N ASSA U AND BAHAMA ISLANDS LEADING NEWSPAPER V olume: 107 No.102FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2011 PRICE 75 (Abaco and Grand Bahama $1.25 W EATHER SUNNY, LIGHTWINDS HIGH 85F LOW 72F B U S I N E S S SEEBUSINESSFRONTPAGE S P O R T S Airline sees off the chain 40% growth SEESECTIONE Records fall on day one By TANEKA THOMPSON Tribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org THE sale of 51 per cent of BTC's shares to Londonb ased Cable & Wireless was passed in the House of Assembly by a vote of 22 to1 8 last night in what Prime M inister Hubert Ingraham called an "historic" moment. The vote paves the way for t he shares to be sold to CWC and brings the 14-year pri vatisation process to an end. A fter the votes were cast o n the resolutions, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham remarked that his party came into the House with 22 seats on the floor, one in the Speaker's chair and currentlyh as the same number, a reference to the departure of newly-independent BambooT own MP Branville McCartney who voted against the TRY OUR D OUBLE M cFISH The Tribune THEPEOPLESPAPER BIGGESTANDBEST L ATESTNEWSONWWW.TRIBUNE242.COM Historic moment as BTC sale passed BAHAMASBIGGEST CARSFORSALE, HELPWANTED ANDREALESTATE I N S I D E 22 to 18 vote ends 14-year process of pr iv atisation SEE page 10 By TANEKA T HOMPSON Tribune Staff Reporter tthompson@ t ribunemedia.net MALE students account for only 14 per cent of the graduates from the College of the Bahamas, says new COB President Dr BetsyV ogel Boze. The statistic is evidence of a "frightening" development, mirrored in low college enrolment rates by Bahamian males while enrolment and graduationo f their female counterBy NOELLE NICOLLS Tribune Staff Reporter email@example.com BLUEWATER Ventures Limited, the frontrunner in the BTC privatisation process under the Progressive Liberal Party government, was a fronting operation, claimed Zhivargo Laing, Minister of Finance, in the House of Assembly yesterday. PRIME MINISTER Hubert Ingraham and Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes, with their wives, will be attend ing the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Mr Ingraham made the announceBy CELESTE NIXON Tribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org A NUMBER of flights were diverted to New Providence for refuelling yesterday following a fuel tank fire at Miami Inter national Airport on Wednesday night. Thousands of outbound passengers SEE page 10 MINISTER CLAIMS BLUEWATER WAS A FRONTING OPERATION MINISTER OFFINANCE Zhivargo Laing ONLY 14% OF COB GRADUATES ARE MALE STUDENTS SEE page 10 FLIGHT S DIVERTED TO BAHAMAS AFTER FIRE A T MIAMI AIRPORT SEE page 10 PM AND GOVERNOR GENERAL TO ATTEND ROYAL WEDDING SEE page 10 LEFT: Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham in the House of Assembly yesterday. ABOVE: The Opposition vote against the sale of 51 per cent of BTC's shares to London-based Cable & Wireless. BTCVOTEINHOUSEOFASSEMBLY Felip Major/Tribune staff FNM MPs expected their former colleague Branville McCartney to join the PLP in voting against the BTC sale last night, but they were momen tarily thrown into confusion by an unexpected defection that of Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham himself. The Opposition, on the other hand, exploded into cheers Fox MP Fred PMS N O V OTE BRINGS CHEERS FR OM OPPOSITION SEE page 10 PRIME Minister Hubert Ingraham expressed his satisfaction and that of his administration with the conclusion of the Parliamentary process authorising the pri vatisation of BTC and the sale of 51 per cent of the shares in the company to Cable and Wireless Communications Plc. (CWC He thanked the High Command and the members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force for the professional manner in which they conducted themselves over the past few weeks. In particular the Prime Minister commended the RBPF for their profes sionalism and discipline during what were potentially volatile situations as protests by individuals opposed to the privatisation process turned unruly and unpredictable in and around the houses of parliament. The Prime Minister said the Bahamian public can be reassured by the level of good judgment and diligence exhibited by the RBPF. This, he said, was evidence of the experience of a well-trained and disci plined Force. PM THANKS ROYAL BAHAMAS POLICE F ORCE AFTER BTC VOTE A 29-YEAR-OLD man died yesterday after being stabbed multiple times. According to police, the man was visiting a home at Lily of the Valley Corner when an altercation with a male resi dent led to him being stabbed shortly SEE page 10 MAN DIES AFTER STABBING
By LAMECH JOHNSON SCHOOLS in New Providence had the opportunity to showcase the fruits of their labour at the Ministry of Educations three-day Agricultural Science Exhibition att he Kendal G L Isaacs gymn asium this week. Patrice Green, an officer from the ministrys Science and Technology division, said that it is important to show what schools are doing in this f ield as many Bahamians are unaware that agriculture science is a part of the school curriculum. People call radio shows and say that agriculture needs to be taught in the schools,s he told T he Tribune. T he event, which started Tuesday and ended yesterday, highlighted the various agriculture programmes at primary schools, junior and senior high schools in Nass au, and how farming is being taught as a potential career choice. Shantell Dean, one of the 11th graders at Government High School, displayed work from their agri-science pro-g ramme. These are pottage vegetables and plants. Weve grown English thyme, egg plants, cabbages, among other things. She said that the project t ook a couple of months, but with hard work and team w ork it went well. Other schools grew green peppers, cucumbers, squash, tomatoes and other greens. R M Bailey seniors pres ented a very unique ecofriendly project that 12th g rade students from last year had done as an assignment at that high school. Marlon Johnson, a prefect at R M Bailey, explained how they made a strong andd urable, yet lighter cement p ot using three different components. They made a styrocrete p ot using cement, peat moss and styrofoam. To get the desired shape, the styrocrete is manually pressed into a clay pot. However plastic must be placed inside the pot before pressing the mix, he s aid. Breneya Murphy, deputy h ead girl at R M Baily, said the mixing process was the s ame as making concrete. K achiri McPhee added t hat the drying process only t akes about six hours in the sun. S tudents and science teachers from other schools went around taking notes thatc ould be used for projects at their schools. Ms Green said March is science month for her ministry and the science and technology department has had a series of science relatede vents which allowed Family Island schools to participate. The Agricultural Science E xhibition attracted 13 schools. L OCAL NEWS P AGE 2, FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2011 THE TRIBUNE By CELESTE NIXON T ribune Staff Reporter email@example.com THERE may be some light at the end of the tunnel for residents of the All Saints Camp AIDS shelter, according to a senior civil servant. The camp has been without electricity and running w ater for a month, after BEC shut off the power in r esponse to a $78,000 unpaid bill. But director of Social Services Mellany Zonicle told The Tribune yesterday that her department soon will be meeting with All Saints directors and following the meeting will determine whether to provide financial assistance. The camp, on Lazaretto Road, provides room and board to adults and children with HIV/AIDS, other illnesses, and the impoverished. Residents of the camp say life has been difficult and uncomfortable over the last several weeks water has to be carried from a nearby public pump and flashlights are being used sparingly at night. "It's really tough, but I was here for five years, and to know they won't kick me out of the place is a blessing, said a 36-year-old female resident who lives at the camp with her children. I don't have nowhere to go; I'm living in a three bedroom place with a bathroom and kitchen." Another resident who was referred to the camp by Social Services because she is homeless, appealed to the government to help All Saints turn the lights back on. She said: "I prefer being at the camp; I have my family but I feel better at the camp. I scared of darkness so I'd like for them (Social Services) to please help us and turn our light on. The resident added that if it were not for the camp, she would be homeless, starving on the streets, maybe even dead. Meanwhile, the centre is appealing to the public to make a direct donation to BEC on behalf of the 58 residents of the camp. All Saints Camp may see light at end of the tunnel Schools show fruits of labour at Agricultural Science Exhibition A BOVE: S hantell Dean, one of the 11th graders at Government High School, displayed work from their agri-science programme. B ELOW: S tudents take notes at the exhibition. Social Services Dept to meet with directors
By NOELLE NICOLLS Tribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org THE Bahamas Telecommunications Company is no sacred cow and not the birthright of Bahamians, said Zhivargo Laing in the House of Assembly yesterday. The Minister of State for Finance said BTC is a business entity created to deliver a service. He said the corporation is an important one to the economy of the Bahamas, but is not a sacred thing that no one can touch. He said the true birthright of Bahamians is the opportunity to maximise their potential, and to achieve this end, the country needs a robust telecommunications sector. We need an economy more fit to take advantage of the opportunities and meet the challenges of the 21st century. We need a leaner, more flexible, more dynamic, more robust, more innovative, more productive, more creative economy, said Mr Laing. Such an economy will generate more jobs, better jobs, better paying jobs, more businesses, more profitable businesses, more diversified businesses. Such an economy will help to finance the broader human hopes, dreams and aspirations of our people, enable them todo for themselves, so they dont have to be dependent on any politicians or group of politicians, he said. Mr Laing claimed the gov ernment would like to liberalise the market immediately, how ever, it felt BTC was not currently a company that could survive in a competitive market. He said the government sought to determine, How do we create an open competitive market while ensuring that we do not kill the company we own today? They found the company required new and more advanced technology; new management approaches; new skills not just technical skills but innovative skills; access to capital; new network facilities; new business processes and valuable branding. Cable and Wireless Communication (CWC strategic partner that can bring most if not all of the improve ments BTC needs. Throughout the privatisa tion process, Mr Laing said, none of the interested compa-n ies valued BTC at the price for which some members of the public claimed it was worth. He said there were claims that the value of BTC was $600800 million. However, the bids throughout the process ranged between $229 million and $531 million. The majority of the offers valued the company at less than $400 million. With the governments sale of BTC to CWC, Mr Laing said the company is valued at $429 million. He added that none of the major global telecom providers were interested in BTC. Making his contribution to the debate, Progressive Liberal Party leader Perry Christie said that during the bidding process under his former government, it was a buyers market, not a sellers market and that the $130 million price offered for 49 per cent of BTC shares was not acceptable. H e said the government sub sequently engaged in an aggressive process to improve the competitiveness and value of BTC. LOCAL NEWS T HE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2011, PAGE 3 EACH parliamentarian cast identical votes on all three resolutions paving the way for BTC to be sold to Cable and Wireless Communications. The votes were recorded as follows: 1. Desmond Bannister, Carmichael YES 2. Carl Bethel, Sea Breeze YES 3. Larry Cartwright, Long Island and Ragged Island YES 4. Sidney Collie Blue Hills YES 5. Earl Deveaux, Marathon YES 6. Kenyatta Gibson, Kennedy YES 7. Neko Grant, Lucaya YES 8 V ernae Grant Eight Mile Rock YES 9. Hubert Ingraham, North Abaco YES 10. Edison Key, South Abaco YES 11. Charles Maynard, Golden Isles YES 12. Hubert Minnis, K illarney Y ES 13. Phenton Neymour, South Beach YES 14. Brensil Rolle Garden Hills YES 15. Kenneth Russel, High Rock YES 16. Brent Symonette, St Annes YES 1 7. K wasi Thompson, Pineridge YES 18. Loretta Buttler Turner, Montagu YES 19. Tommy Turnquest, Mount Moriah YES 20. Byron Woodside, Pinewood YES 21. Kendall Wright, Clifton YES 22. Zhivargo Laing, Marco City YES 1. Shane Gibson, Golden Gates NO 2. Picewell Forbes, South Andros NO 3. Philip Brave Davis, Cat Island, San Salvador, Rum Cay NO 4. V Afred Gray, MICAL NO 5. Melanie Griffin, Yamacraw NO 6. Oswald Ingraham, South Eleuthera NO 7. Perry Christie, Centreville NO 8. Glennys Hanna-Martin, Englerston NO 9. Branville McCartney, Bamboo Town NO 10. Fred Mitchell, Fox Hill NO 11. Anthony Moss, Exuma NO 1 2. B ernard Nottage, Bain and Grants Town NO 13. Vincent Peet, North Andros NO 14. Ryan Pinder, Elizabeth NO 15. Cynthia Pratt, St Cecilia NO 16. Alfred Sears, Ft Charlotte NO 17. Frank Smith, St Thomas More NO 18. Obie Wilchombe, West End and Bimini NO 22 yea 18 nay Laing: BTC no sacred cow FREEPORT Grand Bahama Island Administrator Don Cornish has been re-assigned to New Providence after reportedly receiving death threats. According to sources in Freeport, a complaint has been filed with the police regarding the threats against Mr Cornish. He has now been assigned to the Licensing Section of the Ministry of Finance, located in the Prime Ministers Office in Nassau. Angela Pratt-Rolle has been temporarily assigned Island Administrator, and will be working from the Prime Ministers Office in Freeport. However, The Tribune contacted a Bahamas Information Services (BIS cial, who stated that Mr Cor nish was only appointed administrator for a short period, and that his tenure had ended. HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY: THE BAHAMAS TELECOMMUNICATIONS VOTE ZHIVARGO LAING how they VOTED We need an economy m ore fit to take advantage of theo pportunities and meet the c hallenges of the 21st century. ZHIVARGO LAING MAKINGAPOINT: PLP Leader Perry Christie during the House debate. Mr. Christie later voted no. ISL AND ADMINIS TRATOR REASSIGNEDAFTER DEATHTHREAT F e l i p M a j o r / T r i b u n e s t a f f
