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Govt owns piece of Express, TV6

Published: 
Saturday, June 9, 2018
Imbert boasts:

Government owns 23 per cent of the Express newspaper and TV6 and shares from that media house will soon be on sale via bonds with tax-free high interest, says Finance Minister Colm Imbert.

He boasted about Government’s share ownership in Express and TV6 at a PNM public meeting in Barataria on Thursday night as he spoke about the sale of CL Financial assets via the new National Investment Fund.

According to the minister, shares from One Caribbean Media, which operates the newspaper and television station, would soon be available for sale, along with shares from Republic Bank and other CLF companies.

He said this would be done through a sale of bonds with a high interest yield. Return is guaranteed, he added.

Imbert said bonds would be issued in tranches of five years at four and a half per cent interest; 12 years at five and a half per cent interest; and 20 years at six and a half per cent interest.

This compared much more favourably than the one per cent or similar interest rates at banks and other places, he said, and the interest on the NIF bonds would be tax free.

The bonds will be tradeable or can be cashed in if people need the funds. Dividends from the companies involved will pay back for the bonds. The assets in NIF may be about $8 billion, he added.

Imbert said Government needed to raise $4 billion by the end of this financial year, which ends in September, since the country is not out of the “woods yet”, although things are “looking much better than expected.”

He said there was still a big gap between revenue and expenditure but there was optimism about the NIF bond sale since Government has been doing market research to gauge how well it would work.
(See Page A10)

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