PRIME Minister Dr Keith Rowley is questioning what were the facts behind the First Citizens Bank (FCB) initial public offeriung (IPO) scandal which occured under the former Kamla Persad-Bissessar administration in 2014.
Speaking during an interview carried 'live' on i95.5 FM on Tuesday, Rowley said the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) did a report on that matter. He added that "to this day" he has no idea what the contents of that report are.
Questions were raised back then about the role played by Bourse Securities, regarding the acquisition of $14 million worth of FCB shares by former chief risk officer Phillip Rahaman.
Against that background, Rowley believes Persad-Bissessar could not allege that the National Investment Fund (NIF) was a Ponzi scheme. "She's being destructive." Last Thursday, Finance Minister Colm Imbert said he will lead a roadshow to encourage people to invest in the NIF.
Imbert reiterated the companies in the NIF are “blue chip,” whose value and earnings are unlikely to decrease over time. The primary assets of the NIF are $4.315 billion worth of Republic Financial Holdings Ltd shares (55 per cent) and $2.025 billion worth of Trinidad Generation Unlimited (TGU) shares (26 per cent).
The total asset base of the fund is just under $8 billion. Rowley also reiterated government's commitment to implement the property tax, establish a revenue authority and address problems at State oil company Petrotrin.