EDITOR, The Tribune. I confess that Im not politically-minded. I j ust happened to be on Bay Street yesterday and pass the barricades on my way home from a hospital clinic (the bus stop is still on Bay Street), and bumped into persons wearing placards. It was good to see people engaging in a fairl y good-humoured, peaceful demonstration against something with which they, and perhaps their political party, disagreed. B ecause Im not particularly interested in current politics, it was purely by accident that this morning I let the radio dial stray onto 1540 AM at a time when members of parlia ment were talking about the bill to sell BaTelCo. To tell the truth, I wouldnt sell anything to do with communications. Maybe Ive watched too many spy thrillers and read too many James Bond novels, but I think theres some thing special about communications; one does not let control of communications slip from ones hand! Letting go of our major communications system to foreigners is like having an outsider in the confines of our homes all the time! I know it would render me, for one, vulnerable. I dont feel easy being vulnerable, but thats just me. What I really took up pen to paper to say is that I was delighted to hear t he delivery in the debate of the member from South Andros, Mr Picewell Forbes. Thats not just because he graduated from the College of The Bahamas and UWI he couldve graduated from anywhere; its what he does with his degree(sM r Forbes presented an impassioned treat ment of the question of our belief in us as individuals and as a nation. True, he mighth ave been a bit questionable about the number of Bahamian presidents of COB, but I thought his speech was excellent. Im all for appreciating the contributions of foreigners to the building of the modern Bahamas, but not at the expense of making us look as though we still need to be potty-trained as a people. We have to grow up beyond politics, partisanship, and social and economic enclaves. Otherwise, well never succeed as an inde pendent nation. Thank you. TELCINE E TURNER ROLLE Nassau, March 22, 2011. EDITOR, The Tribune. I have spent the last two weeks looking at the nation and people of the Bahamas, a ttempted to write letters and found myself reaching some rebellious conclusions about w hat answers and remedies should be about. S peaking to an older friend r eminded me that life is not a bout answers, there are a nswers for more things than there are questions. His sage response to What is democracy? was, Have you answered the question in your own country? He was refer ring to the fact that we in the Bahamas take our cues from how people are doing things everywhere else in the world, it is not too original, but it takes away the responsibility of being responsible, since the idea came from somewhere else. And when you think of it, that is how the country has progressed a lot of outside help and money, with Bahamians acting like tourists most of the time. At the end of my looking, I h ad the opportunity to view, on one of the local television stations a discussion on the p rivatisation of BTC, the talk show host had some members of a political party giving theirv iew on the process. I t was amazing, the amount of information that came outo f it, there were answers for everything, until the moderator asked a question that was not anticipated. He wanted to know what was that particular partys policy on the privati-s ation, seeing that they had a ttempted the same process, some time ago. They were not able to give an answer, and t hen the host reminded them t hat their position had changed from what it previ-o usly was, and the reply was that that was the nature of politics. T he host was able to pin down one of the rising stars in t he party and his reply was t hat they did not have a policy on BTC, but they had a m odel that they were following. I wanted the host to push for a further explanation of that model, but they ran out of time. Lately, it seems like most o f the answers the public is getting are more like opinions; everybody has one. Wem ust come to the place where we are able to ask the quest ions to whoever is leading our nation or who would liket o lead and not get out of their face until the answers are forthcoming. I am getting ticked about t he BTC issue, primarily b ecause the public is not being told what is happening and/or the bodies involved in the process are not informed o n the issues that they are addressing and this exercise up to now is more about persons maintaining their lifestyles or various groups of persons promoting social unrest. The historic reality is that technology renders a judg-m ent that government legislation cannot protect anybody from, except you are living ina dictatorship, and those of us who think we are gainings omething by promoting batt les are wasting time and m oney. W e became a democracy in 1 967, but it took us 25 years to g et our voices, and even withi n that time frame persons who should have known better made an attempt to ban dialect from the airwaves. What is a Democracy? It is when persons who wered emocratically elected exercise transparency in their dealings with the persons who elected them, and those who would like to be elected give a fair and impartial presentation of what they do know and would like to see, leaving nothing out. Anything else is politicking. EDWARD H UTCHESON Nassau, March 21, 2011. E DITORIAL/LETTERS TO THE EDITOR P AGE 4, FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2011 THE TRIBUNE The Tribune Limited NULLIUS ADDICTUS JURARE IN VERBA MAGISTRI Being Bound to Swear to The Dogmas of No Master LEON E. H. DUPUCH, Publisher/Editor 1903-1914 SIR ETIENNE DUPUCH, Kt., O.B.E., K.M., K.C.S.G., (Hon. Publisher/Editor 1919-1972 Contributing Editor 1972-1991 EILEEN DUPUCH CARRON, C.M.G., M.S., B.A., LL.B. Publisher/Editor 1972Published Daily Monday to Saturday Shirley Street, P.O. Box N-3207, Nassau, Bahamas Insurance Management Building., P.O. F-485, Freeport, Grand Bahama WASHINGTON President Barack Obama said he was setting clear and unmistakable terms for the U.S. role in Libya: It would be limited, lasting days, not weeks, and its purpose was to protect Libyan citizens. But that's not the way it's turned out. Less than a week later, the mission has been clouded by confusion and questions about who's in charge and who's doing what all while the k illing of civilians is going on. The Pentagon claims success in establishing an effective no-fly zone over much of Libya that has grounded Col. Moammar Gadhafi's aging air force. But Gadhafi's tanks and troops are still targeting civilians on the ground. The administration seeks to minimize current disputes over the reins of leadership, suggesting everything will fall in place quickly, idea lly by this weekend. There are some doubters. "It could still all come around very quickly in our favour. But if that's to happen, we will have to apply much more intensive military power in an effort to make this succeed," said Aaron David Miller, a former top State Department Mideast negotiator in Republican and Democratic administrations. But it doesn't appear to me, given the constraints acting upon us and our own reservations, that we're prepared to do that," said Miller, now with the Woodrow Wilson Centre, a for eign-policy think tank. "Right now, it appears to be settling into a stalemate which isn't terribly hurting on the Gadhafi side." Obama also faces a sceptical audience on Capitol Hill. House Speaker John Boehner, R-O hio, wrote to the president saying he and others "are troubled that U.S. military resources were committed to war without clearly defining for the American people, the Congress and our troops what the mission in Libya is and what America's role is in achieving that mission." Boehner said Obama so far had made a "lim ited, sometimes contradictory case" for the action. There also seems to be a disconnectb etween Obama and his military commanders. He keeps emphasizing that the U.S. is just one of many players in the coalition. But in their brief ings, the generals and admirals sound like the Pentagon is running the show, at least for now. To date, the air attacks on Libyan targets have been predominantly American. In a 24hour period as of late Wednesday, 175 sorties were flown, 113 by the United States, U.S. NavyR ear Adm. Gerald P. Hueber told reporters from the U.S. command ship in the Mediter ranean Sea. His portrayal suggested a long slog might lie ahead. "We have no indication that Gadhafi's forces are adhering to United Nations Resolu tion 1973," which authorized the establishment of a no-fly zone and demanded that government forces pull back from population centres, s aid Hueber, chief of staff for U.S. operations. "Our intelligence today is there's no indication that Gadhafi's forces are pulling back." U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates no doubt reflected the views of many military commanders when he warned weeks ago that establishing a no-fly zone was a big, complicated operation tantamount to an act of war and one with questionable viability. Gates, visiting Cairo on Wednesday, said he couldn't predict when the international military enforcement of a no-fly zone over Libya might end but suggested the U.S. could turn over c ontrol of the operation as soon as Saturday. Gates said no one thought the assault would last only two or three weeks, but he could not say how the coalition operation might be resolved. For now, at least, the U.S. remains the ad hoc boss of the operation, now in its fifth day, with no certainty about who will take over or when. Talks are continuing in Brussels, headquarters of the North American Treaty Organ ization. The U.S. wants NATO to take the command and control lead in overseeing coalition forces. U.S., European, Arab and African officials have been invited to a meeting in London next Tuesday to discuss outstanding political and logistical issues. Richard Downie, an Africa expert at the Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies, said the United States' l ead role in the operation was lasting longer than he'd expected. Obama has ruled out U.S. troops on the ground, and did so again Wednesday in an inter view with the Spanish-language network Univi sion. Wrapping up a Latin American trip, Obama said a land invasion of Libya was "absolutely" out of the question. Asked about an exit strategy, Obama did n ot lay out a vision for ending the international action. "The exit strategy will be executed this week in the sense that we will be pulling back from our much more active efforts to shape the environment," he said. "We'll still be in a support role, we'll still be providing jamming and intelligence and other assets that are unique to us, but this is an international effort that's designed to accomplish theg oals that were set out in the Security Council resolution," he said. Many strategic issues have yet to be resolved. For instance, if the rebels are able to retake the military offensive, will the coalition provide air support as they seize territory or attack government troops? "Nothing will be more dangerous to the effectiveness of the coalition's cause than not agree-i ng on why we are all there and what we intend to do," said former U.S. Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton urged patience. The biggest success of the operation so far "a humanitarian crisis that thank fully didn't happen (in Benghazi enough attention, she told reporters Wednesday. Still, she acknowledged, "Challenges remain s o long as Gadhafi continues to direct his forces to attack his own people." (This article was written by Tom Raum of the Associated Press). Transparency and fairness key to democracy LETTERS l email@example.com Libya mission clouded by confusion -RE 9DFDQF\$QHVWDEOLVKHG1DVVDXEDVHGFRPSDQ\ VHHNVWRWKHSRVLWLRQRI $VVLVWDQW $GPLQLVWUDWRULQWKH3URFXUHPHQWDQG $VVHWDQDJHPHQW/RJLVWLFV'HSW $OODSSOLFDQWVSRVVHVVWKH IROORZLQJ &ROOHJHGHJUHHLQ%XVLQHVV$FFRXQWLQJ ,7NQRZOHGJH 7KHDELOLW\WROHDUQTXLFNO\ 7KHDELOLW\WRZRUNLQGHSHQGHQWO\ $QH\HIRUGHWDLOV ([FHOOHQWFRPPXQLFDWLRQDQGWHDPZRUN VNLOOV2QO\FRPPLWWHGKDUGZRUNLQJDQGVHOI PRWLYDWHGSHUVRQVQHHGDSSO\5HVXPHVVKRXOGEHVXEPLWWHGWRMREYDFDQF\EV#KRWPDLOFRP$OOUHVXPHVPXVWEHUHFHLYHGE\ WK 0DU Delighted by Picewell Forbes excellent speech EDITOR, The Tribune Re: Robin Hood owner shocked by PMs comments. The Tribune, March 17, 2011. THE article mentions a permanent resident having near ly all the same rights as a Bahamian citizen. True, but freedom of speech does not appear to be one of them. KEN W KNOWLES, MD Nassau, March 19, 2011. Rights, yes but what about fr eedom of speech? Share your news The Tribune wants to hear from people who are making news in their neighbourhoods. Perhaps you are raising funds for a good cause, campaigning for improvements in the area or have won an award. If so, call us on 322-1986 and share your story.
