N ASSA U AND BAHAMA ISLANDS LEADING NEWSPAPER V olume: 107 No.108FRIDAY, APRIL 1, 2011 PRICE 75 (Abaco and Grand Bahama $1.25 W EATHER MORNING T-STORM, MOSTLYSUNNY HIGH 86F LOW 71F TRY OUR D OUBLE M cFISH The Tribune THEPEOPLESPAPER BIGGESTANDBEST L ATESTNEWSONWWW.TRIBUNE242.COM A KILLERS QUESTION: DO YOU WANNA RIDE? By AVA TURNQUEST T ribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org T HE women victims o f Wednesdays drive by shooting were asked one question before gunmen opened fire: Do you need a ride? Now in stable condit ion at hospital, the sur viving woman told close friends yesterday that she and 31-year-oldm other, Carol JeanJacques, were not robbed. T he close friend said: She told me they ask them do they need ar ide, they dont know t hem so they turned to run and then they start shooting. L ast night, police, close friends and loved ones were still strugg ling to understand why the two women were shot. Rev. Darlier Dorval, of Chief Cornerstone Ministry, said: These were nice Christian w omen. Who would do something like this? Why? What kind of man would shoot a lady, one that was carrying a child? Her daughter was pulling her (after Carol Jean-Jacques was shot), trying to pull her up saying mommy lets go, lets go, said RevD orval. Three men in a green Honda Civic approached Carol Jean-Jacques, her two-year-o ld daughter and another woman as they were returning home from a prayer meeting Wednesday afternoon. The men opened fire on the two women, according to police, hitting Carol fatally in her chest and critically injuring the other woman. Carols daughter, Andjena Nelson, was unharmed. Due to the continuing investigation, The Tribune has opted to withhold the name of the surviving woman, whom residents say has no close family in the country. Although still in critical condition after being shot in her shoulBy AVA TURNQUEST Tribune Staff Reporter email@example.com HAITIANS living in squalour were last night urged by a community leader to return to their homeland rather than suffer victimisation. In the meantime, Rev. Darlier Dor val of Chief Cornerstone Ministry is appealing to the government for increased patrol of isolated shanty towns in the area of Wednesdays dri ve by shooting. Rev Dorval said: I try to tell them to upgrade themselves, dont settle for living in bushes. Some of them dont have a choice, but some of them live for too long in the way they are living. Rev Dorval added: This is not the first time this has happened, and they [police] know this. Sometime, even if it is just once, have the police patrol the block. When they (residents that, if something happens, its gonna take long time for the police to come. According to area residents, the fatal shooting at Florville Road, off Bacar di Road, marked the first time a woman was killed by armed men (see story on page 1). However, residents claim they are frequent victims of gun crime. One resident said: They speak Eng EXCLUSIVE:THE WORDS THAT LED TO MURDER SEE page nine SEE page nine Community leader speaks out, appeals for increased patrols after shooting AREAOFCONCERN: A man walks along the road where Wednesdays shooting took place. The sparsely populated area off Bacardi Road has numerous track roads and no street lamps.Photo/ Felip Major /Tribune staff Return home rather than face victimisation 31-YEAR-OLD mother, Carol Jean-Jacques was shot dead. By PAUL G TURNQUEST Tribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org STUDENTS at the College of the Bahamas were treated to a lively debate yesterday by State Minister for the Envi ronment Phenton Neymour, the Minister of Youth, Sports, and Culture Charles Maynard, Independent MP for Bamboo Town Branville McCartney, and the PLPs candidate for Fort Charlotte Dr Andre Rollins. Organised by the colleges CHMI Toastmasters Club, the four politicians By NOELLE NICOLLS Tribune Staff Reporter email@example.com SIX long-standing employees at the Business License Office are set to be redeployed to improve efficiency and the collection of government revenue, The Tribune has learned. They are relocating some people from business license, moving them By AVA TURNQUEST Tribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org PER CAPITA incidents of child abuse are believed to be higher on the Family Islands as advocates work to change the culture of Bahamian discipline and social interaction. Child abuse advocates say the slight increase in reported cases on the Family Islands last year is a positive indicator of POLITICIANS DEBATE BEFORE COB STUDENTS SEE page nine SEE page nine SEE page nine SIX BUSINESS LICENSE OFFICE STAFF SET TO BE REDEPLOYED CHILD ABUSE IN CIDENT S PER CAPITA HIGHER ON FAMILY ISLANDS
L OCAL NEWS PAGE 2, FRIDAY, APRIL 1, 2011 THE TRIBUNE BAHAMIAN tennis leg end Mark Knowles and his wife Dawn have welcomed their third child. Baby girl Presley Dawn Knowles was born last week Friday in Texas. She weighed 9lbs, 12oz and was 21 inches long. According to the ATP Tour website, Mark will spend a few weeks with his family before returning to the Barcelona Open with part ner Michal Mertinak. By NOELLE NICOLLS Tribune Staff Reporter email@example.com THE gender inequalities that women face are still a major challenge to eradicating HIV/AIDS related deaths, said gender experts at a symposium yesterday. Audrey Ingram Roberts, a consultant at the Joint United Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS have power to have safe sex. She said they often have to resort to seduction as a means of negotiating condom use an arrangement that does not create the necessary shift in values in male partners for them to support safe sexual activity. She said women more often compromise their values, and become comfortable with the notion that I am his main girl or I know him now. Ms Roberts said womens rights are often reduced to a matter of equality by numbers, or having equal representation of women and men from a numerical point of view. S he said that was the lowest concept of equality and virtually meaningless. The irony of the world today, she said, is the fact that men and women in relationships display 19th century behaviour while communicating with 21st century technology. She said the cell phone has become the quintessential symbol of that condition: a man buys a woman a cell phone so he can trackh er whereabouts at all times and monitor who she is in communication with. L ynette Deveaux of the Womens Bureau said the dynamics surrounding cell phone use say a lot about the ideological shifts that are needed. While some women are offended by the thought of a partner interrogating them over the use of their cell phone, she said many female adolescents are flattered by the thought, because they see jealousy as a symbol of love. M s Roberts said material relations that centre on the question of What do you have? or What can you give me? have replaced an ideological focus on the core beliefs of men and women about who they are and what roles they play. She said the transformation that needs to take place to empow er women and have them exercise their sexual and reproductive rights must be on an ideological level. In the Caribbean, 48 per cent of persons living with HIV are women, according to UNAIDS. Women are 2.5 times more likely to be infected with HIV than young men. Challenges that prevent women and girls from accessing care, treatment and support include: gender violence and domestic violence; threats of abandonment; low levels of literacy; laws that pro hibit sexually active adolescents and teenage girls from accessing care; lack of adolescent friendly health care services; stigma and discrimination; lack of support from other women; and ignoring the basic human rights of women and girls, said Sandra Smith, nation al programme officer at the UNAIDS Bahamas office. The mandate of UNAIDS is to assist governments in the development and implementation of detailed action plans to fight AIDS. UNAIDS has developed its 2011-2015 strategy with the theme of Getting to Zero. By 2015 the vision is to: Get to zero new infections; get to zero AIDS related deaths; get to zero discrimination. One of the challenges to prevent this from happening is the gen der inequalities that women face on a daily basis. Gender inequalities greatly impact the rate that women and girls contract HIV. Addressing these inequalities, the needs and rights of women and girls, is critical to achieving universal access and the Millennium D evelopment Goals (MDG Gender inequalities greatly impact rate women contract HIV By CELESTE NIXON T ribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org GIVING an update on the ongoing renovations and improvements at SuperClubs Breezes, company chairman J ohn Issa announced that the Cable Beach resort is in the process of going green. The two towers have be renovated over the course oftwo years, closing a block at a time to install energy efficient chillers for the air-condition-i ng units, energy efficient fan coils and broilers. Low flush toilets and flow r estricting faucets have also been installed to cut down on w ater consumption. S o far, around $20 million is e stimated to have been spent on the renovations, which were contemplated with the goal of cutting energy cons umption by 20 per cent. A ccording to Mr Issa, this has already been achieved. Improvements Other improvements include: energy efficient ductwork, new energy efficient and sound proof sliding glass d oors, flat screen televisions, refurbished rooms along with new bathrooms and new furn iture manufactured in the Caribbean. We do as much as we can to buy and manufacture in the region," said Mr Issa, who added that Breezes is now also serving Sands and Kalik beers. Mr Issa also proudly noted that Breezes is the only hotel o f its size in the Bahamas that i s completely staffed by