First Citizens CEO urges Tobago to invest in APO

First Citizens CEO Karen Darbasie  -
First Citizens CEO Karen Darbasie -

First Citizens Financial Holding Group Ltd CEO Karen Darbasie says staff from First Citizens Brokerage Advisory Services will be in Tobago from next week to open accounts for people interested in purchasing shares in the bank’s recently announced additional public offering (APO).

In a release last Tuesday, First Citizens said it is offering a total of $10,869,585 in ordinary shares, at $50 per share. The offer is available up until 4pm on July 22.

The bank said that potential investors must have a brokerage account and submit an application form. They must have a valid government identification card or driver’s permit, proof of address no more than two months old and a chequeing or saving accounts number.

Finance Minister Colm Imbert had announced the divesting of the shares in the government’s budget presentation last October. The government will still be the majority shareholder of the bank after the sale.

On Monday, Darbasie, who was in Tobago to market the APO, told Newsday transactions such as sale of shares, are usually done by First Citizens Investment Services, one of the bank’s subsidiaries.

The lead broker was appointed as First Citizens Brokerage Advisory and Services, she added.

“So a group from that grouping is coming across and spending some days next week to open brokerage accounts specifically for Tobago customers who want to do so,” she said during an interview at the bank’s Canaan branch.

First Citizens has two other branches in Tobago – Scarborough and Roxborough.

In the meantime, Darbasie said, people can go onto the website and make their appointment ahead of the team’s visit.

“We are really trying to encourage people to make appointments because we are very conscious of the need to protect both people coming as well as my staff who are here. So we want to schedule it so people don’t end up in crowds waiting to be served.”

Darbasie said the team will also be in Tobago the following week.

“So we are making provisions, coming across from Trinidad to deal with that.”

She said that people who already have their brokerage accounts can get the forms in the branches and drop them off.

“They don’t need an appointment to do that. So if you are a shareholder already you don’t need to open a new brokerage account. You just need to do your subscription.”

Saying the bank has a “strong growth history,” Darbasie urged investors to purchase the shares.

She said that in the APOs done in 2013 and 2017, shares were offered at $22 and $32, respectively.

“So from $32 to $50, from 2017 to 2022, it is a very reasonable appreciation of the share price.”

Darbasie said the share price is in addition to the dividends that the bank pays.

“I think we are the only bank that pays dividends quarterly. The other institutions pay every six months but we pay our dividends on a quarterly basis because it is a conscious effort on our part to return our value to our shareholders.”


"First Citizens CEO urges Tobago to invest in APO"

More in this section