The CLICO Policyholders Group has welcome Government’s announcement that CL Financial (CLF) will not be sold to the highest bidder says group chairman Peter Purmell.
“Clearly, this a welcome development and a small but important step in the right direction that is worthy of commendation,” he said in his reaction to the 2018 budget.
However, he differed with Finance Minister Colm Imbert on “his not so veiled attempt to lay blame at the feet of the CL Financial shareholders for CLF not using any of the funds acquired as a result of the sale of assets to repay Government.”
This, Purmell said, was “due to the inconvenient fact that the Government-appointed directors had management control of CLF at all material times over the past (eight) years since 2009.”
As head of the Clico Policyholders Group and a minority shareholders rights advocate, he said, “it was indeed refreshing to hear from the Finance Minister that the cries/voices of the people, many of whom according to him have an emotional attachment to Clico/CL Financial (CLF),” did not fall on deaf ears.
This is evidenced by Government’s shift in its position regarding the disposal or sale of the Clico/CLF assets. The announcement that the assets will not go to the highest bidder is, he said, “an obvious reference to the small but powerful one per cent.”
The disposal of the assets will be done via the Stock Exchange and the establishment of a national (investment) mutual fund through which all citizens regardless of their economic circumstances will now be able to have a stake through the purchase of units.