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Updated: 1 hour 4 min ago

184,443 shares traded on first tier

Fri, 08/17/2018 - 23:25

Overall market activity resulted from trading in 16 securities of which 4 advanced, 2 declined and ten traded firm.

Trading activity on the first tier market registered a volume of 184,443 shares crossing the floor of the exchange valued at $1,417,004.88. NCB Financial Group Ltd was the volume leader with 128,781 shares changing hands for a value of $782,225.05, followed by Sagicor Financial Corporation Ltd with a volume of 17,003 shares being traded for $131,523.30.

LJ Williams Ltd B contributed 10,000 shares with a value of $7,500, while National Enterprises Ltd added 6,991 shares valued at $62,961.15.

NCB Financial Group Ltd registered the day’s largest gain, increasing $0.40 to end the day at $6.07. Conversely, FirstCaribbean International Bank Ltd registered the day’s largest decline, falling $0.09 to close at $8.40.

Clico Investment Fund was the only active security on the mutual fund market, posting a volume of 50 shares valued at $1,000. Clico Investment Fund remained at $20.

Fortress Caribbean Property Fund Ltd SCC—Development Fund remained at $0.67. Fortress Caribbean Property Fund SCC—Value Fund remained at $1.70. Praetorian Property Mutual Fund remained at $3.05.

The Second Tier Market did not witness any activity.

In Friday’s trading session the following reflect the movement of the TTSE Indices:

• The Composite Index advanced by 9.20 points (0.75%) to close at 1,241.20.

• The All T&T Index advanced by 0.15 points (0.01%) to close at 1,712.78.

• The Cross Listed Index advanced by 2.53 points (2.50%) to close at 103.53.

Categories: News

TTMA lauds PM’s view of CSME

Fri, 08/17/2018 - 23:23

The T&T Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) has welcomed the Prime Minister’s recent statement that the growth of the local manufacturing sector relies on the success of the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME).

In a statement to the media yesterday, chamber president Christopher Alcazar said: “The special interest taken by the Government of T&T towards the proper implementation of the CSME must be commended. The arrangement of a Caricom Heads of Government meeting this November with the single agenda item of discussing the CSME is seen by the TTMA as a step in the right direction.”

Alcazar added that the chamber unreservedly support free and fair trade without any non-tariff measures which may pose a barrier to the realisation of the vision of the CSME.

The statement said that both local and regional manufacturers have the potential to be more productive and therefore effectively compete in the international market with a proper functioning CSME.

“From a local perspective, our trade facilitation framework needs to be supported significantly, especially as it pertains to the operations of our main regulatory and border control agencies.

Specifically, more needs to be done to optimise the services provided by our Customs and Excise, major cargo ports, Chemistry Food and Drugs Division and other governmental agencies in order to create a seamless facilitative business environment,” the statement said.

The chamber said it is eager to learn of the Government’s planned initiatives in the upcoming budget that will seek to stimulate the non-energy sector such as the export allowance for manufacturers dubbed the Incremental Foreign Exchange Earnings Tax Credit—announced in the 2017 national budget but unfortunately is still yet to be implemented.

The TTMA said it is looking forward to the outcome of the Caricom Heads of Government meeting in November.

Categories: News

Minister: $122m spent to import chickens in 2017

Fri, 08/17/2018 - 23:23

As the Nutrimix Group of Companies begins construction of its Next Generation Hatchery, Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon is hopeful that it will help to reduce the millions of dollars spent annually on imported poultry.

Speaking at the sod-turning ceremony at Brechin Castle, Couva, on Thursday, Gopee-Scoon said that in 2017, $122 million was spent to import chickens, which represented 90 per cent of the overall poultry import.

“The management of the Nutrimix Group of Companies must, therefore, be applauded for their foresight because currently there is a substantial reliance on imported poultry and poultry products which in 2017 cost $144 million,” Gopee-Scoon said.

When completed, the hatchery being built on five acres of former Caroni (1975) Ltd land, will have the capacity for three million eggs.

Gopee-Scoon said that a global review and analysis has forecasted that by 2034, the global population will be increased by approximately 15 per cent, raising the demand for food. She said that consumption of poultry is expected to outstretch beef, pork and lamb, with outputs climbing to 130 billion tonnes per year being required. She said that locally, the statistics follows global trends and it indicated that there will be a growing demand for poultry and poultry products.

But as the poultry industry expands, Gopee-Scoon said that it is important that quality standards are matched. She said that recommendations will be brought to Cabinet soon for the implementation and enforcement of the Caricom Regional Standard Specifications for poultry and poultry products, which was approved at the 35th Meeting of the Council for Training and Economic Development in 2012.