S ECOND homeowners in a gated development in GuanaC ay, Abaco have raised complaints over what they feel is the poor management of their associations maintenance funds. They claim there has been no electricity at Orchid Bay Yacht Club and Marina for weeks, and no fuel at its marina since last August. T he homeowners feel these conditions indicate the unsustainable nature of the communitys expansion plans. Frustrated by what they claim is the continued lack of amenities promised under their purchase agreement, and for which they continue to pay mainte nance fees, cottage owners penned a letter asking for an audit of the associations records. The letter, sent by the cottage owners Cay of Sea Ltd, read: In short, the representations made to us at time of purc hase a casually elegant resort lifestyle replete with sumptuousa menities, including a sparkling waterfront pool, tennis court, a fully resourced marina, an ele gant restaurant and so much more come up woefully short. Gardening efforts seemed non-existent or reduced, the pavilion and its beach area were unkempt, the roadways were inn eed of repair, the gate to the gated community was not policed, the restaurant was closed, there was no water in the pool, and the marina had no fuel available. Guana Cay residents urged the government to give careful consideration to Orchid Bay's $400 million development plans in November. In a strong letter of opposition addressed to Prime Minis ter Hubert Ingraham and Deputy Prime Minister Brent Symonette, the residents expressed fears that the develo pment was too large for the island to sustain. T he development was approved last year, with officials maintaining that the plans received satisfactory assessments. It was announced that the development would create 200 jobs on the island if approval is given to expand the marina toe ncompass 324 boat slips, sell more private lots and build a Rosewood brand hotel. However, with 200 boat slips already established on the 9.25 square mile island at Baker's Bay marina nearby, and an existing marina at Orchid Bay, some residents fear expansion would threaten the environ ment. Management at Orchid Bay could not be reached for com ment. Several messages were left over the last two weeks, however there has been no response to date. LOCAL NEWS T HE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2011, PAGE 5 .,'=&,7< By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org FREEPORT A 27-yearo ld Lucaya man was charged with murder in the Freeport Magistrates Court yesterday. Leonard Lenny Barnett, a resident of No 2 Spinney Road, appeared in Court Two b efore Magistrate Andrew Forbes. It is alleged that on March 7 the accused, while concerned with others, intentionally caused the death of 42-y ear-old Patrick Russell of Lewis Yard. Mr Russell was sitting in his c ar on an unpaved road b etween Weddell and Bruce Avenues in the Garden Villas area when someone in anoth-e r vehicle opened fire on him. His death was classified as the islands second homicide f or the year. Barnett was not r equired to enter a plea to the murder charge. He was remanded to Fox H ill Prison and the matter was adjourned to May 23, when a preliminary inquiryw ill be held to determine if t here is sufficient evidence for him to stand trial for murder in the Supreme Court. 27-year-old man charged with murder A CANADIAN man vacationing with his wife in E xuma is believed to have drowned on Wednesday. Exuma police received information that a man was f ound in an unresponsive state at Stocking Island at around 12.30pm. According to report, a husband and wife were swimming when the incident occurred. T he 57-year-old native of Ottawa, Canada wasr etrieved from the water and taken to the local clinic where he was pronounced dead. M eanwhile in Nassau, police are investigating two shootings. T he first occurred around 1 1.15pm on Wednesday at Peach Street. A 22-year-old man was d riving his 1997 Honda Saber through Peach Street when some unknown per son or persons fired gunshots which resulted in the victim receiving multiplei njuries to the body, police r eported. The victims vehicle was a lso damaged. The victim was taken to hospital by emergency medi cal personnel, where he is in serious but stable condition. T he second shooting took place around 1.15am on Thursday at Price Street,N assau Village. T wo men were standing outside a home when they heard gunshots being fired. One the men, aged 29, received gunshots injuries to his back and leg. T he victim was taken to hospital via private vehicle,w here he is detained in sta ble condition. Canadian man believed to have drowned in Exuma By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter email@example.com F REEPORT Police are investigating the apparent drowning of a boat captain at the old cement factory dock near Freeport Harbour. A round 6pm on Tuesday, police received a call from the Freeport Harbour Company explaining that a boat captain had fallen overboard and was found unresponsive. A sst Supt Hector Delva, a ssistant police press officer, reported that officers were dispatched to the old cement factory dock where they found the body of a light-skinned m an lying on the deck at the stern of a boat with a rope tied a round his waist. The deceased man was clad in jeans and a beige striped polo shirt. The body was taken to the Rand Memorial Hospital w here the man was officially p ronounced dead. A SP Delva said investigations into the incident will continue. The mans identity is being withheld pending notification of his next of kin. FIREARM AND DRUGS FOUND A shotgun and a small quantity of drugs were discovered in an abandoned twos torey building on Adventurers Way, police reported. A SP Hector Delva said that D rug Enforcement Unit offic ers, acting on a tip, went to a building on Adventurers Way sometime after noon on Tuesday. During a search of the b uilding, they discovered a brown handled sawn-off shotg un along with a plastic ziplock bag containing a small quantity of a substance suspected to be marijuana. No arrests were made and the incident is still under i nvestigation. Police investigate apparent drowning of boat captain Gated development homeowners complain about management of maintenance funds T HE Ministry of Works and Transport will host ani nformation meeting today f or business owners and residents of Abundant Life Road concerning upcoming road works. The meeting will take place from noon to 6pm att he Abundant Life Church. Engineers will discuss the scope of the work, which is planned to extend into the Soldier Road area. T he ministry also said the New Providence Road Improvement and Infrastructure project will be upgrading the sewer main between School Lane (near C R Walker High School) and Lewis Street (south of St Agnes Church School Hall) from Thursday, March 24 for two weeks, from 9pm to 5am. Motorists are advised that there will be traffic diversions in place with partial and full closures to carry out the works. Motorists are asked to observe traffic manage ment signs in place and trav el with caution while the work is being carried out, the ministry said in a state ment. Ministry of Works to host information meeting on upcoming road works COURT BRIEF MEETING: Pictured are the road works in Prince CharlesD rive. The Ministry of Works a nd Transport will host an infor mation meeting today for business owners and residents ofA bundant Life Road concerning upcoming road works.
By NATARIO McKENZIE T ribune Staff Reporter n firstname.lastname@example.org THE trial of an American girl and a Bahamian man charged in the murder of Anna Garrison came to an abrupt end yesterday w ith a judge discharging the j urors and ordering a retria l. The decision by Senior Justice Jon Isaacs came following a closed court hearing yesterday afternoon, the s econd day of the trial. O nly two witnesses had t estified; the last being P ennsylvania state trooper T odd Hershey. Zyndall McKinney, 23, of Isabella Boulevard, and the teenage girl are accused of the murder of Mrs Garris on. I t is alleged that between S unday, February 25 and Saturday, July 4, 2009, McKinney and the girl, being concerned together, caused the death of the victim. Mrs Garrison's badly d ecomposed body was discovered in a bushy area off Fox Hill Road South near the Blue Water Cay development on Saturday, July 4, 2009 at around 6.20pm. Prosecutors claim that she had been stabbed multiple times. Attorney Murrio Ducille applied for bail yesterday afternoon on behalf of his c lient McKinney. He a rgued that there was no e vidence whatsoever against his client and there was nothing to suggest that he was a flight risk. Mr Ducille also noted that McKinney had been in custody for almost two y ears. A ttorney Elliot Lockhart, w ho represents the American girl, also applied for bail on behalf of his client. He submitted that considering the evidence, she should not even be in custody. C rown attorney Ambrose A rmbrister objected to bail, n oting that the accused could still be tried in a reasonable time. Senior Justice Isaacs denied both bail applications noting the serious nature of the charge. H e also noted that if the a ccused cannot be afforde d a trial within a reasonable time frame, they could reapply for bail. FOLLOWING the success of Quartetto Gelatos performance in February, the Nassau Music Society is now presentinga special piano and violin duo. Canadian violinist Alexander DaCosta and pianist Wonny Song will hold two concerts for the Bahamian public. The first will be held on Tuesday at 8pm at Government House; the second concert will take place on Wednesday at 8pm at St Pauls Church Hall, Lyford Cay. Both concerts are under the patronage of Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes. Alexandre DaCosta was born in Montral Canada in 1979 and showed an uncom mon interest for both the violin and piano at a very early age. By the age of nine, he had the ability to perform his first con certs on both instruments, which brought him recognition as a musical prodigy. In 1998, at the age of 18, he received a Masters degree in violin and a first prize from the Conservatoire de Musique du Qubec. Concurrently, he also received a Bachelors degree in Piano Interpretation from the faculty of music of the University of Montreal. In 2002, he won the Sylva Gelber Foundation Award for best Canadian artist under 30 years old. Between 2003 and 2 006, after winning the Musical Instrument Bank competition of the Canada Council for the Arts, he played the 1689 Baumgartner Stradivarius. Mr DaCosta now plays the 1727 "Di Barbaro" Stradivarius and a Sartory bow, courtesy of Canimex. W onny Song, a Canadian national, was born in South Korea and grew up in Montral He began piano studies at the age of eight and received a full scholarship to Philadelphias Curtis Institute of Music in 1994. He earned a Bachelors degree from Montreal Univer s ity in 1998 and continued his studies with Anton Kuerti at the University of Toronto and at the Glenn Gould Profes sional School with Marc Durand. Awarded the first Elinor Bell F ellowship at the University of Minnesota in 2000, he completed his doctoral studies there with Lydia Artymiw in 2004. The Washington Post classes Wonny Song as a versatile, intelligent, and deeply musical young pianist. He has started an interna t ional career with encore appearances in the Young Con cert Artists Series in New York at Carnegies Zankel Hall, at the Kennedy Centres Terrace Theater in Washington, DC as soloist with the Peoria Sym phony (IL phony, the Toronto Sympho n y, the National Arts Center Orchestra of Ottawa, and the EuroAsian Philharmonic Orchestra in Korea and Thai land to name a few. The Music Societys current season ends next month with two concerts by John O'Conor, an Irish pianist and Beethoven specialist, on April 9 and 10. L OCAL NEWS PAGE 6, FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2011 THE TRIBUNE Judge discharges jurors, orders retrial in murder case Nassau Music Society to present piano, violin duo CANADIAN VIOLINIST Alexander DaCosta (above Wonny Song. SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico A ssociated Press Former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc"D uvalier has been hospital ized, his attorney said Thursday, refusing to disclose the nature of the ailm ent or any other details about his condition. Duvalier, who made a s urprise return to Haiti in January, was taken to the hospital Wednesday, lawyer Reynold Georges said in a brief phone interview with The Associated Press. Georges said he was with Duvalier but could not pro vide any information about his ailment. "I'm his lawyer, not his doctor," Georges said. Earlier, Duvalier's longtime companion, Veronique Roy, denied he had been hospitalized, say ing he was "under observa tion." The 59-year-old former dictator made an abrupt return to Haiti in January after 25 years in exile and has appeared at times to move with difficulty, spark ing speculation that he has been ill. He has been living in a villa in the hills above Portau-Prince under police guard as a judge investi gates whether he can be charged with a long list of crimes, including corruption and torture, commit ted while he was "president for life" in the impoverished Caribbean nation. There have been no restrictions on his movement and he has been spotted attending a jazz concert in Petionville and has been receiving a stream of visi tors at the house. Duvalier was ousted in a popular uprising against what was widely considered a brutal and corrupt regime. He assumed power in 1971 at age 19 following the death of his notorious father, Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier. L AWYER: 'BABY DOC' DUVALIER TAKEN TO HOSPIT AL IN HAITI
IN RECOGNITIONof the educational relationship St Johns University h as established with the B ahamas and in honour of its president, Rev Robert K oopmann, United States A mbassador to the Bahamas Nicole Avant h osted a reception for St J ohns University alumni l ast Saturday. St John's is considered o ne of America's top C atholic universities and has its campus in Collegeville, Minnesota. Guests included former US Ambassador to the Bahamas John Rood, Steve Halverson, vice-chair of t he Board of Regents, St J ohns University; Rob C ulligan, vice-president for I nstitutional Advancement, S t Johns University; Archb ishop Patrick Pinder, Archbishop of the Catholic Diocese of the Bahamas; Monsignor Preston Moss, vicar general of the Bahamas Catholic Dio cese; Dr Betsy Vogel-Boze,p resident of the College of the Bahamas, and Basil Christie, president of the S aint Johns Bahamian A lumni. The event brought together a group of morethan 40 Bahamian Saint J ohns Alumni who hold various professions in the private and public sectors. I n her remarks, Ambassador Avant underscored the significance of the rela tionship between St Johns U niversity and the B ahamas. Through your ties to St Johns and this prestigious network herei n the Bahamas, you strengthen the bonds of friendship that draw our countries together, saidA mbassador Avant. The United States and the Bahamas have a strong relationship that allows usto face global challenges as partners and you are the face and the heart of thatr elationship. T he relationship between S t Johns University and the Bahamas dates back to 1891, when Father Chrysostom Schreiner, O SB, arrived in Nassau and started the Benedictine mission in the B ahamas which flourished for 114 years until its closi ng in 2005.It was Father Chrysostom who encouraged Bahamians Useph B aker and Etienne Dupuch, later Sir Etienne, t o make the journey north to Collegeville to become the first Bahamian gradu-a tes of St Johns. In the late 1920s, Saint J ohns fifth abbot, Father Alcuin Deutsch, built on Father Chrysostoms foun dation and assigned more p riests to reach towns and settlements throughout the islands of the Bahamas. T his led to the founding o f Saint Augustines Col lege for boys by Father Frederick Frey, OSB, and Saint AugustinesM onastery in Nassau toward the middle of the century. T he school achieved a high reputation early on and eventually grew to its current stable enrollmento f 900 boys and girls. T o date, approximately 670 men of the Bahamas have graduated SaintJ ohns University attaining various degrees in education, law, medicine, and b ecoming businessmen, politicians, religious lead ers and the civil servants. LOCAL NEWS T HE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2011, PAGE 7 THE Rotary Club of Nassau is holding its second annual biathlon on Saturday with a 6am start at Arawak Cay. Participants can enter to compete in the five-mile run or walk or the 25-mile biathlon race. There is also a special wheelchair division. Registration is at 5.30am on Saturday at Arawak Cay or today from 6pm to 9pm at the Cricket Club. Children, adults and seniors are welcome to register. This biathlon is sponsored by RBC Finco, TRex Screenprinting and Embroidery, Gatorade and Creative Edge. First, second and third prizes in each bike/run category will win gold, silver and bronze medals. All entrants will receive a T-shirt. Walk/Push is a fun even and there will be no prizes awarded for this category. Proceeds raised on this event will go towards the Rotary Club of Nassau's annual charities, organisers said. For more information please e-mail info@rotarynas sau.com. R O T AR Y C LUB N EWS US Ambassador hosts St Johns University alumni reception A BOVE, FROMLEFT: N elson George, St Johns College Alumni; Ava Thompson, wife of Earl Thompson Jr, SJU Alumni; Marici Thompson and Judy Adderley, recruiters for SJU. R IGHT: R ev Robert Koopman, president of St Johns U niversity and US Ambass ador to the Bahamas Nicole A vant. LEFT: Basil Christie, MBE, p resident of the St Johns University Alumni gives remarks at the reception. Shar e your news The Tribune wants to hear fr om people who are making news in their neighbourhoods. Perhaps you ar e raising funds for a good cause, campaigning for improvements in the area or have won an award. If so, call us on 322-1986 and share your story.