Bahamians. According to Mr Issa, more t han half the resorts 350 B ahamian employees have been with SuperClubs for more than 10 years and halfhave been with the hotel since its opening 16 years ago. "It is a unique, historic event in Bahamian tourism history, he said. Bahamians should be proud of that." While occupancy at the hotel is currently at 92 per cent, Mr Issa said, because of the economy and competi t iveness in the region, downw ard pressure has been placed on rates. "One has to work extreme ly hard to keep efficient andi mprove productivity of your team members," he said. SUPERCLUBS BREEZES BAHAMAS GOING GREEN Symposium hears of challenge t o fighting AIDS-related deaths SuperClubs chairman J ohn Issa said the compan ys Breezes Bahamas resort is set to expand once r oad works have been comp leted for the Baha Mar Cable Beach project. He said that in 2006, prio r to the final approvals for Baha Mar, expansion plans worth more than $25 mill ion had been approved by t he Department of Physical Planning, but later had t o be postponed until the r oad works were complet ed. "We have suffered for f ive years and we will not b e able to start the expan sion until road works ont he Cable Beach Project is complete costing us in excess of $500,000 a year, said Mr Issa. Speaking about Baha Mar, the chairman said: "It is vital that Bahamas does m ore business. If the B ahamas did not expand, it would be a problem." H e explained that more c ompetition will bring rates down. Mr Issa added that he h as his fingers crossed, hoping that the ongoing construction work on Cable B each does not disrupt b usiness. $ $ 2 2 5 5 m m i i l l l l i i o o n n e e x x p p a a n n s s i i o o n n f f o o r r B B r r e e e e z z e e s s PHOTOS: Felip Major /T ribune staff GREENFORGO: SuperClubs Breezes company chairman John Issa shows off the features of the Cable Beach resort. ITS A BABY GIRL FOR MARK KNOWLES MARK KNOWLES
FOR A second consecutive day, members of theB ahamas Electrical Utility Managerial Union could be seen demonstrating on Bail l ou Hill Road yesterday after noon. The BEUMU, which represents around 100 BEC m anagers, has been at odds with the electrical corporation over the terms of a new industrial agreement which expired four years ago. While the union and BEC e xecutives have been in nego t iations regarding the estab lishment of a new industrial agreement, the union is alleg ing that they are due back payment for 320 hours as well as compensation for salary deductions due to protest involvement. An estimated 20 managers holding posters were reported to be marching up and down the street during their lunch break to publicly voice their discontent with BECs leadership and the current state of negotiations. One poster said BEC is not above the law. Ervin Dean, BEUMU president, said told The Tribune yesterday that the union plans to continue and elevate demonstrations until further progress is made. B y NOELLE NICOLLS Tribune Staff Reporter email@example.com THEBusiness License office was overflowing with business owners yesterday, w ho were scrambling to take advantage of a last minute o pportunity to avoid stiff late penalties. The deadline for registration for all businesses under the new Business Licence Act was March 31. That is also the deadline f or filing annual returns, a lthough businesses who e arn less than $250,000 are e xempt from payment. U nder the old legislation, b usinesses had until April to file their returns. A hefty $5000 fine, plus $100 for each additional day of delinquency, is the penalty for late applicants, accordi ng to the new Act, passed l ast summer, which came in effect on January 1. S ome business owners w ere up in arms over the long lines that sometimes stretched out the door and onto Frederick Street. I have been in line for 30-minutes and I am not inside yet. There was no form al announcement that I know of in the paper about the $5,000 penalty, but peo p le are all speculating. They are completely unprepared for the volume of people waiting. This business l icence is a complete fiasco. It is crazy and everyone down here is becoming very a ngry, said a Bay Street s tore owner. E mployees at the Business Licence Office haveb een working overtime try i ng to accommodate the late comers, according to Athena Marche, deputy controller at Inland Revenue. She said the large crowds were expected, because every year the d epartment experiences a l arge influx at the last minute. With the recent changes i n law, she said there seems to be a greater sense of urgency and business owners have been coming in w ith more questions than usual. This week, the office has b een seeing applicants from 7 .30am until well past 5pm, s aid Ms Marche. She said she is familiar w ith the popular impres s ion of government workers, but insisted her staff had been working very hard and doing very well. She said the department has been trying to accom modate everyone whoc omes in. Z hivargo Laing, Minister of State for Finance, said: I only note that this is the rea s on we tried to give months of notice to people so they could try to avoid this kind of rush. Typically what happens is people wait until the last minute to do this. We passed the law the middle of last year. We said you have until the end of March to do your registration. Lots of people t ook advantage of that to avoid what is happening now. What you now see are t he last minute persons, he s aid. LOCAL NEWS T HE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, APRIL 1, 2011, PAGE 3 By TANEKA THOMPSON Tribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org VOLUNTEER firefighters on Abaco were tackling a massive brush fire in Marsh Harbour yesterday which threatened the near ly 70 homes nearby. Firemen were working against dry, windy conditions as they tried to contain the blaze and to prevent burning ash from setting fire to buildings. Yesterday afternoon the men were working in an area where a new subdivision, bordered by a pine forest, was under "minimal" threat from the advancing flames. "The threat is minimal now," said volunteer fireman and jour nalist Tim Roberts. "People in Sweeting Tract will have to deal with a certain amount of smoke and hopefully the wind will die down. "We're doing our best but the windy conditions are just wreaking havoc, right now the wind is blowing away from the village but there is still some concern because the ash is jumping". The men were yesterday fighting to extinguish a burning car and had saved an unoccupied home from destruction. Mr Roberts said the group, who have been fighting the flames since Saturday, are understandably exhausted. "We've been doing it for several nights already and all our firefighters are worn out. They are all volunteers, today we've got 2030 engaged. "For well over a month, or about a month at least, we've had a lot of brush fires across different parts of Abaco. We've had an extremely dry year so far and hardly any rain. We've had a lot of heavy wind and people are starting to burn debris here so that's contributing to the fire," he added. Up to press time there were no reports of injuries from the blaze. V olunteer f irefighters tackle huge brush fire By NATARIO McKENZIE Tribune Staff Reporter email@example.com FIFTEEN years in prison for a man convicted of manslaughter in the fire death of his wife was an excessive sentence, attorney Murrio Ducille argued yesterday. Donnell Rolle, 36, was convicted last year of setting a bed on fire while his wife, their 18-month-old daughter and 10-year-old stepdaughter slept at their Gladstone Terrace, Freeport home during the early morning hoursof July 8, 2006. Rolle was also convicted of arson and sentenced to three years imprisonment on the charge. His wife Gayle Rolle, 28, suffered severe burns over 60 per cent of her body and died in the Intensive Care Unit of the Rand Memorial Hospital 10 days later. Her 10-year-old daughter sustained second degree burns over five per cent of her body. The 18-month-old baby was also injured. Mr Ducille told the appellate court yesterday that Rolles sentence was excessive and that the case, based on the facts, amounted to manslaughter by negligence. He told the court that it was a prank and noted that Rolle had wanted to talk to his wife. He said that Rolle had attempted to help her when he realised what was hap pening. Mr Ducille suggested that the court impose a five year sentence. Prosecutor Franklyn Williams however did not agree that the sentence was excessive. Mr Williams argued that there must be a sentence consistent with the taking ofa life in the peculiar circumstances of the case. According to prosecution witnesses at the trial, the couple's marriage had beena rocky one. Rolles 10-year-old stepdaughter, who was a key witness at the trial, testified that Rolle had returned home that morning and attempted to rouse her mother, who told him to wait because she had to get up for work at 7am that morning. The girl claimed that Rolle then went into the kitchen, got a paper towel, lit it and threw it onto the mattress. Then, the witness said, the bed exploded in flames and her mother told her to take her baby sister out of the room. She recalled her mother telling Rolle to take the mattress out of the room and said that while she and her baby sister were in the bath room, she saw Rolle push her mother into the burning mattress. Rolle claimed that he loved his wife and insisted that it was a prank and he never meant to hurt his wife or the children. The appellate court has reserved its decision on the appeal, which will be deliv ered at a later date. A TTORNEY: SENTENCE E XCESSIVE FOR MAN C ONVICTED OF WIFES M ANSLAUGHTER UNION HOLDS SECOND DAY OF BEC PR O TESTS Business owners in bid to beat registration deadline THE BUSINESS LICENSE office is packed with business owners yesterday. Tim Clarke /Tribune staff