This means that poultry carcasses and products should not be offered for sale if more than six months have passed since the day of slaughter. In the case of turkey, no longer than 12 months after the day of slaughter.

It also calls for strict regulations in sanitation, hygiene, grading, labelling, inspecting, packaging and marketing.

Nutrimix director Ronnie Mohammed said the hatchery will be the most modern facility in the Caribbean and the largest investment in agriculture in the past five years.

Mohammed said the hatchery will utilise the latest technology in incubation methods to produce strong healthy chicks with the highest hatch rates. It will also use the latest technology for inovo/embryo vaccination. The facility is designed as a bio-secure facility with controlled access and an internal and external environment that is carefully designed and moderated. It will be equipped with multiple systems for energy conservation, using a heat recovery system and incorporate facilities for waste water treatment and the recycling and processing of waste material.

Mohammed said that 100 people will be employed during the 18-month construction and 50 workers will be hired to operate the hatchery.

The Nutrimix Group of Companies operates a flour mill, grain terminal, feed division and the Nutrina Division, Nutrina Chicken Certified Halal, Process Division and Hatchery Division.

Categories: News

GraceKennedy shares drop to $2.80

Fri, 08/17/2018 - 05:11

Overall market activity resulted from trading in ten securities of which three advanced, five declined and two traded firm.

Trading activity on the First Tier Market registered a volume of 36,113 shares crossing the floor of the Exchange valued at $494,874.10. GraceKennedy Limited was the volume leader with 14,200 shares changing hands for a value of $39,760, followed by T&T NGL Limited with a volume of 10,403 shares being traded for $312,456.84. Sagicor Financial Corporation Limited contributed 5,135 shares with a value of $39,023.90, while National Flour Mills Limited added 4,705 shares valued at $7,998.50.

Calypso Macro Index Fund registered the day’s largest gain, increasing $0.28 to end the day at $15.74. Conversely, GraceKennedy Limited registered the day’s largest decline, falling $0.08 to close at $2.80.

On the Mutual Fund Market 3,250 shares changed hands for a value of $56,480. Calypso Macro Index Fund was the most active security, with a volume of 2,000 shares valued at $31,480. Clico Investment Fund advanced by $0.07 to end at $20.

In Thursday’s trading session the following reflect the movement of the TTSE Indices:

• The Composite Index declined by 0.82 points (0.07 per cent) to close at 1,232.00.

• The All T&T Index declined by 0.63 points (0.04 per cent) to close at 1,712.63.

• The Cross Listed Index declined by 0.14 points (0.14 per cent) to close at 101.

Categories: News

JMMB net profit up 56 per cent

Fri, 08/17/2018 - 05:10

KINGSTON, Jamaica—Regional financial entity, JMMB Group, has recorded 56 per cent growth in its net profit, year-over-year, totaling J$956.6 million, for the three-month period ending June 30. Additionally, the Group posted net operating revenue of J$4.7 billion, which reflects an increase of 15 per cent, compared to the corresponding period in 2017.

The Group’s performance was largely driven by growth in its core business operations, namely: foreign exchange trading gains; fees and commission income; net interest income; and net gains on securities trading.

Foreign exchange trading gains saw a significant increase of J$277.1 million, or 117 per cent, amounting to J$514.6 million, as a result of increased trading activity and the faster pace of depreciation of the Jamaican dollar, over the period. Fees and commission income totaled J$481.6 million, an increase of 32 per cent, over the corresponding prior period, driven by significant growth in managed funds and collective investment schemes, across the Group.

Net interest income for the reporting period stood at approximately J$2.1 billion, reflecting growth of 8 per cent, or J$155.9 million, in the Group’s loan and investment portfolios.

Additionally, net gains on securities traded, showed a marginal increase of 4 per cent, compared to the prior period, totaling J$1.6 billion, due to a decline in trading activities caused from the frequency of US Federal rate increases.

Keith Duncan, JMMB Group CEO, said the positive performance achieved by the company reflects its commitment to build-out of its integrated regional financial strategy, even as the entity has intensified the consolidation and growth phases of its business model.

In keeping with this thrust, “(There is) continued maximization of strategic synergies to extract operational efficiencies from the Group’s portfolio, while driving growth in our core business lines,” Duncan said.

As evidence of this focus, JMMB Group has rolled out several initiatives across its regional subsidiaries, specifically: expanding nline services in the Dominican Republic; improving the online banking platform – JMMB Moneyline, with added features, in amaica; and the standardization of client experience across the Group, with the implementation of sales training tools and other initiatives.