US Ambassador to the B ahamas Nicole Avant encouraged more than 400 y oung women attending STRAWs seventh annual Girls Leadership Conference t o become future leaders STRAW which stands for Strengthening Transforming Restoring Affirming Women organised the oneday conference on March 18 f or junior high, high school and first year college female students with the goal of e ncouraging them to achieve e xcellence in their academic a nd personal lives. A s part of Ambassador Avants ongoing commitment t o empowering girls, the US E mbassy partnered with STRAW by sponsoring the participation of 30 residents from the Willie Mae Pratt C entre. The young women who took part in the conference were given the opportunity to network, learn new skills ande ngage with adult role mode ls. T he conference featured an official opening ceremony attended by Dame Marguerite Pindling and a power lunch where the Minister of State forS ocial Development Loretta B utler-Turner, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Charles Maynard and CEO Network founder Deborah B artlett spoke to the girls. A mbassador Avant encouraged the young women to identify inspiring adults int heir school, community or church and try to emulate them. The US Ambassadors hared with the group that o ne of her role models is First Lady Michelle Obama who transcended her humble upbringing in Chicago through hard work. You have the choice every single day of your life to bep ositive or negative. To a ccept the things you cant c hange and still choose to be grateful and happy, said Ambassador Avant. You have the choice to show up and do your best or to standb y and watch life pass you by a nd complain. She also lauded Bahamian women leaders including Dr. Sandra Dean-Patterson, who h eads the Crisis Centre, Sena tors Allyson Maynard-Gibson, who the president of the International WomensF orum, and Mrs Butler-Turner for her commitment to empowering young woment hroughout The Bahamas. What I admire most about my friend Minister ButlerTurner is her strength to shoot for the moon, Ambassador Avant told the STRAW conference participants. Shes positive and cons tantly says, well, I dont see w hy not! People like Minister B utler-Turner become leaders because they make the choice to see the glass half full as opposed to half empty. The STRAW Centre locate d in Palmdale opened ten y ears ago to provide a safe haven where young women of all socio-economic backgrounds receive support, traini ng and guidance from posit ive role models who are committed to ensuring they reach their full potential. STRAWi s a non-profit youth development organisation focused on mentoring young womenw hen they are most vulnerab le to challenges such as peer pressure, low self-esteem and bullying. A THREE-month nationwide search for the best and brightest primary school students in the Bahamas has resulted in the nomination of 116 students who will represent their respective schools in the 15th annual Bahamas Primary School Student of the Year Awards Programme. These students will be representing Abaco, Acklins, Andros, Berry Island, Bimini, Cat Island, Crooked Island, Eleuthera, Exuma, Grand Bahama, Inagua, Long Island, New Providence and San Salvador. The search was organised by the Board of the Directors of the Bahamas Primary School Student of the Year Founda tion and the Executive Board of the Bahamas Pan-Hellenic Council. In November 2010, the Foundation presented each primary school in New Providence, Grand Bahama and the Family Islands with an application package to nominate one stu dent deserving of national recognition. Of those approached, 115 primary schools accepted the opportunity to have their stu dents recognised among the Whos Who in Primary Schools in The Bahamas. Ricardo Deveaux, president and chief executive officer of the Bahamas Primary School Student of the Year Foundation, said: Each year, a select group of students are nominat ed to accept one of the most prestigious national recognition for primary school students in this country. This awards pro gramme, which is the premier programme for primary students, is an excellent opportu nity to recognise those students who have demonstrated excellent academic achievement, leadership ability, campus and community involvement and good citizenship. The 2011 nominees will vie for the title of National Primary School Student of the Year, with one overall winner to be announced on Saturday at an awards ceremony held at the Golden Gates World Outreach Ministries on Carmichael Road. The 2011 Student of the Year winner, finalists and nominees are expected to share about $100,000 in scholarships and prizes. An independent panel of judges was assembled to identify the overall winner and scholarship finalists. The members panel of judges are: Jacqueline Bethel chair; Autherine Turnquest-Hanna deputy chair; Philip Stubbs chief tally judge; Beryl Arm brister; Deborah Bartlett; Rubyann Darling; Zelma Dean, Lionel Elliott; Attorney Tyrone Fitzgerald; Sister Mary Benedict Pratt and Philip Simon. The judges had an extremely difficult role because each nominee comes qualified to be selected as the Student of the Year, Mr Deveaux said. To date, 1,189 students have been recognised in the awards programme and over a half million dollars presented in schol arships and prizes. L OCAL NEWS PAGE 8, FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2011 THE TRIBUNE )5$1,+2/',1*6/,0,7(' RWLFHLVKHUHEJLYHQWKDWLQDFFRUGDQFHZLWK 6HFWLRQRIWKH,QWHUQDWLRQDO%XVLQHVV &RPSDQLHV$FWRRI )5$1, +2/',1*6/,0,7(' LVLQ'LVVROXWLRQ 7KHGDWHRIFRPPHQFHPHQWRIGLVVROXWLRQLVWKH WKGD 'HUHNHUQRQ/H%UXQ 6W+HOLHU-HUVH\ /LTXLGDWRU 116 students nominated to represent schools in Primary School Student of the Year Awards Programme US Ambassador to the Bahamas challenges young women to become leaders of tomorrow P AST STUDENT OF THE YEAR WINNERS: Sasha B ain 2000 winner; Khes Adderley 2009 winner; Jared Fitzgerald 2010 winner; Vashti Darling 1997 winner;T enielle Curtis 2003 winner. Back row: Zachary Lyons 2002 winner and George Zonicle 2006 winner. C HALLENGE: U S Ambassador to the Bahamas Nicole Avant gives remarks at the STRAW Girls Leadership Conference.
L OCAL NEWS P AGE 10, FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2011 THE TRIBUNE sale yesterday. We are very pleased that the FNM came here in 2007 with 22 votes on t he floor and one on the chair, we cast 22 votes on the floor," said Mr Ingra h am, after the first reso lution was passed. After the Speaker read each resolution relating tot he sale, members of the Opposition rose in dissent forcing a division and roll c all of the votes. Each government member voted in favour of the salew hile the official Opposi tion party and Mr McCartney voted no. As members voted on t he first resolution, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham mistakenly voted againstt he sale to CWC prompt ing members opposite to cheer while Fox Hill MP jumped to his feet and danced in joy. He quickly corrected his vote to yes. On Monday, the House of Assembly moved for the adoption of three new Bills: A Bill for an Act to Facilitate the Privatisation of the Bahamas Telecom munications Company and for Connected Purposes; A Bill for an Act to Amend the Communications Act, 2009 and A Bill for an Act to Amend the Utilities Regulation and Competition Author ity Act, 2009. That same day, mem bers of the House of Assembly also voted ontwo resolutions one to confirm the transfer of nine parcels of land from the Treasurer to BTC, upon or from which BTC conducts business. The second sought the approval of the House for the privatisation of BTC and the sale of 51 per cent of its shares to Cable and Wireless. The vote was "the final process" before privatisa tion takes place, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said earlier this week. Monday's vote was passed by a vote of 23 to14 all Opposition mem bers present at the time voted no three Opposi tion members were absent at the time as was new independent and former FNM Mr McCartney. SEEPAGETHREE He claimed there are unanswered questions about the ownership and financing of Bluewater and in his personal opinion he believes it was a fronting operation where foreigners were fronting for Bahamians. He claimed government accountants and members of the former PLP cabi net themselves have been unable to answer the lingering questions. Perry Christie, leader of the opposi tion, said all of the talk about a deal, or preliminary sale agreement with Bluewater, is irrelevant because the government did not sign any contracts with Bluewater. It was my handwriting that suspended that deal. There was no deal. I had to give instructions to the Cabinet secretary to execute the deal. What I said was I do not recommend we proceed with this matter. It was too close to the election, said Mr Christie. Mr Christie said he believed the responsible action was to leave the decision to the new administration rather than rush it through. At that late state, one day before the election, he said the governments mandate had come to an end. This decision, he said, was not a critique of the quality of the deal itself. He said he was familiar with its contents and supported it, although he was not present at the final meeting when Cabinet approved the resolution. I was 1,000 per cent behind the deal. I would have supported the deal. The quality of the deal was not in question. I supported and would still stand by it, but it became irrelevant because I stopped it (on the basis of the impending election), said Mr Christie. He said the government is trying to deflect public attention with its talk of Bluewater, because it cannot defend its deal to sell 51 per cent of the shares in BTC to Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC Mr Christie said claims by govern ment members that Bluewater was a shell company were not legitimate, because the Free National Movement (FNM Bluewater in settlement. If Bluewater does not exist, and it is only a shell company, to whom did the FNM pay $1.9 million to, to get out of the deal? Mr Christie asked. Instead of going through an international arbitration, a fight which could have lasted years, the govern ment decided it was in its best interest to settle. Mr Christie said the basis of the arbitration was Bluewater claiming to have had an agreement. If Bluewater were to have purchased BTC, Mr Christie maintained it would have operated in the Bahamas as a stand alone company; downsizing would not have been in the picture; and Bluewater was going to maximise opportunities in the submarine cable to Haiti and turn BTC into a regional player. Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham maintains Bluewater would have been a disaster for BTC. In his closing remarks to Parliament, yesterday, Mr Ingraham said: How the unknown, hastily established company, with unknown principles could add value to BTC and the Bahamas is an important consideration. He said the reason the government paid Bluewater was because the previous government had an agreement that it would not do business and talk to anyone else for a certain period of time. Mr Ingraham claimed, if the government breached that agreement it had agreed to pay $2.5 million. Mr Christie disputed the claim. Mr Ingra ham said the government was able to negotiate the payment down to $1.9 million. Bluewater was a company formed in 2003, according to Desmond Bannister, Member of Parliament for Carmichael. He said it was a private equity firm, designed to buy and sell for a profit, similar to companies who engage in house flipping. The deal that was on the table was to sell 49 per cent of the shares in BTC for $260 million to Bluewater. Mr Bannister said Bluewater was not interested in the majority of the shares, because that was not consistent with its business model as a private equity firm. Furthermore, Mr Bannister said, had the former government sold more than two per cent of its shares in BTC, it would have effectively made Bluewater the majority share holder. Bluewater was engaged by the government during a selective bidding process that was initiated after the government rejected all of the bids in the open offer. Mitchell even performing a little jig when Mr Ingraham voted No on the first of three resolutions paving the way for the sale. Their celebration was short-lived however Mr Ingraham quickly corrected his error, and once the clamour died down, the Clerk of the House of Assembly confirmed that the prime ministers vote has been recorded as Yes. Speaking just before the vote, Mr Ingraham told Par liament that it was unfortunate that the leaders of the BCPOU and the BCPMU took the stance they did against the sale of BTC. Suggesting that these union heads were in fact being used as pawns by the Progressive Liberal Party, Mr Ingraham said the PLP should in fact pay a portion of the unions now hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal bills owed to the government follow ing their failed lawsuit to block the deal. Mr Ingraham said that if union leaders Bernard Evans and William Carrol had listened to him earlier, their respective unions would not find themselves with hefty legal obligations. Mr Ingraham added that the majority of Bahamians still believe he has their best interest at heart, and that is why the opposition was unable to cause the public to rise up against the sale even when you paid them. after 3.30pm. The victim was taken to hospital but died of his injuries a short time later.P olice are questioning a 39-year-old man in connection with the incident. A man believed to be 34-years-old died y esterday after an attempted armed robbery. According to police, a man entered Klassy Collections Boutique on Baillou Hill Road South, just before 4pm and fired gunshots at a male employee. The employee then pro d uced a licensed shotgun and fired back, caus ing the man to flee. A second suspect standing at the door of the establishment report e dly fired gunshots at the employee before being killed by return fire. ment in the House of Assem bly yesterday. The wedding will take place on April 29 in West minster Abbey, London, and w ill be a bank holiday in the UK. On February 16 and 17 three sets of guest lists were sent out in the name of The Queen. Royal protocol has dictated that many guests (or their successors in office) who were invited to the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981 need not be invited to William's wedding. More than half of the guests will be family and friends of the couple, though there will be a significant number of Commonwealth leaders (including the governor-generals who represent the Queen in Commonwealth realms, prime ministers of the Commonwealth realms and heads of government of other Commonwealth countries), members of governments and o f religious organisations, the diplomatic corps, several military officials, members of theB ritish Royal Household, members of foreign royal families, and representatives of William's charities and oth-e rs with whom William has worked on official business. Although St James's Palace declined to publish the names of those invited, a breakdown of guests was published by category the list made no mention of foreign heads of state, though it was announced that about 40 members of foreign royal families had been invited. The first list, about 1,900 people, is to attend the