E DITOR, The Tribune. Is the Bahamas unknowingly a victim of the above nefarious condition, having b ecome familiar to the comf ort associated with putting faith in promise after broken promise and dwelling in aL OP-sided house of cards. If we were to draw from a wellspring of knowledge recog-n ising the lessons of history t he leaders in this country w ould concede that their course swerves from reality a s they repeatedly employ the same experiments while expecting different results, t hus surmounting the pinnacle o f insanity. Failure is an ingrained condition that stems from a weak p erception of self; it feeds on a mentality of servitude to political and religious mastersw ho thrive on the power u surped from a sequacious people. In the theory of reversism the science of change is constant in systemic cycles of espoused indoctrination to racism, ethnic divi s ions and class exclusions, thus a society finds itself caught in the pervasively sti fling loop of time. Our col l ective failures and encyclo pedia of mistakes speak volumes to the incoherent lang uage of progress we have learned, suffice to say, if this nation had steered itself alongt he trailblazing path Sir S tafford Sands pioneered, we would be magnificently stand ing head and shoulders high b eyond most developed countries. Instead, group after hodgepodge group aspiring to g overn has planted seeds of patronage that has sprouted and matured to a sprawling tree of imperfection and g reed. We as a nation have been successful in failing every gene ration since 1968 with administrations of the day serving with blinding in dis t inction and compiling record after dismal record on the reg ister of time. Despite the hist orical evidence against these incompetencies highlighting a shortsighted education system, a self-indulgent civil and public service, a negligent healthcare authority and a c uriously secretive judiciary we still flow in the mainstream of defeatism. A people who remain unchallenged to i nspire himself or herself t hrough culture proves the fruitlessness of this society is d rawn from roots entangled in foreign soil. The genesis of failure in this Bahamas isi nscribed in the bedrock of independence, when web latantly mishandled the s acred responsibilities and o rdained privileges bestowed upon us with the franchise of freedom. W ith bloated and inefficient government corporations bedeviled by irreconcilabled ifferences and a national m edia that seems to be crossthreaded we are burdened with the law of diminished r eturns whilst excruciatingly gripped in the vice of the Peter Principle. Exhibiting ad efiant attitude of incorrect diplomacy we have seen officials leave programmes lay ing waste to atrophy in dusty f iling cabinets. These failures to implement strategies to motor the e ngines of policies put in place to restructure commu nities because of mental r edundancies engulfing their d rive to mobilise and proceed. Sparing no detail we have assigned many commissionso f inquiries to explore probab le causes and assess appropriations, yet recommendations are never feasibly studied or employed, so we continue to live futile lives in the t hroes of social instability. We h ave failed to recognise the importance of cultivating a durable legacy of Bahami-a n resistant to the improprieties of change. We are guilty of neglecting to build a bridgeo f dialogue to span the spect rum of thought between gene rations. Having been taught the intricacies of failure by an e nvironment of hypocrisy, double standards, elitism, cross talk, political blackouts a nd religious insensitivity w e have learned well. In a word primitive we have regressed, its as if our once p rominent signature of excel lence has denigrated to scrawled graffiti defacing thea rtistic landscape of a peop les state of mind. In sheer juxtaposition to the mid nineteen-sixties, today is a blur to the clarity with which this country conducted expert manifestations of economicg rowth, cultural responses and political maturity. This country is inherently far from blameless for its series ofn ational failures, but if the rapport of church, state and executive legislature can b egin to create and nurture a cohesive master plan then this Bahamas can and mustr evitalise its soul and househ old from the inside out. GREGORY NEELY N assau, March 28, 2011. E DITORIAL/LETTERS TO THE EDITOR P AGE 4, FRIDAY, APRIL 1, 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 T ELEPHONES Switchboard (News, Circulation and Advertising) 322-1986 Advertising Manager (242 Circulation Department (242 N assau Fax: (242 F reeport, Grand Bahama: 1-(242 F reeport fax: (242 WEBSITE www tribune242.com updated daily at 2pm KINGSTON, Jamaica Jamaica's prime minister testified Thursday that heh ad face-to-face contact with a reputed drug kingpin when he was running for p arliament but denied that he needed the slumlord leader's endorsement. Prime Minister Bruce Golding said that he met Christopher "Dudus" Coke in the Tivoli Gardens slum in West Kingstona fter his candidacy was backed by a local executive board headed by Kingston Mayor Desmond McKenzie. "I didn't enter (Tivoli Gardens the constituency executive had voted to support my candidacy," said Golding, who w on a landslide election in April 2005 to represent the district. Golding's testimony came at hearings before a special commission investigatingt he government's handling of a U.S. extra dition request for Coke, an alleged gangster with close ties to the island's ruling J amaica Labour Party. For nine months, Golding denied the request because his justice minister saidt hat U.S. investigators had used wiretaps i n violation of Jamaican law. When his government finally backed down in May, Jamaican police launched ah unt for Coke in Tivoli Gardens, battling people who barricaded the slum's entrances in a confrontation that left atl east 73 civilians and three security officers dead. It was one of the bloodiest episodes in the island's recent history. The standoff highlighted the lingering a ffiliations between gangs and Jamaica's two major political parties, which have long relied on "community dons" in populous slums to help produce votes. Political observers say Golding could not have been elected to his parliament seat without the support of the influentiald on of Tivoli Gardens, which has a longstanding reputation as a vote-rich stronghold for the Jamaica Labour Party. At the close of Thursday's hearing, cross-examiner Patrick Atkinson asked Golding if he needed Coke's endorsement before he could run. Golding emphatically replied no. But he exerted considerable influence in the community?" Atkinson said. I've already said so," Golding replied, pointing out that similar slum leaders were allied to the opposition People's National Party. "Coke may be considered as the most significant of the lot but he's no dif f erent in kind and in quality to several others." Earlier in the afternoon, Golding announced he would refuse to answer more questions from a second cross-examiner, opposition lawyer K.D. Knight. G olding claimed Knight was only inter ested in scoring political points and was turning the hearings into a charade. Knight has at times shouted out accus ations that Golding was "corrupt" and "deceptive." He often rephrased the same questions a nd took shots at the Labour party, expasperating the prime minister and his attorney. L awyers from both sides have repeate dly urged the chairman presiding over the proceedings to control participants' conduct, but he has largely ignored theira ppeals. (This article was written by David McFadden of the Associated Press). Bahamian politicians particularly in view of the recent paid-for demonstra tions on Bay Street should take note of w hat is now happening in Jamaica as a result of too long an association with and reliance on questionable characters by Jamaican politicians to get elected to par liament. Already some of our home grown politicians have been embarrassed bys ome of these questionable types who are claiming that they have not been paid what they were promised to contribute to the confusion on Bay Street during the House debate on the sale of BTC to Cable& Wireless. Failure is a learned behaviour LETTERS l firstname.lastname@example.org Jamaica premier: I met reputed drug kingpin :$17('(;3(5,(1&(%22..((3(585*(17/<(('(' 352),&,(17,1,&.%22.6 $'0,1#+%60$5,1(&20 (;3(5,(1&(:(/'(5 $/80,1,80)$%5,&$7,21 $1',167$//(5(('(' RUHPDLOWR$'0,1#+%60$5,1(&20 EDITOR, The Tribune. The Committee to Save BTC for Bahamians do not recognise the sale of BTC to Cable & Wireless Communications (CWCLIME ernment has no moral standing to dispose of a national state asset like BTC to a foreign entity in a way that divides the people along party lines and in a way where conflicts of interests and the appearance of wrong doing appear on the face of the record. Justice demands that there is sufficient opposition and legitimate questions on the sale of BTC to CWC to call for a referendum on the issue, or an early election and a Specific Commission of Inquiry to answer four questions: Question #1 a,b,c: When did CWC come to the privatisation commit tee/government, who brought them to the table and to what extent was the introducing party compensated? Question #2 a,b,c: How many MOUs did the government sign-off on and how and when were they amended? Question #3 a,b,c,d: To what extent was the behavior of KPMG and Higgs & Johnson considered ethical, in light of the nature of the transaction involved? What were they hired to do? How much were they paid? Did they pay a commission to any individual or entity connected with the privatisation committee or the government to secure their services? Question #4: Considering the apparent conflicts and appearance of wrong doing at URCA, to what extent can Bahamians trust the advice, judgment and regulatory framework organised, designed and drafted by the body? To this end, serious consideration must be given to the disbanding of URCA and then rebuilding the body so that the country can again have confidence in it. The Committee to Save BTC for Bahamians believes in an ownership society, that Bahamians should take a stand on this issue and that we must believe in ourselves. We call on all right-thinking Bahamians to conscientiously stand in objection to the resolution to sell 51 per cent of BTC to CWC by lawfully doing everything in their means to resist the government and CWC until such time as a referendum or a general election can be held on this issue and a specific Commission of Inquiry can be held on the events leading up to the sale of 51 per cent of the shares of BTC to CWC. THE COMMITTEE TO SAVE BTC FOR BAHAMIANS Nassau, March 28, 2011. (Bahamians would like the same answers to be given to the PLPs Bluewater Ventures deal and we mean all the details with names of persons involved. Ed). Govt has no moral standing to dispose of BTC to foreign entity