During the quarter, costs were largely associated with the further build-out of the integrated Group sales support framework and continued roll-out of commercial banking operations in Jamaica; which resulted in an increase in expenditure of 11 per cent, amounting to J$3.34 billion. However, the Group remains committed to managing its expenses, as evidenced by its operating efficiency ratio, which moved from 74 per cent in the prior period to 72%.

Duncan expressed his optimism about JMMB Bank’s credible performance, as the entity celebrates its first year in the commercial banking space. He said over time, the build-out of the commercial banking operation in Jamaica is expected to reap greater synergies and operational efficiency, as the subsidiary seeks to better serve its clients and maximize shareholder value.
Since making entry into the commercial banking foray, JMMB Bank (Jamaica) has expanded its footprint, upgraded its infrastructure and continues to review its client experience processes, to ensure that it provides exceptional service.

Duncan said: “I am proud of the Group’s performance over the first quarter, which would not have been possible without a strong and motivated team, who has worked hard in yielding positive results and remained committed to providing financial solutions, in the best interest of our clients.” I

He added: “We look forward to the process of leveraging strategic synergies and improving operational efficiency, during the strategic period. Meanwhile, the JMMB Group is also looking to introduce innovative financial offerings across the markets in which it operates in order to drive growth, assist individuals to achieve their goals and support business expansion and growth; providing a win-win opportunity for all our stakeholders, through our financial partnership approach.

“As part of the growth focus JMMB Group is seeking to launch consumer financing service in Trinidad amd Tobago and to expand the provision of automated teller machine (ATM) services in Jamaica.”

Categories: News

NGL, leads trading with 25,907 shares

Wed, 08/15/2018 - 23:50

Overall market activity resulted from trading in 12 securities of which three advanced, three declined and six traded firm.

Trading activity on the first tier market registered a volume of 46,762 shares crossing the floor of the exchange valued at $1,541,985.97.

T&T NGL Ltd was the volume leader with 25,907 shares changing hands for a value of $779,862.96, followed by LJ Williams Ltd B with a volume of 5,000 shares being traded for $3,750.

The West Indian Tobacco Ltd (Witco) contributed 4,304 shares with a value of $381,029.93, while One Caribbean Media Ltd added 4,000 shares valued at $49,160.

Witco registered the day’s largest gain, increasing $0.04 to end the day at $88.53. Conversely, Calypso Macro Index Fund registered the day’s largest decline, falling $0.28 to close at $15.46.
On the Mutual Fund Market 7,207 shares changed hands for a value of $137,650.14.

Clico Investment Fund (CIF) was the most active security, with a volume of 5,863 shares valued at $116,871.50. CIF declined by $0.01 to end at $19.93.

Calypso Macro Index Fund declined by $0.28 to end at $15.46. Fortress Caribbean Property Fund Ltd SCC—Development Fund remained at $0.67. Fortress Caribbean Property Fund Ltd SCC — Value Fund remained at $1.70.

Praetorian Property Mutual Fund remained at $3.05.

The Second Tier Market did not witness any activity. Mora Ven Holdings Ltd remained at $14.49

The Composite Index advanced by 0.09 points (0.01 per cent) to close at 1,232.82.

The All T&T Index advanced by 0.19 points (0.01 per cent) to close at 1,713.26. The Cross Listed Index remained at 101.14.

Categories: News

Manufacturing sector needs Caribbean market for growth

Wed, 08/15/2018 - 23:48

As T&T gears up for the Caricom Heads of Government meeting in Port-of-Spain this November, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley says the growth of the local manufacturing sector relies heavily on the success of the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME).

Speaking at the sod-turning for the Nutrimix Group of Companies’ Next Generation Hatchery in Brechin Castle, Couva yesterday, Rowley said that while T&T is interested in the Caribbean market for trade, there are others who have their eyes on reaping the benefits of the CSME.

In order for T&T to benefit, he said there must be a proper presence and advocacy, and it is why the Government has requested and has been granted a Caricom Heads of Government meeting this November with a single agenda of discussing the CSME.

“This is of great interest to the people of T&T because we are possibly the major beneficiary of the Caricom economies. And if we are to grow in the way we are expected to grow when this facility is completed in the way that our country’s potential is to be realised, and if we are to preserve what we have, we have to ensure that the Caricom market remains alive and remains our major marketplace. That is the assignment and we observed this before we became the government. That is why today we have a Ministry of Foreign and Caricom Affairs,” Rowley said.