cere mony in the abbey. The second list, about 600 people, is to the lunchtime reception at Buckingham Palace, hosted by the Queen while the final list, about 300 people, is to an evening din ner, hosted by the Prince of Wales. were stranded at Miami International Airport (MIA were cancelled. Despite concerns that the blaze would delay the arrival of tourists to the Bahamas and cause reservation back-up at hotels, this does not seem to have been the case so far, according to offi cials at the Atlantis resort. It was reported that a large fuel tank caught fire on the southeast corner of the airport where the farm is located, cutting off at least 40 per cent of the airport's fuel supply. Miami International was forced to cancel more than 169 flights, with that number expected to rise. An American Airlines representative said no flights into Nassau were cancelled yesterday, and that all six roundtrip flights today are scheduled to take place. He noted that some of the flights may have been late because of the makeshift refuelling methods being employed at MIA, but that the Bahamas was very lucky, in that the flights to Nassau are all the smaller American Eagle aircraft. Its the bigger planes that are taking forever to refuel. However, many passengers travelling to the Bahamas from other locations, who were scheduled to use MIA as a transit point, found themselves stranded yesterday. A Nassau Airport Development (NAD flight arrivals or departures to or from Miami have been impacted, some flights have been diverted to Sir Lyden Pindling International to re-fuel. According to NAD, two American Airline planes have headed to Santa Domingo and a IAN Chile flight enroute to Ecuador were diverted to Nassau yesterday morning. Fuel retailers in New Providence could not be reached for comment last night. According to US authorities, prelim inary investigations indicate the blaze may have been caused by a malfunction near a fuel pipeline. Meanwhile, a large-scale sickout by civil servants in the Turks and Caicos is affecting a number of airlines, including Bahamasair, which operates three flightsa week between Nassau and Turks capital Providenciales. Yesterday morning, the Turks Air ports Authority suspended operations at all the countrys airports because of the shortage of employees. In addition to Bahamasair, the fol lowing airlines have been affected: American Airlines, Air Canada, Continental, Delta, Jet Blue and US Airways as well as a number of private carriers. Only 14 per cent of COB graduates are male students parts continues to grow, she added. Her administration is to create a taskforce to tackle t he problem and assess which s ocial or environmental probl ems are behind the dismal rates. "It's the males that I'm concerned about because only 14per cent of our graduates are m en and that's a shocking n umber. When I look at the numbers, the number of men has been fairly stable from the time we were created, there have been a few hundredm ore men but our growth has all been through the enrolment of women," she told am eeting of the Zonta Club at L uciano's restaurant yesterday. "To only have 14 per cent o f our graduates (as males think is a frightening number what is happening to the B ahamian males?" When asked by The Tribune what strategies she had p lanned to counteract this, Dr Boze said the problem needsa multi-faceted approach. I'm going to be putting t ogether a task force and would welcome anybody's guidance on what is happen-i ng with the Bahamian males. Why are they dropping out b ecause it's not a problem that happens once they get to us, they are not graduating at the same rates, they are not applying to college at the same rates and again that gap continues to widen. Does this have to do with gangs, or crime or drugs I don't know what the problem is. I've also identified a prospective US partner in a city that is facing very similarc hallenges that we might be working with. Coming in as an outsider I don't dare say I understand what that prob-l em is but I think we need to look at it from many different points of views and that education is just one of the s ymptoms of that." C OB has about 5,000 students enrolled at its main c ampus in Oakes Field and o n the family islands but Dr Boze said enrolment is lower than other schools in the region. The Bahamas is actually losing ground compared to many of our Caribbean neigh-b ours. We have fewer students e ngaged as a percentage than w e did 20 years ago." I n her first public address s ince assuming her post about 10 weeks ago, Dr Boze also r evealed that 80 per cent of C OB students are enrolled in four-year baccalaureate programmes while the remaining 2 0 per cent are pursuing twoyear associate degrees or master's programmes an invers ion of where the college was 10 years ago. She added that COB is well o n its way to achieving university status once a few additional benchmarks are met. F ROM page one FROM page one Flights diverted to Bahamas after fire at Miami Airport HIS TORIC MOMENT FROM page one FROM page one MINISTER CLAIMS BLUEWATER WAS A FRONTING OPERATION PM, GOVERN OR GENERAL T O ATTEND WEDDING FROM page one FROM page one MAN DIES AFTER S T ABBING FROM page one PMS NO VOTE BRINGS CHEERS FROM OPPOSITION PRESIDENT OF THE COLLEGE of the Bahamas Dr Betsy Vogel Boze was a special guest speaker at Zonta Club of Nassau. T i m C l a r k e / T r i b u n e s t a f f
JERUSALEM A ssociated Press PALESTINIAN militants in Gaza fired a new wave of r ockets that landed deep i nside Israel Thursday, defying Israeli retaliatory attacks and threats. As the violence threatened to escalate the day after a deadly Jerusalem bombing, Israel got a boost from the visiting U.S. defense chief, who said no country could tolerate the" repugnant" attacks on its soil. Police said Gaza militants fired 10 rockets and mortars toward Israel Thursday, including two rockets that exploded north of the city of Ashdod, a main Mediterranean port city about 20m iles (30 kilometers of Gaza a first since Israel a nd Gaza's Hamas rulers r eached an unofficial truce following a three-week wart hat ended in January 2009. I sraeli airstrikes hit a numb er of Gaza targets in retaliation throughout the day. Neither side reported injuries or said they wanted a new fight. But the new h ostilities could easily spin out of control, especially if civilian deaths mount. Wednesday's bombing killed a British tourist, and f ive members of a Jewish family were slain while they slept in a West Bank settlement earlier this month. Israel has blamed Palestini-a ns for both attacks. Also this week, Israeli shelling killed three children and their uncle in Gaza. The army said it was targeting m ilitants. T he fighting in Gaza has been the fiercest since Israel went to war there to try to curb years of rocket attacks. The fierce three-week offensive killed some 1,400 Palestinians, including hundreds of civilians. Thirteen Israelisa lso died. The volatile bord er has remained largely c alm since. I srael says Hamas has u sed the lull to rearm with l onger distance rockets that c an reach as far as Tel Aviv, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) from Gaza. D efense Minister Ehud Barak blamed Hamas for t he rocket fire and vowed to s trike back. "Israel will not tolerate these terror attacks and we will not allow terror to rise once again in the region," he s aid. His tough stance was backed by visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who said that no sov-e reign state could tolerate rockets fired at its people. "Israel, like all nations, has the right to self-defense and to bring to justice the p erpetrators of these repugn ant attacks," he said. Citing gag orders, Israeli security officials have said little about the investigations into Wednesday's bus stop bombing or the knife killings two weeks ago. Officials identified the vict im of the Jerusalem bombi ng as Mary Jean Gardner, a 5 9-year-old British tourist w ho had been taking courses a t Jerusalem's Hebrew Univ ersity. In Washington, the S tate Department said five of the wounded were Americans, one of whom remainsh ospitalized. On Thursday President B arack Obama called Israeli P rime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to offer condolences. The White House said Obama reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to Israel's s ecurity. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Jerusalem and southern Israel remained on a heightened state of alert. I sraeli counterterrorism expert Boaz Ganor said the bombing and knifing attacks appeared to be individual initiatives, as opposed to the o rganized attacks by militant g roups that Israel usually faces. The former usually kill fewer people, but are more d ifficult to stop, he added. Israeli intelligence is quite good in thwarting suicide attacks," he said. "It may be less able to deal with local and personal attacks." I sraeli police officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the investigations, said that even ift he attacks were individual acts, Israel believes Hamas guided and motivated the attackers. Yitzhak Reiter, a Mideast e xpert at the Hebrew Univ ersity, said Islamist groups are currently seeking an alternative to suicide bombings, which largely backfired i n the last decade by turni ng world opinion against them. Peace talks between Israel and Hamas' rival, Palestinian President Mahmoud A bbas, collapsed after the 2008 war, reviving only briefly for three weeks in September 2010. Abbas, who rules on in the W est Bank, has rejected violence and condemned Wednesday's bombing. Hamas, which violently wrested control of Gaza f rom Abbas loyalists in June 2 007, sees the diplomatic standstill as proof that only an armed struggle will win the Palestinians a state. INTERNATIONAL NEWS T HE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2011, PAGE 11 Gaza militants fire rockets deep into Israel ISRAELI police officers inspect the site of an explosion, in Jerusalem, Wednesday, March 23, 2011. A bomb exploded near a crowded bus, wounding passengers in what appeared to be the first militant attack in the c ity in several years. (AP
I NTERNATIONAL NEWS PAGE 12, FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2011 THE TRIBUNE WASHINGTON Associated Press THE FLOWERING trees that symbolize friendship between the United States and Japan are blooming for the 99th time in Washington in the wake of one of the world's worst natural disasters. Before the two-week National Cherry Blossom Festival opens Saturday, organizers will hold a fundraising walk and vigil Thursday evening among the trees for victims of Japan's March 11 earthquake and tsunami. An estimated 18,000 people have been killed in the disaster. "It's important that we're taking time to reflect," said festival director Diana May hew. The celebration is a sym bol of spring each year and now of the rebirth and rebuilding for Japan, she said. "Our relationship with Japan is at the heart," she said. Japanese Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki told The Associ ated Press he is grateful for such support from U.S. resi dents, though he declined to ask for further donations. It's too soon to know how Japan will pay to rebuild the country as the government is still focused on search and rescue, basic human needs and its nuclear reactors, he said. "I am very grateful that American people are voluntarily extending their hands," Fujisaki said. "This is really an impressive show of good will." Contributions for relief efforts have lagged behind fundraising totals in the days after Haiti's earthquake and after Hurricane Katrina to this point, according to a tally by the Chronicle of Philanthropy. The cherry blossom tradi tion began with a gift of trees from Japan in 1912. Then-first lady Helen Taft and the wife of Japan's ambassador planted the first two trees. About 100 of the original 3,000 trees are still growing, while thou sands of others have been replaced or grown from the original trees' genetic line. During World War II, the festival was suspended. Some trees were vandalized in those years, according to National Park Service records. After the war, the festival grew as Japan rebuilt and a Washington group was formed to stage the festival each year. The festival draws about 1 million visitors and has become big business for Washington's tourism industry. Nearly half the visitors travel from out of town, according to the city's tourism bureau. A study of last year's festival shows it generated about $126 million in hotel stays and other revenue. For the first time this year, the festival partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation to help people plant their own cherry blossom trees in their yards, touting their value to birds, bees and other wildlife. The Stand with Japan vigil begins at 6:30 p.m. Thursday on the Washington Monu ment grounds. Money raised will go to American Red Cross relief efforts. Festival sponsors Safeway and Macy's each announced $100,000 donations to the fund Wednesday. Many of Washington's 3,000 Yoshino cherry trees that cir cle the Tidal Basin near the Jefferson Memorial were beginning to bloom Thursday morning. The National Park Service has predicted they'll be in peak bloom next Tues day through Friday. "Nothing is in full bloom yet," said Park Service spokesman Bill Line, who not ed that cold overnight tem peratures in recent days would preserve the flowers longer unless any storms bring strong winds that can blow them away. Cherry blossom events begin with solemn DC tribute WITH THE Washington Monument in the background, cherry blossom trees begin bloom despite cold tem peratures in Washington, Thursday, March 24, 2011. (AP