WRAPPING up the final leg of his trade and investment mission in Toronto, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham hosted 100 Bahamian nationals and students in Canada to a cocktail reception. The prime minister said he espec ially wants to say to the students pursuing a higher education here in Canad a that, when you come home, you are coming to a place where you can fulfil your goals and objectives, and that more and more opportunities are being created in the Bahamas for persons such as yourselves. On Wednesday morning, the B ahamas Financial Services Board hosted a number of seminars that were conducted by managing director of Scotiabank (Bahamas colm; Zhivargo Laing, Minister of State for Finance; Aliya Allen, partner at the law firm of Graham Thompson; Simon Townsend, partner at KPMG (Bahamas n er at Pricewaterhouse Coopers; Edison Sumner, director and COO of IP Solutions International; and Wendy Warren, CEO and managing director of the Bahamas Financial Services Board. The seminar, called Bahamas Land fall: Destination, Canada, took placeat the Toronto Board of Trade, with some 300 members attending. Before their arrival in Toronto this delegation presented a similar semi nar to members of the Petroleum Club in Calgary. While in Calgary, Prime Minister Ingraham and Mr Laing also attendeda number of sessions as part of the Inter-American Development Banks 2011 annual meeting of the Board of Governors. Attorney General John Delaney and Minister of Tourism Vincent Vander pool Wallace were also a part of the delegation. The prime minister concluded his visit to Canada when he addressed air line and tour operator executives, senior meeting planners, travel trade and trade media at a network cocktail reception on Wednesday evening. Michael Smith, Bahamas High Com missioner, delivered the closing remarks. PRIME Minister Hubert Ingraham returned to New Providence yesterday foll owing the five-day visit to C anada, where he led a dele gation on trade and invest-m ent talks. P ictured at the Lynden Pindling International Airport meeting the Prime Minister are, from left: Cabinet Secre-t ary Anita Bernard, Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade and Deputy Prime Minister Brent Symonette. Peter Ramsay /BIS PMHOSTS BAHAMIAN NATIONALS AND STUDENTS TO CANADIAN COCKTAIL RECEPTION THEREhas been no compliance with the cease a nd desist notices issued by the government to businesses with illegal digital signs, Lloyd Turnquest, chairman of the Town Planning Committee said. H e said there is a process u nderway, involving the a ttorney generals office, to take action against individu-als who have ignored requests from government to take down their signs. I am not sure why there h asnt been compliance. The digital signs are illegal. At the moment those are not approved in the Bahamas. It may be that the laws need to change to become more rel-e vant, but until that happens, the law has to be obeyed, said Mr Turnquest. Earlier this year, instructions were given by the Town Planning Committee to thed irector of Physical Planning to work with the Bahamas Electricity Corporation and other agencies to force compliance. T he Robin Hood digital sign, located on the property of Marios Bowling and Entertainment Palace, was named as one of the illegal signs. Owner Sandy Schae-f er suggested the courts would have to decide on whether or not it should be removed. Mr Turnquest confirmed t he digital sign used by Wyndham Crystal Palace Casino is licensed. He said the Wyndham obtained their permit many years ago. He said he did not unders tand the circumstances around that particular application and could not speak t o why the application was granted in that instance. He said it might have something to do with the location in which it is situated and the industry to which the c ompany belongs tourism. M r Turnquest was not the d irector at the time and does not recall who was, he said. According to the Ministry for the Environment, permits for advertisements and business and information signsa re granted on a case-by-case basis. Requests must be submitted in writing to the Direct or of Physical Planning, and must state the dimensions of the proposed sign, its contents and a preferred location. Once reviewed by the d irector, requests are either g ranted or denied, normally w ithin two days of the request being submitted. The government is not obligated to give prior notice to business owners who have signs erected without per-m ission before removing their signs. LOCAL NEWS T HE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, APRIL 1, 2011, PAGE 5 No compliance with cease and desist notices on illegal digital signs L EFT TO RIGHT: J ohn Delaney, Attorney General; Michael Smith, High Commissioner to Canada; Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham; Wendy Warren, managing director, BFSB; Stew art Steeves, CEO and president of NAD; Vernice Walkine, VP communications, NAD; Dr Dexter Johnson, Bahamian residing in Canada; Dr Anita Brown-Johnson; Senator Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, Minister of Tourism and Aviation; and Zhivargo Laing, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance. Process underway to take action against those ignoring govt requests
L OCAL NEWS PAGE 6, FRIDAY, APRIL 1, 2011 THE TRIBUNE STUDENTS of Kingsway Academy investigated potential career paths at a career fair held at the schools Bernard Road cam-p us on Wednesday. The fair offered close to 300 students information about a wide variety of possible career paths, from mor-t uary science to publishing. About 20 businesses participated in the fair. Last October the stud ents attended the career fair put on by the governm ent at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium, but administration decided that wes hould also have something f or our students which would steer away from the traditional professions like m edicine, education, law and banking, said the schools guidance counsel-l or, Rosalee Prophete. We wanted to do a career fair with an entrepreneurial edge. Keynote speakers at yest erdays event included attorney Paul Moss, who s poke about the global outreach of business and its implications for Bahamians. He advised 9th through 12th graders that they are not o nly competing against their c lassmates but also their w orld peers, particularly those in Asia. Entrepreneurs like B erthas Go Go Ribs owner M ervin Sweeting and his son, Christian who makes and sells the Switcha beverage spoke on business sustainability and the impor t ance of a strong work ethic. A human resources expert, BECs Marisa Mason-Smith, s poke about personal grooming and resume writing, while Sky Bahamas chief operating officer Kenneth Romer picked up several candidates interested inh is airlines trainee programme. I think career fairs are g reat. They open up students options and help to prepare them for the future, said Dupuch Publications writer and Kingsway alumnus,T osheena Robinson-Blair. Dupuch Publications is the largest magazine and book p ublishing company in the country. It produces the Bahamas Handbook; the full-colour Welcome hardback books circulated in hotel roomst hroughout Nassau, Paradise Island and Grand Bahama; The Bahamas Investor busi n ess magazine; the enter taining What-to-Do magazines; the Dining and Entertainment Guide and the handy Bahamas Trailblazer Maps. I brought about 10 boxes containing 50 of each of ourp ublications out here today and Im leaving with one thats nearly empty, said Mrs Robinson-Blair. The kids were hungry to l earn about the business, and I think theyre being smart and exploring all theiro ptions before committing t o one career path. Rogan Smith, associate e ditor at JCN TV 14 and Love 97 FM, said she thoroughly enjoyed the oppor-t unity to talk with students a bout the journalism profession. Its such a dynamic and v ersatile field to work in. Many of them thought that they could only be a news-p aper writer or general assignment reporter, and I felt I opened their eyes to the many options out there, she said. M rs Smith allowed the students to conduct mock i nterviews, read news reports and provided them with feedback. At the end of the career fair I had a few students aski ng me about internship o pportunities at Love 97, a nd a young lady who was interested in biology told me that she was strongly con-s idering being a reporter foll owing our talk. So it was great, she said. A BAHAMIANyoungster beat out students from around the region to win a prestigious environmental award. Each year, the FloridaCaribbean Cruise Association (FCCA students from the Caribbean and Latin America to participate in the annual FCCA Foundation Childrens