There have been heads of Caricom, technocrats or foreign interest groups who are in support of the CSME, however, Rowley said that with Caribbean integration, there may be winners and losers.

“Every Caricom government is afraid to be the loser in any area. As a result of that, we have been kicking this can down the road for years until it has not become a matter of self-criticism at Caricom. We have been saying at the level at the heads of Caricom that we have been skylarking and postponing this issue.”

So far, the Bahamian government has expressed its intention to remain in Caricom, but back in April, its Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said that country will not be part of the CSME, nor will it allow for the free movement of Caribbean citizens to its islands.

The Jamaican government is also revisiting the rationale of the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, which established Caricom. The treaty seeks to improve the standard of living and work in Caricom states, accelerated, coordinated and sustained economic development and foster increased production and productivity. In June, Jamaican Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Audley Shaw told the Jamaican Parliament that while “the overarching objective of the CSME is to increase our collective wealth and well-being through sustained economic growth derived from a continuous increase in production and productivity, this goal has somewhat eluded us due to half-heartedness and sometimes, a lack of commitment and an unevenness in the extent to which member states embrace the provisions of the Revised Treaty to increase our common wealth.”

It was based on these developments that T&T sought out November’s meeting.

Rowley said that there are suggestions that a having a single market and economy is too much of an aspiration. He said there were proposals to just have a single market or single economy.

Categories: News

Tobacco shares increase by $0.50

Wed, 08/15/2018 - 01:55

Overall market activity resulted from trading in 19 securities of which five advanced, six declined and eight traded firm.

Trading activity on the First Tier Market registered a volume of 131,059 shares crossing the floor of the Exchange valued at $3,427,455.99. National Flour Mills Limited was the volume leader with 38,134 shares changing hands for a value of $65,719.75, followed by T&T NGL Limited with a volume of 18,085 shares being traded for $544,539.35. The West Indian Tobacco Company Limited contributed 15,632 shares with a value of $1,383,327.92, while JMMB Group Limited added 13,766 shares valued at $24,752.25.

The West Indian Tobacco Company Limited registered the day’s largest gain, increasing $0.50 to end the day at $88.49. Conversely, Sagicor Financial Corporation Limited registered the day’s largest decline, falling $0.07 to close at $7.50.

Clico Investment Fund was the only active security on the Mutual Fund Market, posting a volume of 31,180 shares valued at $621,718.12. It remained at $19.94.

In Tuesday’s trading session the following reflect the movement of the TTSE Indices:

•The Composite Index advanced by 0.72 points (0.06 per cent) to close at 1,232.73.

•The All T&T Index advanced by 1.11 points (0.06 per cent) to close at 1,713.07.

•The Cross Listed Index advanced by 0.04 points (0.04 per cent) to close at 101.14.

Categories: News

ANSA McAL earns $454m second quarter profit

Wed, 08/15/2018 - 01:53

Noting the recent improvement in the T&T economy, ANSA McAL Group Chairman Norman Sabga said this has bolstered the conglomerate’s strategy of innovation with its new products.

“That strategy is working well. The fact that we are up three per cent locally would indicate to us that things are improving, or that we are getting a larger piece,” he said yesterday as the Group announced its unaudited results for the six months ended June 30, at Tatil Building, Port-of-Spain.

Sabga took the opportunity to announce a series of acquisitions the Group is working on.

“Right now we are doing due diligence for four acquisitions. One in Costa Rica, one in Barbados, two in Trinidad and Tobago, so our pipeline in acquisitions is very rich,” he said.

“Two of the acquisitions will be add-ons to the existing businesses that we have, so we are in a particular business and that acquisition, when it is consummated, will just be added on to this, so it will be the same administration. They are really very tactical acquisitions. Trinidad Aggregate Products (TAP) is one.”

Giving an insight into ANSA McAL’s T&T operations in relation to its overseas businesses, he said: “Overall, the Trinidad and Tobago market is by far our largest market. That is part and parcel of our strategy to invest in other economies going forward.”

The Group’s financial results show that profit before tax increased to $454 million from $432 million and revenues are up five per cent to $3,057 million from $2,899 million.

The earnings of $1.61 per share is an improvement of seven per cent.

In a statement to shareholders which accompanied the second quarter results, Sabga said: “Our strategies of growth, while containing expenses, have proven to be the right approach across the region and at home.”

The ANSA McAL board approved an interim dividend of $0.30 per share which will be paid on November 8.

Categories: News

Unilever closes $0.10 lower at $26.90

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 23:22

Overall market activity resulted from trading in 14 securities of which four advanced, five declined and five traded firm.