B y NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor A leading Bahamianowned airline paid $1.597 mil lion in taxes and fees last year, a sum close to 75 per cent of its annual wage bill, with its chief executive yesterday suggesting the entire domestic aviation sector was receiving no real and tangible help with this burden from the G overnment. Captain Randy Butler, head of Sky Bahamas, toldt he Rotary Club of West Nassau that the taxes and fees sum paid was inclusive of those paid to the Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD tion and the Government. Fees paid to NAD totalled between $60,000-$101,000 per month. He later told Tribune Business the airlines annual wage bill was around $2 million, meaning that the taxes/fees burden was equivalent to between 66-75 per cent of total salaries. Contrasting the UK governments movement on the Air Passenger Duty (APD charge with the Bahamian governments stance on taxation of this nations domestic aviation sector, Captain But ler said: Sky Bahamas, in direct and indirect taxation, we paid $1.597 million, inclu sive of NAD, and thats for a small airline. We have no problem paying that....... We pay our way, and as a corporate citizen we take our responsibilities seriously and live up to them. Sky Bahamas pays its way. We are current with NAD, current with Civil Aviation, current with all vendors. In fact, we have a $60,000 Business Licence fee to pay now. Noting that his companys Business Licence fee would increase, given that there were now no deductions from turnover (top line revenues Captain Butler said the Governments plans to expand tourism beyond the per cent of Nassau/Paradise Island to the rest of the Bahamas was a good plan. This strategy, though, would rely on the domestic, Bahamian-owned aviation s ector to distribute tourists throughout the Family Islands, and the Sky Bahamas chief said: The only problem is theres no support from government in a real and tan g ible way for domestic carriers, when you look at the tax es and fees levied against us. SECTIONB email@example.com FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2011 THETRIBUNE $4. 68 $4. 51 $4. 69The information contained is from a third p arty and The Tribune can not be held r esponsible for errors and/or omission from the daily report.$ $5.10 $5.12 $5.11 By NEIL HARTNELL T ribune Business Editor Sky Bahamas is experienc i ng off the chain growth in passenger load factor, which was up 40 per cent over 2010c omparatives during January and February, as the Bahamian-owned carrier looks to add m ore airplanes and routes f rom this nation to the US. Speaking with Tribune Business yesterday, CaptainR andy Butler, Sky Bahamas chief executive, said December 2010s passenger load fac-t or across all routes was up 5 0 per cent-plus, and he added: Most of the domestic r outes are doing exceptional ly. Were definitely in a growth cycle. C aptain Butler added that Sky Bahamas was now seek ing to solidify our market p osition, explaining that the carrier was now seeking to acquire a floating aircraft t hat would give it more planes t han routes serviced. This would allow the extra aircraft to be deployed on route sup-p ort where it was needed. Many other carriers, he Airline sees off the chain 40% growth n Sky Bahamas says December passenger load factor up 50%-plus, as it looks to add more routes and aircraft n Companys fuel costs up 39% in six months n Warns great exposure for Bahamas over no airport certification system n Suggests leasing Exuma airport to Sandals CAPT. RANDY BUTLER SEE page 4B AIRLINES T AX BILL $1 .59 7M Figure equivalent of 66-75% of Sky Bahamas annual wage bills* Says domestic aviation sector receiving no real and tangible help on tax burden from government SEE page 5B By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor Bahamasair should be top of the list for privatisation, a r ival airlines chief executive said yesterday, charging that the game is fixed against the private sector due to the n ational flag carriers ability to offer predatory prices underwritten by multi-milliond ollar taxpayer subsidies. Captain Randy Butler, Sky Bahamas chief executive,s aid Bahamasair which has BAHAMASAIR MUST TOP THE LIST FOR PRIVATISATION Rival airline chief says game is fixed, with flag carrier able to engage in predatory pricing via m ulti-million taxpayer s ubsidy report Problem arises from government being both sector regulator and operator Suggests Bahamasair buyer restructures fleet to serve global market and get tourists here SEE page 5B By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor The Bahamas conciliation s ystem for resolving labour disputes leaves a lot to be desired, the Bahamas Cham ber of Commerces chief exec utive said yesterday, with this weeks tripartite workshop on mediation issues aiming to reduce costs and time lost over such situations. W inston Rolle told Tribune Business that the workshop, which has involved some 30 representatives from the Bahamian private sector, trade unions and the Govern ment gathering at Marios Bowling & Entertainment Centre under the International Labour Organisations (ILO ensure the three parties were on the same page when it came to resolving labour disputes. Acknowledging that the three sides had never really executed the Decent Country Work Programme for the Bahamas, which they had all signed off on in 2008, Mr Rolle said that after consulta tion with the Trinidad-based ILO representative, the decision was taken to make this weeks workshop a three-way one. At this point, were focused specifically on media tion and conciliation, Mr Rolle told Tribune Business, because if you have everyone on the same page, it will prevent a number of labourrelated matters going to the Labour Board, going to the courts, going to the Industrial Tribunal wherever. Its very, very important, because when persons have labour-related matters, if we can stop them at the first stage rather than have lawyers involved and going to court, this will have a significant impact not only resulting in avoiding a battle, but avoiding tying up the courts time and the cost to the business and individual as Labour dispute system: Lot to be desir ed SEE page 7B By ALISON LOWE Business Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org The Bahamas awaits the imminent judgment of 96 countries on the Governments efforts to conform with international tax information exchange and transparency standards, following on from its 2009 grey listing by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD Rowena Bethel, legal adviser to the Ministry of Finance and head negotiator for the Bahamas in tax information cooperationm atters, said the outcome of Phase I of the peer review by the OECDs 30-member Peer Review Group, and the 96-nation G lobal Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Tax Information, could potentially have significant implications for The Bahamas given that it is unclear at this stage whether any punitive sanctions will be imposed by the G-20 against those countries deemed to not be up to scratch. Ms Bethel did not wish to speculate yesterday about the outcome of the review, except to say that she feels The Bahamas has done a lot to bring its legal and regulatory framework on international tax cooperation up to global standards. We have just wrapped up Phase I of our peer review, which was conducted by France and Jersey. The report has now been forwarded to the Global Forum to be disseminated amongst its 96 members, so they will have a change to put forward their views on the assessment of the Bahamas, to say if they agree or disagree, said Ms Bethel, who was addressing the Institute of Internal Auditors on TIEAs at the Breezes Superclub on Cable Bahamas waits on OECDs tax peer review S EE page 5B By ALISON LOWE Business Reporter email@example.com It is extremely important that the Bahamas ensures the global community and potential investors are aware of the advances it has achieved in meeting international tax information exchange standards, with this key to sustaining and growing the financial services sector, the Ministry of Finances top legal advisor said yesterday. Rowena Bethel, also the lead negotiator for the Bahamas in tax information exchange matters, and executive commissioner of the Compliance Commission, said she was absolutely astound ed when attending a conference in Miami this week at the extent to which the perception remains that the Bahamas is a financial ser vices centre shrouded in banking secrecy. I was amazed at just how little was understood about the efforts we have put into improving our transparency in the Bahamas. I was absolutely astounded when people were still talking about banking secrecy offshore, Ms Bethel said. Astounded at negative perceptionsof Bahamas SEE page 6B
B USINESS PAGE 2B, FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2011 THE TRIBUNE BY SIMON COOPER RES SOCIUS I a m a great believer in the power of the Bahamian people to fight their way out of the recession and go forward together strongly. After all, a re we not from immigrant stock, and have we not built a vibrant nation largely on our o wn? The problem is that s ometimes we almost seem to prefer to talk our nation down, and overlook the good news that is happening all around us in the process. T ake the article about Sky B ahamas published in the Trib une on Monday. While some Bahamian businesspeople ares till throwing hands up in the air at the Baha Mar threatt hey see to our local hospitali ty industry, others are finding more creative ways to r espond to foreign challenges. A s Sky Bahamas chief executive Randy Butler said, timeso f depression are the best time to be innovative and cre a tive. The Ministry of Tourisms sports director, Tyrone Sawyer, inspired me, too, withh is words. He believes that every busin ess has a responsibility to help build our country, and h e is absolutely right. T hat really is the nub, the very core of the matter, is it not? We are a series of tiny islands whose main purpose i n the worlds mind is to provide Caribbean holidays. If we drop our guard and get it w rong, our customers will go s omewhere else, and we will be as forgotten as poor Haiti h as become. If we follow the lead of Randy Butler, though, then the opposite will more likely follow. A nother welcome sign of life for the economy this week was the high level of reported i nterest in the Commonwealth Brewery initial public offering (IPOt o see as many young Bahamians in the 20-30 yearold age group take advantage of this opportunity to get into the markets, for this will drivea sense of pride and loyalty in the brand that brewed ourf irst local beer. It could be the yeast of other things. B ut what does this all mean to the rest of us? I can put my finger on three important things. There are rustlings everywhere that suggest our econ-o my is about to turn. Fore igners and locals alike are prepared to invest in it, and confidence begets confidence,t oo. There are clear signs that t he American economy has a lready turned. The Bahamian Central Bank is not alone in predicting the return of tourists in greater numbers this year. Bahamians investing in Commonwealth Brewery are people expressing their beliefi n the underlying strength of our economy. T o me, the signs are clear. T he Bahamas is standing at the doorway leading to prosperity for all. It is no longer l ocked tight. It is our respon sibility as Bahamians to push it open, walk through and lit e rally get down to business. NB: Res Socius was founded by Simon Cooper in 2009,a nd is a business brokerage authorised by the Bahamas Investment Authority. He hase xtensive private and public SME experience, and was formerly chief executive of a publicly traded investment c ompany. He was awarded an MBA with distinction by Liv erpool University in 2005. C ontact him on 636-8831 or write to simon.cooper@resso cius.com. Positive signs indicate we must get down to business S IMON COOPER
BUSINESS T HE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2011, PAGE 3B B y ALISON LOWE B usiness Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org Considering the demands of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA Europe a line in the sand t hat it does not wish to go beyond with Canada, the Bahamas is very, very close to submitting its first goodsa nd services offers as part of negotiations over that trade a greement. As with the EPA signed between CARICOM and the EU, the Caricom-Canada trade agreement will replace ap revious non-reciprocal trade agreement established between that country and theC aribbean region. That 1986 agreement provided for duty-free access for C aribbea goods into the C anadian market, but will be replaced with a reciprocal agreement that will demands imilar duty-free access for Canadian goods coming into the Caribbean. The deal willa lso, for the first time, set out t he terms of the liberalised trade in services between the two partners. D irector of Economic Plan ning in the Ministry of Finance, Simon Wilson, saidt hat whereas the preservation o f access for Bahamian goods, such as crawfish, into Euro p ean markets was the primary driver for Bahamian participation in the EPA process, ensuring this nation maintains i ts competitive advantage in the region for Canadian i nvestment is the key incentive behind the Bahamas pursuit of the Carib-Can trade deal. The Bahamas is the single l argest destination for Canad ian investment in the C aribbean. Royal Bank of Canada, First Caribbean, these are all Canadian banks. So we have to participate or we lose our competitive advantage against our competitors our colleagues in t he Caribbean, said Mr Wils on. Seminar He was addressing auditors at a seminar organised by the Institute of Internal Auditors yesterday. B roadly speaking, Mr Wils on explained that trade deals s uch as the EPA and CaribC an seek to remove barriers to trade between nations, t hrough achieving tariff r eductions, the regulation of a ccess for goods into each o thers markets, and the harmonising of requirements for investment and provision of services between participating nations. H e noted that while such a greements are not described a s tax agreements, they have clear implications for tax revenue, as they demand the reduction and eventual elimination of border tariffs such as Customs duties,from which this nation derives the m ajority of its revenue. W hile no draft text of the agreement is yet available for public consumption, said MrW ilson, assumptions can be made about the form the dealw ill take based on previous t rade agreements thrashed o ut between Canada and other nations. If you look at the text, all t hey have done is scratch out Peru and write Caricom....q uipped Mr Wilson, referring t o the Canada-Peru trade a greement and its similarities to the CaribCan talks. EPA line in the sand over Canadian talks Bahamas very, very close to submitting first goods and services offer in CaribCan talks Share your news The Tribune wants to hear from people who are making news in their neighbourhoods. Perhaps you ar e raising funds for a good cause, campaigning for impr ovements in the area or have won an award. I f so, call us on 322-1986 a nd share your story.