Environmental Poster Competi tion. The purpose is to promote awareness among students about protecting the environment. This year, 13 destinations participated by sub mitting one poster in each age category. The winner of the senior division was 15year-old Keri Bascom of Queens College. Keris poster was titled Pollution, everyones problem and illustrates different ways persons can help preserve the environment. It also depicts ways we can educate our youth about the results of polluting the earth. Miss Bascom was award ed an educational scholar ship worth $3,000 and an equal donation for her school. Atlantis recently became a Platinum member of the FCCA due to the business relationship already estab lished between the resort and most major cruise lines making port calls to Nassau. AtlantisMarine and Water Park Sales and Marketing Director Henry Bain madea presentation to Keri during her school assembly March 28 to congratulate her on her major achievement in front the entire student body. She was presented with both Aquaventure passes and Shallow Water Interac tion passes at Dolphin Cay. Bahamian student wins FCCA poster competition SENIORDIVISIONWINNER: 15-year-old Keri Bascom of Queens College. Career fair helps students prepare for the future D UPUCH PUBLICATIONS w riter Tosheena Robinson-Blair distributed 50 copies of the Bahamas Handbook, in addition to 50 copies of each of their other eight publications, for a total of 540 periodicals. She spoke to the students about journalism and publishing. Photo/ Kingsway Academy B USINESSESPARTICIPATEINEVENTAT K INGSWAY A CADEMY
RARE rocks that produce h igh amounts of oxygen regu larly form along the beach a reas of Lee Stocking Island off Great Exuma. Stromatolites played a valuable role in the development of the planets atmosphered uring prehistoric times and are still alive and visible along the Exuma Sound and thef ive-mile barrier island that forms Elizabeth Harbour. Right along the beach on t he north side of the island w hich is Exuma Sound are visible stromatolites and they are a very ancient form of life.T hey are single celled organisms called prokaryote cells, explained Robert Cronin, o wner of Kevalli House on Lee Stocking Island. These cells are responsib le for having to put the oxyg en in the atmosphere about three and a half billion years ago, as the planet was beingf ormed. Now, they are very rare and are only seen here behind this property, a littlef urther up throughout the Exumas, particularly behind Lee Stocking Island and I think there might be some on t he outside of Highbourne Cay and also Western Aus tralia. They are still alive and a re being measured for their growth by some people at the University of Miami. R esearchers like Pam Reed f rom the University of Mia mi have been studying the growth patterns of prokary o te cells, which are microscopic prehistoric life forms. T hey are known as organic z ygotes, having no memb rane-encased nucleus or organs. They form bacterium colonies known as Stromatolites. These colonies are stillr eleasing large amounts of oxygen into the atmosphere. Stromatolites form layers o f lime-secreting bacteria, which become trapped together with sand and sedim ent. T hey are alive and growing like coral reefs, which are another more complexm arine animal formation. The Exumian Stromatolites are Precambrian rocks with a t least 4,600 million years of history. They are the earliest known fossils still beingf ormed today. They are rare, still alive and visible on the beach. I think its a great opportunityt o showcase a natural resource that exists here in the Bahamas. Maybe we wouldnt be here today if they hadnt done the job they did and that they are apparently still doing b ecause they are alive and they continue to grow, said Mr Cronin. E lizabeth Harbour is also an attraction for adventurous divers who want to explorei ts blue-hole known as A ngelfish. It is on the bottom of a lagoon and connects via subterranean tunnels to otherb lue-holes in the Bahamas. Its about 30 feet from the surface of the water to the rim of this opening and you can descend through the opening to a further depth of about 60 feet below the bottom or 100f eet below the surface where theres a large chamber, said Mr Cronin. Some of the dive excur s ions in this area, particularly Dive Exuma, take divers in t here for recreational dives, w hich I guess is a really fasci nating thing to do. That bluehole is connected through at unnel system that runs u nderneath Stocking Island and appears or discharges or collects water off shore a couple of miles. The Cousteau Society inserted some dye into the A ngelfish blue hole and that dye appeared a couple of miles offshore. Robert Cronin has lived in E xuma for six years in an off the grid, solar-powered, virt ually zero carbon footprint environment on Lee Stocking Island. He considers himself to be an environmentalist and puts his beliefs into daily practice.H e said what drew him to Exuma was its beautiful water, clean air, and great people. LOCAL NEWS T HE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, APRIL 1, 2011, PAGE 7 B y DENISE MAYCOCK T ribune Freeport R eporter dmaycock@ tribunemedia.net FREEPORT The Bahamas Industrial Engineers, Managers and S upervisory Union held its s econd protest in a week a t the Grand Bahama Power Company on Wednesday. B IEMSU president Pedro Edwards said they will continue to protest what he claimed were u nion-busting tactics and unfair terminations by the Power Company. H e claims company e xecutives refuse to respect and accept BIEMSUs industriala greement which does n ot allow downsizing, redundancy or layoffs of middle managers. It allows termination with cause, but the company is terminating per sons without cause or rea-s on, claimed Mr E dwards. BIEMSU is the bargaini ng agent for 35 middle m anagers and supervisors a t the Power Company. According to the union president, several persons have been terminated since January. The most recent, a 30-year-olde mployee, received his n otice three weeks ago. Grand Bahama Power has engaged in all kinds of tactics trying to get rid oft he contract agreement we signed back in 2000, Mr Edwards claimed. We have gone to court and an illegal poll was held last December which BIEMSU won. He said the recent terminations were in violation of the contract and the countrys labour laws. When someone gets let go you have to put it in writing why they are lett ing that person go, but t hey are writing letters, paying persons notice pay, a nd not saying why are s evering the relationship, h e claimed. Mr Edwards said that it is unacceptable for a majoro rganisation like Grand Bahama Power Company to treat its workers this way. He said he had hoped that EMERA, a multi-billion dollar organisation in C anada which recently a cquired 80 per cent shares i n the Power Company, w ould improve labour r elations at the company. If our contract is too difficult for them to manage, then the honorable thing is to buy out the contract, Edwards said. We will to continue to demonstrate until we get s ome real justice. I dont think the court is the place to settle something like this and I think the gov-e rnment at this point has t o step in, he said. Messages left for Power Company executives weren ot returned up to press time last night. Union holds a second protest at GB Power Company Exuma is home to some of the oldest living rocks ROBERT CRONIN owner of Kevalli House on Lee Stocking Island in Elizabeth Harbour, Exuma, unveils the hiding place of Stromatolites forming on the beaches of Exuma Sound in front of his property. S TROMATOLITES p layed a valuable role in the development of the p lanets atmosphere and are still alive and visible along Exuma Sound.
L OCAL NEWS PAGE 8, FRIDAY, APRIL 1, 2011 THE TRIBUNE FOR the second year in a row, the Bahamas Humane Society held a Flower Power Party to help fund its ongoing effort to care for the countrys animal community. The event was held at the Sheraton Nassau Beach resort on Friday, March 25. Organisers said the costumes were simply amazing, and that almost everyone caught the spirit and dressed the part. BHS president Kim Aranha said: There were hippies of all ages strutting their stuff and passing around daisies. The winners of the costume competition were: Coolest Chick Kathryn de Souza Coolest Dude Christopher Tomlinson Coolest Couple Robyn Howard and Calvin Role Coolest Group Lissa McCoombe, Laura Kimble, Sarah Kennedy, Fiona Moodie, Gregory Michelier. The winners were awarded glass trophies. The evening featured music from the 1960s and 1970s, and a sumptuous buffet of roast beef, chicken and guava duff was served. The hotel staff made certain the evening ran smoothly. There were many silent auction prizes, including baskets for big dogs, little dogs, puppies, cats... and for the humans: Prizes also included a weekend at a cottage by the sea in Governor's Harbour, Eleuthera; a spa package and beauty products courtesy of Windermere West; romantic evenings at Baha Mar restaurants, Capriccio and Ichiban;and a bouquet of flowers from Florarama. Organisers said the party was sold out and dancing continued into the wee hoursof the morning. The Bahamas Humane S ociety has announced that the theme for next year is going to be "Disco Night, 60sand 70s. Bahamas Humane Society hosts second Flower Power Party PRETTY as a picture. WINNER of the Coolest Chick award, Kathryn de Souza with her husband Pablo de Souza. BAHAMIAN film director Kareem Mortimer and Jonathon Morris. ROBYN Howard and Calvin Rolle won "Coolest Couple" for their costume. LORI and Cameron Roach, Carolyn Fitzgerald with Lemon and Lisa Gorospe. PEACE Baby! MARIE Souder with a friend. LAURA Kimble, Gregory Michelier, Sarah Kennedy and Lissa McCoombe. WINNER of The "Coolest Dude" costume C hristopher Tomlinson.