Trading activity on the First Tier Market registered a volume of 179,866 shares crossing the floor of the Exchange valued at $1,273,300.39.

GraceKennedy Limited was the volume leader with 66,687 shares changing hands for a value of $193,392.30, followed by Sagicor Financial Corporation Limited with a volume of 65,393 shares being traded for $495,076.

Trinidad Cement Limited contributed 20,900 shares with a value of $60,610, while Guardian Holdings Limited added 10,696 shares valued at $176,984.

Sagicor Financial Corporation Limited registered the day’s largest gain, increasing $0.07 to end the day at $7.57.

Conversely, Unilever Caribbean Limited registered the day’s largest decline, falling $0.10 to close at $26.90.

On the Mutual Fund Market 23,364 shares changed hands for a value of $464,638.14. Clico Investment Fund was the most active security, with a volume of 23,050 shares valued at

$459,695.78. It declined by $0.06 to end at $19.94.

In Monday’s trading session the following reflect the movement of the TTSE Indices:
• The Composite Index advanced by 1.09 points (0.09 per cent) to close at 1,232.01.
• The All T&T Index advanced by 0.22 points (0.01 per cent) to close at 1,711.96.
• The Cross Listed Index advanced by 0.27 points (0.27 per cent) to close at 101.10.

Categories: News

Google is watching you

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 23:20

SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—Google wants to know where you go so badly that it records your movements even when you explicitly tell it not to.
An Associated Press investigation found that many Google services on Android devices and iPhones store your location data even if you’ve used a privacy setting that says it will prevent

Google from doing so.
Computer-science researchers at Princeton confirmed these findings at the AP’s request.

For the most part, Google is upfront about asking permission to use your location information. An app like Google Maps will remind you to allow access to location if you use it for navigating.

If you agree to let it record your location over time, Google Maps will display that history for you in a “timeline” that maps out your daily movements.

Storing your minute-by-minute travels carries privacy risks and has been used by police to determine the location of suspects—such as a warrant that police in Raleigh, North Carolina,

served on Google last year to find devices near a murder scene. So the company will let you “pause” a setting called Location History.

Google says that will prevent the company from remembering where you’ve been. Google’s support page on the subject states: “You can turn off Location History at any time. With Location

History off, the places you go are no longer stored.”

That isn’t true. Even with Location History paused, some Google apps automatically store time-stamped location data without asking. (It’s possible, although labourious, to delete it .)

For example, Google stores a snapshot of where you are when you merely open its Maps app. Automatic daily weather updates on Android phones pinpoint roughly where you are. And some searches that have nothing to do with location, like “chocolate chip cookies,” or “kids science kits,” pinpoint your precise latitude and longitude—accurate to the square foot—and save

it to your Google account.

The privacy issue affects some two billion users of devices that run Google’s Android operating software and hundreds of millions of worldwide iPhone users who rely on Google for maps or search.

Sean O’Brien, a Yale Privacy Lab researcher with whom the AP shared its findings, said it is “disingenuous” for Google to continuously record these locations even when users disable

Location History. “To me, it’s something people should know,” he said.

Categories: News

Bonds to help fund public housing

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 23:17

Government is considering introduction of a bond to assist with funding of public housing. Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, who was at a key distribution ceremony for the Lake View Housing Development in Point Fortin yesterday, said it is among new ways being looked at to provide low income housing.

“The demand for housing in Trinidad and Tobago continues to be substantial but the problem remains as daunting now as it was in the period of 2006-2009, except that at this time the State does not have the financial ability to fund from the Treasury in a way that we have been doing, but the demand is still there,” he said.

“Most people in this island state of Trinidad and Tobago believe . . . expect that they can look to the State housing programme for their houses.”

Dr Rowley said he discussing the housing bond plan with Finance Minister Colm Imbert.

He explained: “In the not too distant future, through the HDC programme, they could pay into a savings bond which will give a pool of funds to drive the housing programme with the expectation that when the house becomes available they would have been saving and would have that money available to conclude the transaction.

“That element of saving will provide specifically in housing efforts a pool of cash that will be in addition to what the government or private sector entrepreneurs can bring to the programme.”
Dr Rowley said he hoped his discussions with Imbert will conclude successfully in the not to distant future so they could begin mobilising the savings bonds, particularly for younger people.

The Prime Minister recalled that a house in the public sector ranged between $12,000 and $14,000. He said he knew that because his mother got one of houses in the Morvant area.

However, he said, even the cheapest of the houses available now are not low cost.