explained, were maxed out in terms of having no surplus aircraft capacity, hence the need for Sky Bahamas to expand its fleet from five to s ix planes. The carrier, which h as expanded rapidly to a staff of 96-97 persons, and a monthly wage bill touching $190,000, is now assessing potential additional routes from Nassau to both Palm B each and Orlando, plus a d irect flight between Fort Lauderdale and Cat Island. Captain Butler said the airlines services between Nassau and Fort Lauderdale were likely to commence on May 1 5 this year, with a domestic r oute to north Eleuthera also being eyed. Apart from the Grand Bahama-Fort Lauderdale link, Sky Bahamas already links Nassau with direct flights to Freeport, M arsh Harbour, Cat Island, G eorgetown (Exuma San Salvador. Captain Butler, though, urged the Government to tackle the wide variations in aviation fuel prices between different Bahamian islands,p ointing out that as global oil prices rose, fuel costs were becoming a huge burden to his business. Aviation fuel costs had increased by 38.5 per cent o ver a six-seven month perio d, growing from an average $2.96 per gallon in September 2010 to $4.10 now, sending Captain Butlers fuel bill soaring from around $164,000 in the former month toa round $250,000. Noting that Nassaus aviation fuel costs, for example, h ad stood at around $3.50 per gallon when compared to the $ 5-$6 price in Freeport, Capt ain Butler urged the Government to deal with the situa tion. Sky Bahamas had just sent a $52,000 cheque to Freeport t o deal with gasoline and othe r aviation costs. H e added that aviation fuel was not price (mark-up t rolled, like domestic gasoline, although the Government obtained taxes on it atb oth the port of entry and a further $0.07 per gallon at Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA T o grow its young Fort L auderdale business, Captain Butler said Sky Bahamas was m oving to partner with travel agencies, place focus on a partnership with the Our Lucaya resort and associated casino in Freeport, and look at Junkanoo charters and the like. The exploitation of festi v als, such as the Long Island Rake and Scrape, and other homecomings was also on the m enu. W hen it came to Family I sland airport development, Captain Butler suggested that if a particular island had multiple airports, just one should be developed as an international port of entry, with the others used as domestic avia-t ion feeders. He added that leasing Exumas airport to Sandals, given the facilitys importance to its Emerald Bay resort, should also be explored since it w ould also reduce the financ ial burden on the Government. However, Captain Butler warned that the Bahamas faced great exposure from the fact that that it had noc ertification system for building an airport in this nation. This, he added, could p otentially jeopardise the $409.5 million LPIA redevelo pment, as the International C ivil Aviation Organisation (ICAO B ahamas Government have laws and regulations in placet o govern the building, mode rnisation and operation of a irports. A nd environmental issues, of which the UKs Air Pass enger Duty (APD one example, are set to impact aviation further, Cap-t ain Butler warned. While technology and more efficient fuel burning might address the problem, Captain B utler said noise pollution f rom aircraft would continue to be an issue, with US cities s uch as Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach preventing takeoffs prior to 7.30am in the morning. Asked whether Sky Bahamas would look at going public, Captain Butler said the airlines shareholders felti t was better to build-up the companys strength first, with this objective set to be a ssessed long-term. B USINESS PAGE 4B, FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2011 THE TRIBUNE Airline sees off the chain 40% growth F ROM page 1B
i ncurred more than $450 mil lion in accumulated losses since inception ticked all the boxes if the Government was looking for another assetto sell to the private sector. In my mind, why not Bahamasair? questioned Captain Butler, addressing the Rotary Club of West Nassau. If you carry out all the tests for privatisation, Bahamasair should be top ofthe list. Bahamasair has been very good to us, but is it still living up to its mandate of bringing tourists to the Bahamas?........ Bahamasair has seven planes, and when you look at their schedules and routes, you know the planes are going to be late, because they cannot keep up. Captain Butler suggested that once Bahamasairs debt and solvency deficiency (liabilities exceeding assets) were addressed, any purchaser or a privatised national flag carrier should focus on convert-ing it into an international long-distance airline, with the primary role of bringing tourists into this nations international airports from all over the world. A major fleet restructuring would also be required, the Sky Bahamas chief executive added, with Bahamasair con verted from a largely turbo prop-based fleet to one featuring jets. It would partner with smaller, privately owned Bahamian airlines who would transport visitors to their chosen Family Island destinations once they arrived in Nassau or Freeport. He explained: If its [Bahamasair] going to con tinue with the tourism prod uct, were going to have to see what happens with the islands and the tourism product, and get the appropriate planes. Its going to have to look at disposable income coming from Europe and North America, and contract with domestic carriers to feed them, once they figure out the debt. However, the Sky Bahamas chief suggested that the business plan for the airline does not match the busi ness plan from the Govern ment. Noting that Bahamasair no l onger served destinations such as Cat Island and Andros, Captain Butler contrasted the $300,000 that SkyB ahamas gave away to the l ikes of scholarships, charities and Family Island events with w hat he claimed was the total l ack of involvement by the national flag carrier in such activities. Emphasising that Sky Bahamas and other Bahamian privately-owned domestic aviation carriers were not seeking hand-outs or subsidies from the Government, Captain Butler said the sector wanted the administration to just facilitate the things we need to do. Because of the lack of a strategic plan going forward, from day to day we do not know what is going on, and because the Government is both operator and regulator, the game is fixed, the Sky Bahamas chief said. While I have to pay my light bill on time or I would be in darkness, while I have to pay my phone bill on time or be quiet, while I pay NIB and my Business Licence on time, Bahamasair gets soft loans. Captain Butler again alleged that promotions such as Bahamasairs March Madness campaign were anticompetitive because they effectively represented preda tory pricing, selling tickets below market value safe in the knowledge that its rivals could not follow suit, and that it would be protected by its taxpayer subsidy. Why are we getting that from a government airline, Captain Butler said, ques tioning the strategy behind such a move. However, Neko Grant, the minister responsible for Bahamasair, and members of the airlines Board and management, have all in the past vigorously denied that these promotions are akin to predatory pricing. Still, the Sky Bahamas chief executive yesterday said Bahamasairs heavy dis counting had impacted the market, with fellow carrier Western Air dropping its tick et prices this month in r esponse. H e, though, had chosen not t o follow suit because Sky B ahamas simply could not a fford to do so, and the airline had responded by concentrating on customer service. People have had to under stand this is what it costs, Captain Butler said. Noting the vital role that Bahamian-owned airlines played in fostering growth and development, particularly in the Family Islands by getting tourists there, Captain Butler said: We need a government with the political will saying were going to look at this aviation industry, and say i ts not a luxury but an essential service. We will pay our w ay, but will not accept dou ble or triple taxation. We are restoring develop ment of the islands, but I cant pass it [taxes] on because I have a competitor that is the national flag carrier. BUSINESS T HE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2011, PAGE 5B Have you heard the good news? You CAN save money!If you need a lower premium,low deductibles,generous benefits and a fast claims service,pick up the phone and ask NIBA for a great insurance deal.Its time to pay less for insuring your car! Tel.677-6422 or visit www.nibaquote.com NASSAU INSURANCE BROKERS AND AGENTS LIMITED Atlantic House,2nd Terrace & Collins Avenue P.O.Box N-7764 Nassau Tel.677-6422 www.nibaquote.com Open Saturdays10.00am2.00pm Peering more deeply into the taxation issues, Captain Butler noted that CARI C OMs secretary-general had described the UKs APD tax a s discriminatory, as it t axed the development of the Bahamas and Caribbean by r aising costs for investors and v isitors alike through applyi ng a higher rate than to US w est coast destinations and Hawaii. These statements, Captain Butler suggested, could also b e applied to the Bahamas in t he context of the tax burden on domestic aviation operat ors. While NAD appeared satisfied this nation would remain competitive despite the $0.13 per seat charge applied to airline passenger t ickets, the Sky Bahamas chief said the Bahamas had a unique product in the senset hat air travel was the only way to reach the Family Islands. Pointing out that there was no way to benchmark on thed omestic side, Captain Butl er said passengers transiting Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA t ively being double taxed through having to pay this fee in their tickets twice. T his, Captain Butler sugg ested, was discriminatory and could help impede Family Island development,a s it countered the goal of providing affordable, high quality air transportation. Most of the islands depend on tourism, and the only wayt o get there is through aviat ion, Captain Butler said, adding that this was also the only way for Family Islanders t o access schools, hospitals and services taken for granted in New Providence. H e also recalled how Gulfs tream Airlines, the foreign carrier that recently went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy,r eceived $500,000 for route development from the Out Island Promotions Board, c ontrasting this with the fact Bahamian-owned carriers had received no such financiala ssistance. Out of the $10 per passen ger facility user fee levied by NAD, some $5 went to LPIAs development, but Captain Butler said domestic B ahamian-owned carriers had y et to receive any benefits from the redevelopment yet as the domestic terminal wast he last phase scheduled to take place. As a result, he likened the passenger user f acility fee to paying for your h ouse before you live in it. A nd Bahamian airlines were also paying fees for a n on-existent service electronic baggage screening for domestic flights. We dontm ind paying for services if w ere going to get it, Captain Butler said, adding that N ADs response when q ueried about the security screening fees was to state they were only collecting itf or the Airport Authority. AIRLINES TAX BILL $1 .597M FROM page 1B Bahamasair must top the list for privatisation FROM page 1B Beach yesterday. If theres no issue raised by any member within the three to four-week period, then shortly thereafter the review will be published. If issues are raised then the matter is sent back, and the assessed jurisdictions get back together to work out whatever issues need to be worked out. Ms Bethel was in Paris earlier this month representing and defending the Bahamas tax information exchange regime at the Peer Review Group (PRG The PRG was set up to conduct indepth monitoring and review of the implementation of the standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes. Each country, including the Bahamas, will ultimately undergo two phases of review. Phase I sees each countrys legal and regulatory framework on tax information cooperationa ssessed, while Phase II looks at the effectiveness of the implementation of these laws and regulations in facilitating tax information transparency. The Bahamas was assessed on e ssential elements relative to international tax cooperation during the Phase I review, said Ms Bethel. These touch upon the availability of tax-related information, the accessibility of such information and the mechanisms for the exchange of that information. The review notes whether each elem ent in question is in place, not in place or is in place but needs improvement. Information that may be requested includes that deemed foreseeably relevant to a tax authority in the requesting country, or those agencies involved in the administration and enforcement of domestic tax laws. A mong the steps which will be taken into account as part of the review process are the signing of some 24 Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs more so far than the initial dozen target that was required by the OECD to b e removed from its 2009 name and shame list of financial centres deemed either non-cooperative or not fully cooperative with international tax transparency standards. The Global Forums views will be significant because the G-20 has an interest, and certainly, if the review is negative, then obviously the methodology requires us to seek to improve whatever deficiencies have been identified within set timeframes. The G20 is the principle driver and you dont know to what extent a deficient system may be regarded as a opportunity for some countries to impose defensive measures, the Ministry of Finance adviser said. Mrs Bethel noted the very negative review received by Barbados last year as an outcome the Bahamas would be hoping to avoid when its Phase I review is published. They got a very negative review, and I think it was of deep concern to t hem because I think they felt it would affect their perception, their ranking, as a financial centre that meets the minimum standards, so that, ultimately, is something any jurisdiction hast o be concerned about, Ms Bethel said. Phase II of the review is set to be conducted in July 2012, and will see members of the Peer Review Group come to the Bahamas to speak with the competent authority in the Bahamas case, the Ministry of Financeabout the implementation of tax information cooperation measures, in addition to meeting with private sector bodies such as the Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA Commentary from other Global Forum members on how responsive they find the Bahamas to be to requests for tax information, and the quality of those responses, will also be assessed. Ms Bethel said it is important that such professional bodies take time to educate their members about the provisions the Bahamas has made to bring itself up to par with international standards in tax information exchange. They will be here interviewing and cross-interviewing all of the relevant entities, and they will go back and write their report. The worst thing is if you get a report where the private sector is saying one thing and the public sector is saying something different. Each of the stakeholders should have an understanding of what the regulatory framework is, she added. Ms Bethel added that such monitoring and peer review in relation to tax information exchange are here to stay. We are seeing increased monitoring by external agencies to ensure that these standards are being implemented, that there is no roll back of standards and that they are operating effectively. We are a part of this global game and we have to conform to these global rules, Ms Bethel said. FROM page 1B Bahamas waits on OECDs tax peer review