LOCAL NEWS T HE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, APRIL 1, 2011, PAGE 9 lish not Creole, so we dont know who they are. S ometimes they come in t he night and act like p olice or immigration. The resident added: Sometimes real police come and they rob us as well. Police only come to rob or arrest, they dont have no interest to give security on our road. On Wednesday, Inspect or Warren Johnson of the C armichael Division said that like the rest of the country, the South West-e rn Division was having real problems with crime. Police were said to be pursuing two important a reas of intervention: Security surveys and churches. Inspector Johns on said the police had i dentified 72 churches in t he area with a combined m embership of 23,110. T he two women gunned down on Wednesday were s aid to have been returning home from a prayer meeting. Rev Dorval told The Tribune it will take a longt ime before the residents of the area feel safe to t ravel on foot throughout the area. The widespread and s parsely populated area off Bacardi Road has numero us track roads and no street lamps. I try to tell those who c annot make it here just to go back home, saidR ev Dorval. I understand s ome already have a home (in Haitiwith the couple dollars you have. Dont stay living int he poor conditions like that. were present at COBs tourism centre and asked various questions ranging from the sale of BTC, renewable e nergy, and job opportunities for the youth. While all on the panel agreed that for too long, students have been encouraged to seek the conventional careers of being a doctor or a lawyer, they acknowledged there is a growing need for s pecialised jobs in a developed Bahamas. Minister Maynard encouraged those students in attendance to think outside of the box and seek careers in emerging markets which in all likelihood could provide lucrative employment in the future. In my Ministry, for example, we are now focusing very heavily on the development of the sports complex. The kind of expenditure that will go into that complex over the next three or four years, and develop into a world-class sports facility, will be an attempt to attract world class events. A key job in that scenario is sports management. Sports tourism is a key part of it as well so that is a niche market all within itself. So there is some emerging markets in terms of sports tourism, sports management, sports medicine and the like. Over the years, the Bahamas has been able to accomplish great things inter nationally in sports, so we should have been the sports specialists. We should have h ad a cadre of sports managers and sports medicine experts, but we dont. But moving forward, you would find that persons who would have qualified themselves in those areas would be the hot commodities on the job mark et, he said. Mr McCartney added that if Bahamians want to be on the world stage, we must create what we want and not wait for it to come to us. If you are looking at it from a legal point of view, what type of law is going to be in the future? Such as entertainment law; IT law. When I went to school 25 years ago, there was no such thing as IT law. But if you think at it, where do you think you are going to make all the money now? So what I am saying is, we need to look at what the world has to offer and how we are going to put our country on the map. Because if we remain reactionary to things it is going to be too late, he said. The Bamboo Town MP added that yes there is 1,200 lawyers in the Bahamas, but the fact of the matter is there is not a lot of good lawyers. Therefore he encouraged those who were inclined to study that field to be the best that they can be. Dont let anybody stop you or hinder you or to say that you cant do it. Because the only way you cant do it, or we cant do it in this country is if it is (in your mind you believe you cant do it, it wont happen. If you believe it can be done, it can be done. Dream what is unseen, and then make it a reality, he said. At one point, the lively exchange between Minister Neymour and Dr Rollins sought to dominated the debate as the two argued over the merits and reasons for Prime Minister Hubert Ingrahams recent trip to Canada. Dr Rollins said that Prime Minister Ingrahams trip was the first time that he recalled the PM taking persons from the private sector with him to solicit investors to look to the Bahamas a move which he said should have taken place a long time ago. Minister Neymour countered saying that the Prime Minister has made such trips before, and that there is an actual minister who is mandated to solicit foreign investment on a daily basis. out, said a source with full knowledge of the situation. Some people who have been there forever and have g otten too used and too familiar. In the interest of improving efficiency and ensuring they maximise revenue collection, t hey are relocating some people and bringing in additional p eople to replace them. About 12 new people are set to join the team at the office, including investigators, inspectors and some clerical staff. Administrators assessed the new load brought on the system based on the recent amendments to the Business License Act and determined it was necessary to increase the staffing capacity at the office. T he Business License Office is also expected to be relo cated in the near future. Plans have been underway for months, and in the near future a relocation to another o ffice downtown is expected. awareness efforts. Pastor Gil Maycock, National Child Protection Council chairman, said: Im happy to see thatm ore persons are reporting. We do know that there are more, we believe much more. So this isa progressive step for the Family Islands, which I believe experience a much higher, per capita, incidence of child abuse than New Providence. Pastor Maycock added: On the family islands, we run into road blocks all the time. Our social workers are very over worked. Last year, the total number of reported child abuse cases for the Family Island was 116 13 more cases than in 2009. Data was included from Acklins, North/Central Andros, South Andros and Mangrove Cay, Cat Island, Crooked Island, Eleuthera, Exuma, Ragged Island and Cays, Inagua, Long Island, Mayaguana and San Salvador. In 2010, social workers recorded 16 cases of physical abuse and 49 cases of sexual abuse. There were only two reported cases of incest for 2010. In the Family Island communities, said Pastor Maycock, they are very close-knit, very small, some of them wont report it. If we donthave a social worker on the ground hearing the complaints, a lot of it will go unreported. Theyrenot gonna just do it to strangers some maybe, but many of them wont. According to international standards, which indicate that reported cases are only one-third of actual incidents, the family island toll could be as high as 348. End-of-year statistics for the island of Grand Bahama, which are tabulated separately, were also presented. In 2010, there were 85 reported cases of child abuse, with January, July and August named as peak months for sexual abuse. Social workers concluded that these times reflected when children are usually sent to visit a family member on another island, providing an opportunity for abuse. Incest was not categorized. Social workers are charged with the task of building a strong repertoire with several communities as there are insufficient resources to station an officer on each island. Pastor Maycock said: There are so many other areas or needs that the Ministry of Labour and Social Development handles. To have the persons there, meeting with the people, establishing a rapport with the community, then kids feel free to come and say that this is going on. Statistics for New Providence, published by The Tribune in January, were also released. Yesterday, the Ministry of Labour and Social Development launched Child Protection Month and rolled out its schedule for an aggressive awareness campaign. On Sunday, churches and their members are called upon to wear a blue ribbon in recognition of abused children and the prevention of child abuse. IN CONJUNCTION with the National Child Protection Council, the Ministry of Labour and Social Development launched Child Protection Month yesterday. Under the theme, I am a Promise, I am a Possibility: So dont Abuse Me!, the joint agencies have scheduled an aggressive awareness campaign including exhibitions, training workshops and seminars. Social workers, equipped with educational materials for parents, teach ers and students, will be dispatched throughout the country. One tool highlighted at yesterdays press conference was the introduction of an educational colour ing and activity book for children, which will supplement a DVD currently being used in primary schools on New Providence. T i m C l a r k e / T r i b u n e s t a f f CHILDPROTECTIONMONTH der, the victim was able to speak with loved ones yesterday. T ranslating for residents in the area, Rev Dorval said: This is the first time they shoot and someone was killed. This is the first time a w oman was shot. This to be deeper than robbery, said Rev. Dorval. They were defenceless. Something is wrong about this. P olice yesterday discounted concerns that the shooting on Florville Road, off Bacardi Road, was evidence of a trend in violence a gainst women. Hulan Hanna, assistant commissioner of police, said that a significant number of thec rimes against women were domestic-related. We live in a society where there are some men with no concern or regard for the female g ender, so they will lash out at women in the m ost violent ways, said Mr Hanna. That does not mean that females in the Bahamas are under attack, he said. There is n o truth to that. There is no attack on the female gender criminals are being criminals. I nvestigators will continue their probe into the community off Bacardi Road today, going door-to-door to encourage residents to come forward with any information they might have about the incident. We are encouraged by the response from the community, said Mr Hanna, but at this t ime we are not able to form in our own minds any clear motive. We are still asking persons to come to us and give us that information. Carols death has pushed the countrys mur d er count to 35. At the end of March last year, the murder count was 23. Return home rather than face victimisation FROM page one FROM page one A killers question:do you wanna ride? SIX BUSINESS LICENSE OFFICE STAFF SET TO BE REDEPLOYED F ROM page one Politicians debate before COB students FROM page one D EBATE: D r Andre Rollins and Phenton Neymour took part in the COB event. Child abuse incidents per capita FROM page one