He said Government’s housing programme will focus on building more rental units which are the best option for tens of thousands of people.

Newly appointed Housing and Urban Development Minister Edmund Dillon, who is also the MP for Point Fortin, urged the new home owners to contribute to the upliftment and development of their environment.

During yesterday’s ceremony, 71 families received keys to homes at the Lake View, Hubertstown and Pier Road Housing Developments in Point Fortin and La Brea.

Categories: News

Unions warned about looming job crisis

Sun, 08/12/2018 - 23:28

Labour leaders must be like politicians, seeking members’ interests only when they need them. That was the advice from Dr Andre Vincent Henry, director, Cipriani College of Labour and Co-operative Studies, at a forum on Social Protection hosted at the school’s Valsayn campus.

“It cannot just be about every three years you do a collective labour agreement. I will submit to you that some trade unionists are like that, every three years they come to mobilise you to protest for a collective labour agreement,” he said.

Henry said trade unions must go beyond collective bargaining into broader issues that affect the modern worker.

“Non-standard employment is going to become more and more the norm in the Caribbean. We need to be thinking how to organise workers who are engaged in non-standard forms of employment. This affects employment security and it affects earnings. Workers in non-standard arrangements tend to have limited control over when they work and how many hours they work.”

He also warned of a global job crisis where there will be insufficient jobs for the next generation, noting an international trend of “weakening and dismantling of labour laws.”

“There is wage despair, workers are worried about rising inequality, family incomes are in crisis and minimum wages are insufficient to lead a decent life. There is a failure on the part of governments in addressing these crises, ” Henry said.

Job creation results in more robust and inclusive poverty reducing growth, he said, adding that there is proof that the economies of developing countries which invested in creating quality jobs grew faster and there were lower levels of income inequality.

“A foreign direct investment approach that seeks to portray the jurisdiction as low wage, is in a sense, shooting yourself in the foot,” he said.

Michael Annisette, general secretary of the National Trade Union Centre, encouraged workers at the forum to move away from past stereotypes that they are only able to sell their labour, while the “one per cent” that owns big businesses are the ones influencing important pieces of legislation.
“Workers must also own businesses and have a voice at the highest political levels, he said.

Categories: News

Imbert: NIF oversubscribed by 50 per cent

Sun, 08/12/2018 - 23:26

In a series of tweets over the weekend, Finance Minister Colm Imbert hailed the success of the Government’s $4 billion National Investment Fund (NIF) which he said had been oversubscribed by more than 50 per cent. The offer period for the bond ended on Thursday.

In one of the three messages via his Twitter account, Imbert wrote: “Overwhelming vote of confidence from the public in the NIF Bonds. Congratulations to all who worked on putting together the NIF prospectus; on the market research; on the advertising and marketing campaign; on the investor outreach programme. Largest single bond offer in T&T ever.”

In another he stated: “NIF Bonds offer oversubscribed by over 50 per cent. As per prospectus, priority will be given to individuals.”

This was followed by another tweet: “$4B NIF bond issue has been very successful. All targets have been met. Special thanks to the hard working teams at the MOF, FCB, EY.”

Notification of allotments is expected on August 30, and refunds will be given on September 3. The bonds will be listed on the T&T Stock Exchange from September 4.

Because they have been oversubscribed, individual investors will be given priority and everyone else will receive a pro-rated allotment.

The bond issue was rated as investment grade quality with a high level of creditworthiness by regional rating agency Caribbean Information and Credit Ratings Services Ltd (Caricris). It was available from July 12 priced at $1,000 per unit and comprises assets transferred to the Government from CL Financial (CLF) and its subsidiaries.

Government issued the high interest tax-free bonds to recover funds owed from its $23 billion bailout of Clico after the insurance giant’s 2009 collapse.

The bonds were available in three tranche: five years (4.5 per cent), 12 years (5.7 per cent) and 20 years (6.6 per cent )

Categories: News

$1.2m in NGL shares changes hands

Fri, 08/10/2018 - 23:13

Overall market activity resulted from trading in 15 securities of which three advanced, three declined and nine traded firm.

Trading activity on the First Tier Market registered a volume of 363,733 shares crossing the floor of the Exchange valued at $2,646,426.64.

GraceKennedy Limited was the volume leader with 253,750 shares changing hands for a value of $735,872, followed by T&T NGL Limited with a volume of 40,150 shares being traded for $1,204,893.06.

JMMB Group Limited contributed 31,000 shares with a value of $54,250, while One Caribbean Media Limited added 20,831 shares valued at $256,152.37.

Clico Investment Fund registered the day’s largest gain, increasing $0.13 to end the day at $20.

