 26 Oct 2020 12:14:46 +0000 DPM confident in govt’s ability to raise funding in domestic market

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said he sees no obstacles for the government in raising capital in the domestic market, if it becomes necessary. The government successfully raised close to $800 million on international markets to meet its $1.3 billion fiscal obligations this year and has stated it would generate the …The post DPM confident in govt’s ability to raise funding in domestic market appeared first on The Nassau Guardian.

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Tue, 27 Oct 2020 00:22:09 -0500 Billion$ bill - Conservative estimate for flood damage, but assessors still counting costs

The torrential rains that set off landslides and flooding, damaging roads and other infrastructure across several parishes, are expected to incur a repair bill of more than $1 billion. Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Desmond...

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Tue, 27 Oct 2020 00:17:42 -0500 Ant Group set to become largest-ever IPO

China’s Ant Group will try to raise nearly US$35 billion in a public offering of shares in Shanghai and Hong Kong, which would make it the largest offering in history. Alibaba-affiliated Ant Group, which operates a suite of financial products...

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Tue, 27 Oct 2020 05:23:56 +0000 PNM brought energy $$ to TT

ENERGY Minister Franklin Khan on Monday said the PNM has been successful in bringing back energy revenues to TT which were lost due to poor policy decisions by the former UNC-led People’s Partnership (PP) coalition government. Khan said revenue from the energy sector is projected to contribute to 23 per cent of Government’s overall revenue compared to six per cent in 2016. He identified an increase in upstream production in natural gas and a roll-back of over-generous fiscal allowances by the UNC as two contributors to this anticipated increase in revenue. Khan said senators would be shocked to know that under the PP “there was one particular energy company in TT that was paying $0.15 per mcf (1,000 cubic feet) of (natural) gas.” He added that one mcf of gas is approximately worth US$3.00 ($20.36). Khan also said 12.5 per cent royalty rate on gross income on energy companies on natural gas has resulted in revenues to Government of $400 million in 2016 and b $3.5 billion in 2019. While the covid19 pandemic lowered this revenue to $2.5 billion this year, Khan said the revenue is forecast to reach $4.4 billion next year. Dismissing reiterated UNC allegations of secret gas deals agreed to when the Prime Minister visited Houston in 20

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Tue, 27 Oct 2020 04:56:17 +0000 Kublalsingh awarded $.5m for highway breaches

“SIT and talk with us,” was the entreaty of environmentalist Dr Wayne Kublalsingh to the Government after a High Court judge ordered the State to compensate him to the tune of $.5 million for breaches arising over the construction of a portion of the San Fernando to Point Fortin highway. On Monday, eight years after Kublalsingh and his Highway Reroute Movement took legal action against the State, Justice James Aboud held that there was a legitimate expectation that the then People’s Partnership Government would have abided by the report of the former independent senator, Dr James Armstrong. The judge is expected to deliver a written decision in which he also ordered the State to pay to Kublalsingh and the HRM a total of $500,000 in compensation. Kublalsingh has since mounted another legal challenge over the construction of the Debe to Mon Desir portion of the highway, in which he is seeking an injunction from the Appeal Court on claims that the State is in breach of land acquisition laws. The matter is expected to come up for hearing on November 5. That appeal is against a ruling of Justice Ricky Rahim who, in April, dismissed Kublalsingh’s judicial review claim over the restart of the work to the contentious segment of the highway.

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Tue, 27 Oct 2020 05:21:54 +0000 Khan outlines gas arrangement

ENERGY Minister Franklin Khan has dismissed what he described as speculative talk in the public domain about a popular fast food franchise operating gas stations. He did so in his budget contribution in the Senate on Tuesday while explaining the rationale behind Government’s decision to liberalise the domestic liquid fuels market. Referring to Finance Minister Colm Imbert’s announcement in his budget presentation in the House of Representatives on October 5 of National Petroleum Marketing Company (NP) gas stations being put up for sale, Khan said he heard idle talk about KFC buying some of those stations. “KFC is not a dealer. They are concessionaires in the gas station. It has nothing to do with the gas market.” He reiterated that first preference to buy NP-owned, NP-owned/dealer operated gas stations will go to the dealer. Should there be no agreement between NP and the dealer, Khan said the station will be put on the open market for sale. Paria Fuel Trading Company, he continued, will be the sole importer of fuel. Khan explained his ministry will fix the price at which fuel is sold to Unipet and NP. “That price will include an ex-terminal price, which is based on the posted price of fuels, based on the US Gulf Coast pricing formula

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Tue, 27 Oct 2020 04:44:56 +0000 Mitchell: No rum and Coke for the dead

TOURISM, Culture and the Arts Minister Randall Mitchell on Monday criticised people who he said seem to place greater priority on profit and personal pleasure than public health, during the pandemic. In his contribution to the budget debate in the Senate, Mitchell slammed Opposition Senator Jearlean John for misleading the population into thinking the Prime Minister instructed that bars and restaurants remain closed and business organisations are upset. “The restrictions are placed on in-house dining (in bars and restaurants). I myself had a slice of Buzo pizza over the weekend,” he said. After saying the way covid19 is spread is well known to everyone, Mitchell had a message for people who want to flout covid19 protocols, to satisfy personal cravings. “There is no food and rum and Coke to be had if you are dead,” Mitchell declared. “The $10 that you want to sit down and pay for a beer does not compare to the $10,000 it will cost for a funeral.” Against that background, Mitchell added, “So we are right to keep the restrictions in place.” He warned that otherwise, TT could suffer the states of emergency, complete lockdowns and shutdowns now being experienced by many European cou

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Mon, 26 Oct 2020 22:15:14 +0000 Brian Lewis on how sport can drive innovation

Kiran Mathur Mohammed kmmpub@gmail.com With over 32 years in sports leadership, there are few people who can claim to have had the depth of influence that Brian Lewis has had over the development of Caribbean sport. Now the president of the TT Olympic Committee (TTOC) and the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC), he started out very differently, raised by a single mother in Belmont. [caption id="attachment_854049" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Minister of Agriculture Clarence Rambharat (R) and president of the TT Olympic Committee Brian Lewis exercise around the Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain. - Sureash Cholai[/caption] What was it like growing up in Belmont? Some days it was nothing but hot water, tea and a dinner mint, and you went to sleep early. Belmont was a hotbed of social activism. You had the the Black Power Movement and (everything revolved around) the steelbands. I used to get licks for running away to join them. All the boys growing up had choices to make. Some were vexed at the world. But growing up, you always

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Mon, 26 Oct 2020 16:27:02 +0000 Cement Q3 profit jumps $1.15B

Profit at Caribbean Cement surged over by $1.15 billion to $1.23 billion percent in the September quarter, from a 32 percent jump in sales. For the nine months to September, profit jumped a strong 42 percent to $2.2 billion from $1.57 million in 2019 as revenues rose 12 percent to $15 billion. Investors immediately reacted […]

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