I NTERNATIONAL NEWS P AGE 10, FRIDAY, APRIL 1, 2011 THE TRIBUNE TOKYO, Japan Associated Press JAPANis increasingly turning to other countries for help as it struggles to stabilize its tsunami-stricken nuclear plant and stop radiation leaks that are complicating efforts to recover the bodies of some of the thousands swept away by the toweri ng wave. French, American and international experts even a robot are either in Japan or on their way, and French President Nicholas Sarkozy visited Tokyo on Thursday to meet with the prime minister and show solidarity. W orkers are racing to find the source of contaminated water that has been pooling in the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The leaks have often forced workers to flee the plant, preventing them from r estarting important cooling systems. "The amount of water is enormous, and we need any wisdom available," said nuclear safety agency spokesman Hidehiko Nishiyama. A spokesman for plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. s aid Thursday that radioactive contamination in groundwater 15 yards (meters six reactors there had been measured at 10,000 times the government standard. It was the firsttime the utility has released statistics for groundwater near the plant. The government did not say what the standard is but the ele vated levels would only be an issue if contamination got into the water supply, and spokesman Naoyuki Matsumo said the water supply has not been affect ed. Also, no one is living there because everyone within 12 miles (20 kilometers) of the plant has been evacuated. Still, elevated levels of iodine131, a radioactive substance that decays quickly, were another sign that radiation is leaking from the plant. Experts from French nuclear giant Areva, which supplied fuel to the plant, are helping figure out how to dispose of the contaminated water that has begun leaking into the ground and the sea. "We are not a supplier only for happy days," CEO Anne Lauvergeon told reporters in Tokyo on Thursday. "We are effectively also there when things become difficult." Officials from the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., said they welcome the help. Ocean "U.S. nuclear plants aren't by the ocean, unlike Japanese ones, so we think the French may be able to help us more than the Americans," said TEPCO Manager Teruaki Kobayashi. Officials with his company also said they expect to use a remote-controlled robot sent by the U.S. within a few days to evaluate areas with high radiation. They are also setting up a panel of Japanese and American nuclear experts and American military personnel to address the crisis. Tens of thousands of people have been displaced by the tsunami and magnitude-9.0 earthquake. Some saw their homes destroyed by the wall of water, while others have been ordered to leave the evacuation zone. Authorities have recom mended that people in a 20-mile (30-kilometer to evacuate too. Frustrated evacuees had begun trickling back into the smaller zone to gather belongings and check on their homes, but officials in Fukushima prefecture posted warnings at evacuation centers telling them not to go back for any reason. "There is not only a risk that you may be contaminated, but also that you could contaminate others in the evacuation centers when you return," the warnings said. "The national government is now considering whether to allow brief return visits, so please bear with us." On Friday, the government said it planned more tests on a cow slaughtered for beef that had very slightly elevated levels of cesium, another radioactive particle. Officials stressed that the meat was never put on the market. Contamination has already been found in vegetables and raw milk near the plant. Health Ministry spokesman Taku Ohara said the cesium was found in a cow slaughtered March 15 more than 40 miles (70 kilometers h ad a total cesium level of 510 becquerels per kilogram. The limit is 500. Radioactive cesium can build up in the body and high levels are thought to be a risk for various cancers. Still, researchers who studied Chernobyl could not find an increase in cancers t hat might be linked to cesium. It is still found in the soil of Germany, Austria and France 25 years after Chernobyl and is found in wild boar in Germany, making the pigs off-limits for eating in many cases. The limit Germany has set for cesium in wild boars is 600 becquerels per kilo g ram. In Japan, the radiation has forced police officers trying to recover the dead from the evac uation zone to don white hazmat suits and radiation monitors. Officials believe more than 19,000 people died, but so far only about 11,000 bodies have been found. Local media esti mate that hundreds of corpses remain. "We find bodies everywhere in cars, in rivers, under debris and in streets," a police official from the hard-hit Fukushima prefecture said Thursday. He spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters. Cleanup I n the small coastal city of Miyako, many people still have no idea what happened to their relatives. Residents watched intently Thursday as a firefighter in a boat and two tractors cleared the bay of rubble, part of cleanup efforts under way along hundreds of miles (kilometers o f Japan's northeastern seaboard. Giant tractors and dump trucks cleared roads and sorted debris into giant piles. Huge barges with onboard cranes docked offshore and scooped up wreckage in the shallow bays. "I lost three grandchildren," s ays Isamu Aneishi, 69, who sat on a log for hours and watched the men search the bay. A vacant lot outside Miyako has been turned into a car graveyard, with hundreds of wrecked vehicles from across the region deposited in neat rows. Some looked ready to be driven away, while others were little more than mangled heaps of metal. Many were marked with red spray paint, indicating bodies had been found inside, and some still had keys in the ignition. Residents walked up and down the rows looking for their cars. "This is my third time coming here," said Yasuhiro Ichi hashi, 42, who watched his car get swept out of the parking lot at his factory from high ground. "They keep adding more cars every day, so I come back to check." Meanwhile, at the nuclear plant 140 miles (220 kilometers northeast of Tokyo, workers go inside in shifts and are often forced to turn back because radiation levels are too high. They have been lauded as heroes, but Kazuma Yokota, head of the Fukushima local office Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, said he saw them living under harsh conditions during a recent inspection visit. They got only two meals a day and just one blanket each when it was time to sleep. "They sleep on the floor, inside a conference room, or even in the hallway or in front of a bathroom. That's where they sleep, with only one blanket each to wrap themselves around," he told a televised news conference. Nishiyama said TEPCO is working to improve the conditions. Sarkozy, the first major international leader to visit since the disaster, praised the work being done at the plant. "Every image I have seen is really, really disturbing, and I am really impressed by the workers in Fukushima who work at the nuclear plant with courage," he said before meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan. After the meeting, he urged the world to learn from Japan's crisis and suggested that the Group of 20 nations set international nuclear safety standards. "It's completely abnormal that these international safety norms don't exist," Sarkozy said. The International Atomic Energy Agency does have stan dards, but nations are not bound by them. Japan seeks French, US expertise in nuclear crisis IN THIS MONDAY, MARCH 28, 2011 PHOTO Tokyo Metro Police officers in protective suits search for m issing persons at the earthquake-triggered tsunami hit area in Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan. Police near the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant are struggling to recover bodies from the tsunami because even small increases in radiation levels often force them to stop their work. Yomiuri Shimbun, Takuya Yoshino /AP Workers race to find source of contaminated water
INTERNATIONAL NEWS T HE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, APRIL 1, 2011, PAGE 11 B RUSSELS Associated Press THEnew commander of international military operat ions in Libya warned Thursday that anyone attacking civilians would be "ill-a dvised" to continue, and said he would look into a report by a Vatican envoy that air strikes had killed 40 innocent people. As NATO took over command of all air operations over Libya, Canadian Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard said the bloc had already d eployed more than 100 fighters and support aircraft t o monitor the no-fly zone o ver Libya and prevent attacks on civilians. N ATO later said the allies h ad supplied a total of 205 aircraft and 21 navy vessels for the operation, which includes patrolling the seas o ff Libya to prevent the delivery of weapons to the warring sides. T he U.S. contributed 90 a ircraft and one warship. Among the 14 nations listed, France provided 33 aircrafta nd one ship, and Britain 17 planes and two warships. The alliance also had a d ozen frigates patrolling the M editerranean Sea off Libya to prevent weapons shipm ents from reaching the warr ing sides. The hand-over from the U .S., which had been leadi ng the impromptu group of countries bombing forces loyal to Libyan strongman M oammar Gadhafi, "has b een seamless with no gaps i n the effort," the commander told journalists from his h eadquarters in Naples, Italy. His remarks were transm itted by video link to other j ournalists in Brussels. N ATO aircraft had already flown more than 90 sorties s ince the alliance took over command at 0600 GMT (2 a.m. EDT), Bouchard said. A ddressing those attacki ng civilians, Bouchard said: You would be ill-advised to continue such activities. I recommend that you cease such activities." He also said NATO would i nvestigate a claim by the Vatican's envoy in Libya that air strikes in Tripoli during t he night had killed 40 civil ians though he noted that the alleged incident was said to have taken place before N ATO took command. "I am aware of this news report," he said. I take everyo ne of those issues seriously, but our mission began ... today." T he report by the Fides n ews agency