Conversely, One Caribbean Media Limited registered the day’s largest decline, falling $0.06 to close at $12.30.

Clico Investment Fund was the only active security on the Mutual Fund Market, posting a volume of 2,381 shares valued at $47,620.

In Friday’s trading session the following reflect the movement of the TTSE Indices:

° The Composite Index declined by 0.20 points (0.02 per cent) to close at 1,230.92.

° The All T&T Index declined by 0.40 points (0.02 per cent) to close at 1,711.74.

° The Cross Listed Index remained at 100.83.

Categories: News

Decline in profits for First Citizens

Fri, 08/10/2018 - 23:13

While the First Citizens Group achieved a profitable quarter for the period ended June 30, there was a 5.9 per cent decline in its year-to-date profit to $469 million.

Chairman Anthony Smart told shareholders the decline was due to the increase in the corporate tax rate for commercial banks to 35 per cent.

Profit before tax remained relatively flat at $680.3 million in comparison to $681.4 million for the nine months ended June 2017, after incorporating a substantial impairment expense in respect of the Group’s

Barbados portfolio, following that Government’s announcement that they would be unable to service its existing debt.

Smart said this affected an otherwise exception performance, with an increase the group’s operating profit for the nine months to June by approximately $118 million or 15.9 per cent to $857.3 million.

First Citizens’ total net income grew 3.7 per cent to $520.8 million and operating expenses declined by 1.8 per cent compared to the corresponding quarter in 2018. As a result, operating profit increased by $23.5 million or 9.7 per cent for the period.

“Our continued effective management of expenses resulted in an improved year-to-date efficiency ratio of 47.8 per cent as compared to 51.2 per cent for the corresponding period last year,” Smart said.

Total assets as at June 2018 amounted to $41.2 billion, an increase of 5.8 per cent when compared to the total assets as at September 2017.

Categories: News

Roget: Petrotrin putting workers at risk

Fri, 08/10/2018 - 23:11

The Oilfields Workers Trade Union (OWTU) is questioning the validity of a Petrotrin newspaper advertisement last month that outlines the company finances.

At a media conference at the OWTU’s Paramount Building headquarters in San Fernando yesterday, president general Ancel Roget provided excerpts of a Petrotrin audit by KPMG Chartered Accountants for the year ended September 30, 2017, to support his challenges of the energy company’s latest financial statements.

He is questioning several figures contained in a full-page advertisement by Petrotrin which states that for the quarter ended June 30, salaries and wages accounted for 52.8 per cent ($2.2 billion) of the company’s operating costs of $4.1 billion. The ad said the workforce comprises 3,437 permanent employees who each collect approximately $45,000 a month, as well as 1,229 non-permanent employees each receiving approximately $21,000 a month. The company said its average monthly overtime bill for 2016 and 2017 is $22.7 million a month.

However, Roget said Petrotrin workers do not earn $45,000 a month and are required to work overtime because of the more than 800 vacancies in the company.

“This misinformation being placed in the public does a number of things, not the least, putting workers and their families at severe risk of being butchered and murdered in this high crime environment, making them targets,” he said.

“It also attempts to put the public against the Petrotrin workers by labeling the Petrotrin workers as those who are really getting much more than they deserve.

“We want to state from the onset this morning that the information is totally false, it is malicious, it is dangerous and we want to condemn it outright. Petrotrin workers do not earn $45,000 a month.”

The OWTU leader referred to the company’s consolidated financial statement for the year ended September 30. If the union’s figure for 2017 and Petrotrin figures for the first two quarters of 2018 are correct, it suggests there has been a shift in Petrotrin’s expenditure.

The statement showed that purchases amounted to $13 billion or 62 per cent of the $20 billion in operating costs. Roget said this included importation of crude oil.

Employee remuneration was $2.3 billion, accounting for 11 per cent of total operating costs as opposed to the 52.8 per cent claimed by the company this year. Roget said from 2013 to 2017, purchasing as a percentage of operating costs had ranged between 55.5 and 5.7 per cent. Between 2013 and 2017, wages and salaries increased from 6.7 to 11 per cent of operating costs.

Roget said because Petrotrin pays salaries through a secret payroll, they could not list the various salaries. He said what the company failed to disclose was that the $2.3 billion included hefty salaries for senior personnel and vice presidents, allowances, overtime, medical services, travel plan, housing aid and national insurance.