B USINESS P AGE 6B, FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2011 THE TRIBUNE 52wk-Hi52wk-LowSecurit y Previous CloseToday's CloseChangeDaily Vol.EPS $Div $P/EYield 1.190.95AML Foods Limited1.191.190.000.1230.0409.73.36% 10.639.05Bahamas Property Fund10.6310.630.000.0130.200817.71.88% 5 .754.40Bank of Bahamas5.205.200.000.1530.10034.01.92% 0.530.17Benchmark0.180.180.00-0.8770.000N/M0.00% 2.842.70Bahamas Waste2.702.700.002500.1680.09016.13.33% 2.201.96Fidelity Bank1.961.960.000.0160.040122.52.04% 12.409.25Cable Bahamas9.259.250.007501.0500.3108.83.35% 2.852.35Colina Holdings2.402.400.001.0310.0402.31.67% 7.005.80Commonwealth Bank (S1)6.826.820.000.4880.26014.03.81% 2.861.90Consolidated Water BDRs2.222.220.000.1110.04520.02.03% 2.541.40Doctor's Hospital1.401.400.000.1070.11013.17.86% 6.305.22Famguard5.225.220.000.3570.24014.64.60% 9.275.65Finco7.507.500.000.6820.00011.00.00% 11.408.77FirstCaribbean Bank9.309.300.000.4940.35018.83.76% 6.004.57Focol (S)5.485.480.000.4520.16012.12.92% 1.001.00Focol Class B Preference1.001.000.000.0000.000N/M0.00% 7.305.50ICD Utilities7.307.300.000.0120.240608.33.29% 10.509.80J. S. Johnson9.829.820.000.8590.64011.46.52% 10.0010.00Premier Real Estate10.0010.000.001.2070.2008.32.00% 52wk-Hi52wk-LowSecuritySymbolLast SaleChangeDaily Vol. 99.4699.46Bahamas Note 6.95 (2029BAH2999.460.00 100.00100.00Fidelity Bank Note 17 (Series A) +FBB17100.000.00 100.00100.00Fidelity Bank Note 22 (Series B) +FBB22100.000.00 100.00100.00Fidelity Bank Note 13 (Series C) +FBB13100.000.002100.00100.00Fidelity Bank Note 15 (Series D) +FBB15100.000.003 52wk-Hi 52wk-Low Symbol Bid$ Ask$ LastPrice DailyVol EPS$ Div$ P/E Yield B ISX LISTED & TRADED SECURITIES AS OF:7% Interest 7%RoyalFidelity Merchant Bank & Trust Ltd. (Over-The-Counter Securities)29 May 2015 W W W.BISXBAHAMAS.COM | TELEPHONE: 242-677-BISX (2479) | FACSIMILE: 242-323-232019 October 2022 Prime + 1.75% Prime + 1.75% 6.95%20 November 2029THURSDAY, 24 MARCH 2011B ISX ALL SHARE INDEX: CLOSE 1,471.33 | CHG 0.00 | %CHG 0.00 | YTD -28.18 | YTD % -1.88BISX LISTED DEBT SECURITIES (Bonds trade on a Percentage Pricing basis)Maturity 19 October 2017FINDEX: YEAR END 2008 -12.31%30 May 2013 52wk Hi 52wk Low Symbol Bid $ Ask $ Last Price Daily Vol EPS $ Div $ P/E Yield 10.065.01Bahamas SupermarketsN/AN/A14.00-2.9450.000N/M0.00% 0.550.40RND Holdings0.350.400.550.0010.000256.60.00% 41.0029.00ABDAB30.1331.5929.004.5400.0009.030.00% 0.550.40RND Holdings0.450.550.550.0020.000261.900.00% 52wk-Hi52wk-LowFund NameNAVYTD%L ast 12 Months %NAV 3MTH 1.51221.4076CFAL Bond Fund1.51795.51%6.90%1.498004 2.95272.8300CFAL MSI Preferred Fund2.94860.04%1.45%2.918256 1.58371.5141CFAL Money Market Fund1.58370.61%4.59%1.564030 3.20252.8522Royal Fidelity Bahamas G & I Fund2.7049-0.56%-15.54% 13.638813.0484Royal Fidelity Prime Income Fund13.43920.61%-0.22% 114.3684101.6693CFAL Global Bond Fund114.36849.98%12.49%109.392860 106.552899.4177CFAL Global Equity Fund106.55284.75%7.18%100.779540 1.14651.0000FG Financial Preferred Income Fund1.14655.20%5.20% 1.11851.0000FG Financial Growth Fund1.11854.73%4.73% 1.14911.0000FG Financial Diversified Fund1.14915.35%5.35% 9.74859.1005Royal Fidelity Bah Int'l Investment Fund Principal Protected TIGRS, Series 19.79504.85%5.45% 11.236110.0000Royal Fidelity Bah Int'l Investment Fund Principal Protected TIGRS, Series 210.6417-1.20%0.50% 10.12669.1708Royal Fidelity Bah Int'l Investment Fund Principal Protected TIGRS, Series 310.12661.27%1.27% 8.45104.8105Royal Fidelity Int'l Fund Equities Sub Fund8.45100.72%9.95% BISX ALL SHARE INDEX 19 Dec 02 = 1,000.00YIELD last 12 month dividends divided by closing price 52wk-Hi Highest closing price in last 52 weeksBid $ Buying price of Colina and Fidelity 52wk-Low Lowest closing price in last 52 weeksAsk $ Selling price of Colina and fidelity Previous Close Previous day's weighted price for daily volumeLast Price Last traded over-the-counter price Today's Close Current day's weighted price for daily volumeWeekly Vol. Trading volume of the prior week Change Change in closing price from day to dayEPS $ A company's reported earnings per share for the last 12 mths Daily Vol. Number of total shares traded todayNAV Net Asset Value DIV $ Dividends per share paid in the last 12 monthsN/MNot Meaningful P/E Closing price divided by the last 12 month earningsFINDEX The Fidelity Bahamas Stock Index. January 1, 1994 = 100 (S) 4-for-1 Stock Split Effective Date 8/8/2007 (S1) 3-for-1 Stock Split Effective Date 7/11/200731-Jan-11BISX Listed Mutual FundsNAV Date 30-Nov-10 31-Dec-10 31-Jan-11CFAL Securities Ltd. (Over-The-Counter Securities)TO TRADE CALL: CFAL 242-502-7010 | ROYALFIDELITY 242-356-7764 | FG CAPITAL MARKETS 242-396-4000 | COLONIAL 242-502-752530-Nov-10 30-Sep-10 28-Feb-11 11-Feb-11 31-Jan-11MARKET TERMS31-Dec-10 NAV 6MTH 1.475244 2.910084 1.545071 107.570619 105.776543 30-Jun-10 31-Dec-10 30-Nov-10 31-Jan-11 6+(5$/&,7$RI 0 F.LQQH\'ULYHRII)LUH7UDLO3 1 $66$8%$+$0$6 0$1$*(0(17 23325781,7<& 20)257,7(6$5$',6(,6/$1'LV FRQVLGHULQJKLJKO\TXDOLHGDSSOLFDQWVIRUWKHUROH RI 6DOHVDQDJHU5HVSRQVLELOLWLHVtHTXLUHPHQWV /HDGDQGPRWLYDWHDOHVVWDIIE\H[DPSOH 3RVVHVVWKHDELOLW\WRFRQFHSWXDOL]HGHVLJQ DQGGHYHORSPDUNHWLQJVWUDWHJLHVIRUSULYDWH DQGSXEOLFVHFWRUFRUSRUDWLRQVDQGVRFLDO VHUYLFHRUJDQL]DWLRQV 0XVWEHDEOHWRRULJLQDWHDQGLPSOHPHQW VWUDWHJLHVWHFKQRORJLHVDQGDFWLRQSODQVIRU ORFDOFRUSRUDWHDFFRXQWV 0XVWEHDEOHWRHVWDEOLVKPDLQWDLQDQG FRRUGLQDWHWKHLPSOHPHQWDWLRQRIDOODOHV t 0DUNHWLQJDQGXEOLFHODWLRQVSROLFLHV t SURFHGXUHVIRUWKHKRWHOSURSHUW\WR LQFUHDVHUHYHQXH )DFLOLWDWHWKHGHYHORSPHQWRIDOHVFDWHULQJ WHDPDQGLPSOHPHQWWUDLQLQJSURJUDPV 6HOIPRWLYDWHGZLWKVWURQJDQDO\WLFDODQG SUREOHPVROYLQJVNLOOV 3UHSDUHDQDO\]HDQGUHSRUWDOHVEXGJHWV ([FHOOHQWZULWWHQDQGRUDOFRPPXQLFDWLRQ VNLOOV $EOHWRZRUNH[WHQGHGKRXUVZHHNHQGVDQG KROLGD\V4XDOLFDWLRQV %$LQDOHVtDUNHWLQJ+RVSLWDOLW\ 0DQDJHPHQWRUHTXLYDOHQWIURPDQ DFFUHGLWHGQLYHUVLW\ 0LQLPXPRIYH\HDUVH[SHULHQFHZLWKDW OHDVW\HDUVLQKRWHODOHVtDUNHWLQJ :RUNLQJNQRZOHGJHRI([FHO :RUNLQJ.QRZOHGJHRILFURVRIW:RUGDQG KRWHOSURSHUW\PDQDJHPHQWV\VWHPV ,QWHUHVWHGSHUVRQVVKRXOGDSSO\LQ ZULWLQJRQO\ WRWKH*HQHUDODQDJHURQRU EHIRUH)ULGD\&RPIRUWXLWHVDUDGLVH,VODQG 3 1DVVDX%DKDPDV6XLWDEO\TXDOLHGFDQGLGDWHVQHHGRQO\DSSO\ 6DODU\LVFRPPHQVXUDWHZLWKH[SHULHQFHDQG TXDOLFDWLRQV N OTICETAVOY CORPORATIONIn Voluntary Liquidation Notice is hereby given that in accordance with Section 138(4International Business Companies Act. 2000, TAVOYCORPORATION is in dissolution as of March 23, 2011. International Liquidator Services Inc. situated at 3rd L IQUIDATOR _____________________ N OTICEAESTAS ESTAS LTD.In Voluntary Liquidation Notice is hereby given that in accordance with Section 138(4International Business Companies Act. 2000, AESTAS ESTAS LTD. is in dissolution as of March 23, 2011 International Liquidator Services Inc. situated at 3rd LIQUIDATOR _____________________ NOTICEDUNMORE INDUSTRIES LTD.In Voluntary Liquidation Notice is hereby given that in accordance with Section 138(4Business Companies Act. 2000, DUNMORE INDUSTRIESLTD. is in dissolution as of March 23, 2011. International Liquidator Services Inc. situated at 3rd LIQUIDATOR _____________________ NOTICESHUTTERBUG HOLDINGS INC.In Voluntary Liquidation Notice is hereby given that in accordance with Section 138(4International Business Companies Act. 2000, SHUTTERBUG HOLDINGS INC. is in dissolution as of March 21, 2011. International Liquidator Services Inc. situated at 3rd LIQUIDATOR _____________________ N OTICEXXMOBINE INC.In Voluntary Liquidation Notice is hereby given that in accordance with Section 138(4International Business Companies Act. 2000, XXMOBINE INC. is in dissolution as of March 16, 2011. International Liquidator Services Inc. situated at 3rd LIQUIDATOR _____________________ NOTICEENGEL EAST INVESTMENTS LTD.In Voluntary Liquidation Notice is hereby given that in accordance with Section 138(4International Business Companies Act. 2 000, ENGELEASTINVESTMENTS LTD. is in dissolution as of March 10, 2011. I nternational Liquidator Services Inc. situated at 3rd LIQUIDATOR _____________________ I took that opportunity, nonetheless, to walk them through a set of comprehensive slides on what our regulatory framework looks like, what it requires, how it meets the international standards, and I think they were astounded. The event Ms Bethel spoke at was the 16th Annual International Money-Laundering conference, hosted by Moneylaundering.com in Hollywood, Florida, which brought together compliance officers, auditors, law enforcement officials, regulators and others. At a seminar organised by the Institute of Internal Auditors at Breezes Superclub yesterday, Ms Bethel said that raising international awareness of the steps taken by this nation to bring its legislative and regulatory framework into line with international standards and go beyond, in some instances should now be a major focus for both public and private sector stakeholders if the Bahamas is to grow its financial services sector in a competitive global environment. I think its extremely important that the robustness, and the fact that we meet these standards, is a message that we are continually getting out there from credible sources that aren ot necessarily ones that are perceived as promoters of business activities in the Bahamas, but from persons like myself, Ms Bethel said. who work in the policy and regulation area, who can explain clearly what the regulation framework is, what the rules are to tax information exchange, transparency issues or supervision and how these compare to global standards. I think theres a greater reinforcement if it is coming from those developing the rules than those who are subject to the rules. Weve had 10 years trying to settle the dust. We now need to focus on this in order to sustain ourselves and to grow the business in the Bahamas, because that creates the certainty that encourages persons to look at the Bahamas as a viable place to do business said Ms Bethel, in an interview with Tribune Business. TIEAs create avenues for strengthening and growing trade relations with other economies, said Ms Bethel,a dding that some countries have in the past penalised citizens who may have had income accruing in place like the Bahamas in the form of higher tax rates, as they were unable to ascertain what additional taxable income the individual may have. With the introduction of TIEAs, that lack of transparency is removed, so there is the opportunity to discuss much broader and deeper trade relations, as it relates to foreign direct investment and joint ventures, suggested Ms Bethel. The attorney yesterday updated the Institute of Internal Auditors on the steps the Bahamas has taken to meet international standards, including having signed 24 Tax Information Exchange agreements (TIEAs the dozen that were required in 2009 to be removed from the OECD grey list of not fully compliant financial services jurisdictions. Some 14 of these agreements are currently in force with the US, UK, China, Australia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, the Faroe Islands, India and Monaco. In the case of the remainder, The Bahamas has done all we need to do to bring the TIEAs into law and now awaits its partner countries to do the same in order that they, too, can be fully implemented. The TIEAs have been enabled in law by the passing of the International Tax Cooperation Act 2010 and the Bahamas US TIEA Act, 2003. Meanwhile, five more TIEAs are pending, and given the direction the OECD/G-20 have moved in suggesting that countries should in fact sign TIEAs with any relevant partner more are on the way. Astounded at negative perceptions of Bahamas F ROM page 1B
BUSINESS T HE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2011, PAGE 7B 127,&( 6,5/<1'(1,1'/,1*(67$7(6 )250(5/<,1(:22'*$5'(16 ,,%',9,6,21 7KLV1RWLFHVHUYHVWRDGYLVHWKHJHQHUDOSXEOLFWKDWORWV ZLWKLQWKHIROORZLQJEORFNVSXUSRUWHGO\VROGDVORWVZLWKLQ DVVDX9LOODJH IRUPSDUWRIWKH6LU/\QGHQ3LQGOLQJ (VWDWHV6XEGLYLVLRQIRUPHUO\&HGDU*URYHVLQHZRRG *DUGHQV,,fDQGDUHWKHSURSHUW\RI$UDZDN+RPHV /LPLWHG 7KHVH%ORFNVDUH 7KHJHQHUDOSXEOLFLVIXUWKHUDGYLVHGWREHZDUHRISXUFKDVLQJ DQ\ORWVLQWKHDERYH%ORFNVXQOHVVWKHODQGLVGHVFULEHGDV EHLQJLQWKH6LU/\QGHQ3LQGOLQJ(VWDWHV6XEGLYLVLRQDQG LVEHLQJSXUFKDVHGIURP$UDZDN+RPHVOLPLWHGRUIURP D SHUVRQRUHQWLW\ZKLFKSXUFKDVHGIURP$UDZDN+RPHV /LPLWHG2WKHUZLVHWKHVHOOHUVfDUHQRWWKHRZQHUVRIWKH ODQG ,I\RXKDYHSXUSRUWHGO\SXUFKDVHGDQ\ORWVfZLWKLQWKH DERYHPHQWLRQHGEORFNV\RXDUDGYLVHGWRLPPHGLDWHO\ VHHNSURSHUDQGLQGHSHQGHQWOHJDODGYLFHIURP UHSXWDEOHODZUPRUDWWRUQH\ 6KRXOG\RXKDYHDQ\TXHVWLRQVSOHDVHFRQWDFW \ \ T S *(1(5$//(*$/&2816(/ $5$:$.+20(6/,0,7(' 3 1$66$8%$+$0$6 well. Mr Rolle added: I think our system leaves a lot to be desired, and why we find it necessary to bring a number of people together. Its important we have all the parties on the same page, and playing from the same playing field. Its a tremendous cost, not only from a finan cial perspective but a loss of time, a loss of pro ductivity, but what happens strains relations between the employer and employee and rumbles on for years, as opposed to being sorted out rel atively timely so costs are not significant. FROM page 1B Labour dispute system: Lot to be desir ed The Securities Commiss ion is targeting six priorit ies for 2011, including enhancing the capital markets regulators internal syst ems, governance and effic iency. The other goals are a revis ion of regulatory operations at the Securities Commiss ion, improving the regulators legislative framework, and ensuring high standards. These goals were outlined when the Securities Commission of the Bahamas h osted its fifth annual Industry Briefing at the British Colonial Hilton. The Brief-i ng was designed to bring together capital market s takeholders with the Commissions management to exchange ideas on developm ents and challenges within the market. The welcome address, w hich included a high level overview of the Commissions strategic direction,w as rendered by the Commissions chairman and acting executive director, PhilipS tubbs. Additional presentations were made by d epartment heads on the developments within their portfolios. Heads of depart m ents making presentations w ere: Laverne Thompson, a uthorizations manager; S andra Duncombe, acting market surveillance manag e r; Denise OBrien, inspec t ions manager; and Gawaine Ward, deputy legal counsel. Mr Stubbs said Standing Committee four of the Intern ational Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO)) no longer needed to monitor the Securities Commissions international assistance and exchangea ctivities. L egislative improvements a t the Commission will be f urther developed in 2011. T hese developments will include programs designed t o implement the new Securities Industry Act and a ccompanying regulations, continuation and completion of the review of the Investment Funds Act (IFAa review of the Financial and Corporate Service ProvidersA ct. Additionally, the Comm ission will continue its e fforts to ensure consistent, high standards of ongoing operations in 2011. Updates Ms Duncombe said updates under her departm ent included amendments m ade to the Investment Funds Act 2003, which camei nto effect on May 1, 2010; a review to enhance the Commissions surveillance pro g ram; and incorporating Financial and CorporateS ervice Providers into the same. Areas of focus for 2011 include enhanced oversight of the secondary market, finalisation of takeoverc odes and implementing a c omplaints process for licensees, registrants and the general public. Ms OBrien advised that o nsite evaluations during the past year revealed several c ommon inspection findings. S he listed several remedies, i ncluding orders for contract notes, identifying the Brok er-Dealer, to be submitted w ithin 24 hours. Licensed F unds, unless exempted, w ere to submit their audited f inancial statements within six months, and all stockbrokers, dealers, traders and associated p[ersons are to be registered by the Comm ission. Ms OBrien noted the 21-day limit for investm ent funds to advise the C ommission of any material c hanges taking place within t he fund. I n regards to the intended review of the Investment Funds Act, Mr Ward noted that the Commission has sought the support of the Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB the basis for requireda mendments. Work will begin on that project shortly. M r Ward said an initial review of the Financial and C orporate Service Providers Act 2000 has started, and work on developing prop osed amendments will con tinue through the year. He added that the devel opment of various rules necessary for the initial imple m entation of the draft secu r ities legislation were under way, and it was anticipated t hese would be released for i ndustry consultation with in the 2011 first quarter. Commission eyes six 2011 targets