While the board expressed concerns about debts to be repaid, Roget said they continue to hire expensive consultants. Meanwhile, nothing is being done to increase production. He said the Pointe-a-Pierre Refinery throughput target is 140,000 barrels per day (bpd) but as of yesterday, it stood at 95,000 bpd. Crude production is 30,000 bpd and the company purchases 100,000 bpd at a cost of $15.4 billion.

According to the OWTU’s projections, if the company increases production by 10,000 bpd that would lead to less crude being needed and could result in savings of $1.6 billion s year.

Roget said for the company to progress, chairman Wilfred Espinet, director Anthony Chan Tack and consultant Robert Riley have to leave.

In response, Espinet said it was to waste of time trying to explain the company’s financials. He said the importation of crude oil does not fall under operating costs.

Categories: News

All T&T Index up by 0.05 points

Fri, 08/10/2018 - 00:46

Overall market activity resulted from trading in 12 securities of which two advanced, two declined and eight traded firm.

On the First-Tier Market 309,535 shares changed hands for a value of $3,193,914.60. Sagicor Financial Corporation Limited was the most active security, with a volume of 278,359 shares valued at $ 2,087,692.50.

T&T NGL Limited contributed 8,879 shares with a value of $266,412.27. One Caribbean Media Limited contributed 6,000 shares with a value of $74,160, while Scotiabank T&T Limited added 5,800 shares with a value of $377,109.00.11

The West Indian Tobacco Company Limited registered the day’s largest gain, increasing $0.01 to end the day at $88. Conversely, Clico Investment Fund registered the day’s largest decline, falling $0.13 to end the day at $19.87

Clico Investment Fund was the only active security on the Mutual Fund Market, posting a volume of 34,595 shares valued at $687,519.80.

In Thursday’s trading session the following reflect the movement of the indices:

• The All T&T Index advanced by 0.05 points to close at 1,712.14.

• The Composite Index declined by -0.14 points (-0.01 per cent) to close at 1,231.12.

• The Cross Listed Index declined by -0.04 points (-0.04 per cent) to close at 100.83.

Categories: News

National Investment Fund bonds oversubscribed

Fri, 08/10/2018 - 00:45

The National Investment Fund (NIF) has been oversubscribed. This was revealed by Communications Minister Stuart Young at yesterday’s post Cabinet media briefing.

“Again, I don’t want to speculate because as they say until the end is the end, but I think we are looking at a serious over subscription. I would allow myself to say that,” Young said in response to questions about the bond offer which closed off at 7 pm yesterday.

The minister said an extension of the offer deadline was not being considered.

“We had it opened for a month. It has been a good month. We have put resources behind it. We hope all who were serious and wanted to have participated,” he said.

Young said all the categories of the bonds, which were first made available to the public on July 12, were oversubscribed.

The public offering is aimed at recovering $16 billion still owed Government since the collapse of CL Financial in 2009. Government bailed out the business empower to the tune of $23 billion. Assets of CL Financial are valued at $8 billion and $4 billion is expected to be raised through the public offering.

Finance Minister Colm Imbert described the bond offer as a gift to the nation. Returns will be at rates of 4.5 per cent for the five-year bonds, 5.7 per cent for the 12-year bonds and 6.6 per cent for the 12-year bonds.

Categories: News

NEL suffers $0.50 decline

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 00:53

Overall market activity resulted from trading in 17 securities of which three advanced, six declined and eight traded firm.

On the First-Tier Market 207,234 shares changed hands for a value of $2,817,628.58. FirstCaribbean International Bank Ltd was the most active security, with a volume of 72,500 shares valued at $616,002.34. Sagicor Financial Corporation Ltd contributed 69,959 shares with a value of $524,692.50.

T&T NGL Ltd contributed 21,780 shares with a value of $653,385.00, while GraceKennedy Ltd added 10,463 shares with a value of $ 30,342.70.15

GraceKennedy Ltd registered the day’s largest gain, increasing $0.10 to end the day at $2.90. Conversely, National Enterprises Ltd registered the day’s largest decline, falling $0.50 to close at $9.

On the Mutual Fund Market 6,846 shares changed hands for a value of $123,066.95. Clico Investment Fund was the most active security, with a volume of 3,596 shares valued at $71,911.95, while Calypso Macro Index Fund contributed 3,250 shares with a value of $51,155.

In Wednesday’s trading session the following reflect the movement of the indices:

• The All T&T Index declined by -6.72 points (-0.39 per cent) to close at 1,712.09.

• The Composite Index declined by -2.22 points (-0.18 per cent) to close at 1,231.26.

• The Cross Listed Index advanced by 0.33 points (0.33 per cent) to close at 100.87.

Categories: News

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