quoted Bishop Giovanni Innocenzo Mart inelli, the apostolic vicar of T ripoli, as saying he had learned that a building in the district of Buslim had coll apsed during bombing, k illing 40 people inside. B ouchard said the alliance had very strict rules of e ngagement, and was very careful in going after any targets. N ATO's assumption of c ommand comes at a sensit ive moment in the war between the rebels and loya list forces. Gadhafi's ground troops have nearly reversed the gains rebels made sincet he international airstrikes b egan. The battlefield setb acks have led to increased calls for the international community to supply weapons to the lightly armed rebels. T he latest fighting centered on Brega, a town important to Libya's oil industry on the c oastal road that leads to Tripoli. Citizens also have fled Ajdabiya, a rebel-held city about 50 miles (80 kilo m eters) to the east of Brega, for fear that government forces are on their way. S peaking in Stockholm, NATO's Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said o n Thursday that the alliance d oesn't support U.S. and British suggestions that the U .N. mandate for the intern ational military operation in Libya allows arming rebels. B ritain and the U.S. b elieve that existing U.N. S ecurity Council resolutions on Libya could allow for fore ign governments to arm the rebels, despite an arms embargo being in place. I n Brussels, NATO's top o fficer, Italian Adm. G iampaolo Di Paola declined repeatedly to say whether the a lliance would intercept any ship carrying weapons to the rebels, calling the questionh ypothetical. D i Paola said about 20 of t he alliance's 28 members had contributed military assets to the campaign, and that several other regional nations were joining them int he effort. When asked whether the alliance would use intelli g ence collected by CIA agents in Libya in the wake of new revelations that small teams of operatives are w orking there Di Paola replied: "We are collecting intelligence from our allies,w e are not questioning which sources they are coming from." NATO commander warns against attacks on civilians THE NEW NATO commander of the international military operation in Libya, Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard, meets the journalists at NATO headquarters, in Bagnoli, Naples, Italy, Thursday. Bouchard says he's looking into reports that air strikes on Tripoli have killed at least 40 civilians. Lt. Gen Charles Bouchard,a Canadian now heading the international operation, noted the alleged incident happened before NATO took command early Thursday. (AP Vatican envos report says 40 innocent people killed ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast Associated Press FIGHTERStrying to install Ivory Coast's democratically elected president months after the dis puted vote descended Thursday on the country's largest city, aiming to unseat the nation's entrenched ruler as gunfire broke out across Abidjan. The regular army put up almost no resistance during an offensive that began Monday, allowing the forces backing internationally recognized leader Alassane Ouattara to take over about 80 percent of the country in a matter of days. Soldiers abandoned their posts, in some instances shedding their uniforms and running. As the columns of pro-Ouattara forces advanced, the head of the army Gen. Phillippe Mangou sought refuge at the home of the South African ambassador in Abidjan with his wife and five children, South Africa's foreign ministry said in a statement Thurs day. Former president Laurent Gbagbo hasn't been seen in public for weeks, even though state TV announced twice on Wednesday evening that he was preparing to address the nation. Ultimatum "The end is almost here. It's a matter of hours," said Patrick Achi, spokesman for Ouattara. "We issued our ultimatum yester day ... If Gbagbo does not want the fighting to happen in Abidjan, he should surrender. If he doesn't,we have no choice." But one of his advisers in Europe told reporters that Gbagbo will not resign. "He will not resign in the wake of this attack. He is not going to abdicate. He is not going to lay down his arms. He will stay in power to lead the resistance to this attack against Ivory Coast," said Toussaint Alain in Paris. As the rebels amassed at Abidj an's door, Ouattara addressed the nation on his private TV station, saying the fighters had come tof orce Gbagbo out. "They have decided to restore democracy and ensure respect of the vote by the people ... Today they are at the doorstep of Abid jan," Ouattara said. "To all those who are still hesitating, whether you are generals, superior officers, officers, sub officers, rank-and-file ... there is still time to join your brothers-in-arms," he said. Ouattara was declared the winner of November's presidential election by the country's election commission and by international observers, but after a decade in power Gbagbo refused to accept his loss. He has used the military to attack the population with heavy-artillery and is accused of arming citizen militias and recruit ing foreign mercenaries to defend his grip on power. Up to 1 million people have fled the fighting and at least 462 people have been killed since the election, most of them supporters of Ouattara. In Abidjan, fighters already in the northern fringe of the city attacked the municipal prison in order to liberate the political pris oners incarcerated for having opposed Gbagbo's regime. Advancing on foot while firing into the air, the rebels set up roadblocks on one of the main thoroughfares in Yopougon, a neigh borhood across the lagoon from the presidential palace. It is not clear what the fighters will do if they manage to push their way to the presidential palace, located on a peninsula in the city center, surrounded on all sides by a glassy lagoon. In the four months since the dis puted election, the internationally community has offered Gbagbo a golden parachute on countless occasions, only to be rebuffed at each step. He twice refused to take a phone call from President Barack Obama, who at one point was ready to offer him a teaching position at a Boston university if he agreed to peacefully step aside. P eacek eepers During this time, Ouattara pleaded with the international community asking for a military intervention to oust the defiant leader. Although the United Nations passed resolutions allowing their peacekeepers to inter vene to protect civilians, proOuattara neighborhoods continued to be pummeled with mortars. At one point, there were so many bodies that the local morgue began stacking corpses on the floor because they had run out of space. On Thursday, U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq said that SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon is closely following the situation in Ivory Coast and is concerned about the heightened violence and urging all parties to "refrain from exacting revenge." Ban also reiterated his demand that Gbagbo immediately cede power to Ouattara "to enable the full transition of state institutions to the legitimate authorities." In Washington, meanwhile, the top American diplomat for Africa, Johnnie Carson, says Gbagbo will be held accountable for alleged human rights atrocities committed by his forces. But Carson says Gbagbo can help the West African nation avoid worse violence by ending the fight. The advance by pro-Ouattara forces was a last resort after all other diplomatic means had failed, say Ouattara's supporters. Ouattara won the election with over 54 percent of the vote and did not want to be seen as having taken the country by force. So far, the rebels appear to be mostly disciplined although there have been sporadic reports of pil laging and several instances of revenge killings. His reliance on the irregular fighters could cause him to lose the moral high ground if they begin committing serious abuses. The majority of the gunmen are drawn from the New Forces, a coalition of rebel groups that fought a brief civil war starting in 2002. Human Rights Watch docu mented attacks on villages, rapes and racketeering in the country's north, where they exercised control. Overnight the rebels took the port of San Pedro, giving Ouat tara access to the sea. They also reached Mama, the village where Gbagbo was born and where he built himself a mansion. It marked a symbolic victory, said Seydou Ouattara, a rebel spokesman who is not related to the president. "The rebels slept in Gbagbo's bed," he said. TROOPS supporting former president Laurent Gbagbo drive past in a armored car in the city of Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Thursday, March 31, 2011. Fighters trying to install Ivory Coast's democratically elected president began besieging the main city of Abidjan on Thursday as the top army commander fled his post in the face of a lightning offensive that saw several towns and a seaport quickly fall.(AP Fighters in Ivory Coast descend upon main city
B IMINI Educating y ouths on the economic value of agriculture is the approach that the Bimini All-Age School is taking to help reduce the national foodi mport bill. S tudents are practicing how t o grow their own vegetables in home gardens to encourage sustainability. We can grow almost anyt hing in Bimini. The very s ame things that we grow over here, we are importing, s aid Arnold Dorsette, Bahamas Agricultural andI ndustrial Corporation ( BAIC) assistant general m anager. What we need to do is grow more of it, and grow it i n a way that we can grow it more consistently for our friends and family and some of the businesses that are i mporting it on Bimini. Almost $500 million annually is spent every year to import food from other count ries into the Bahamas. The Ministry of Agriculture wants Bahamians to understand the potential for personal wealth building that can come from s upporting local farmers and b uying Bahamian agriculture products. Can you imagine, last year w e imported some $500 million worth of food in the Bahamas, said Mr Dorsette. That is a significant amount o f money that is going out of t he country to buy food, some of which we can grow and we a re not taking advantage of growing and encouraging more of food production int he country. Farmers M ost farmers are guaranteed an immediate financial return on growing salad veg etables such as lettuce, toma t oes, onions, peppers, carrots, cabbages, potatoes and herbs. T hese can be grown rapidl y in greenhouses to keep up with local demand. The lettuce and tomatoes a re some of the very crops b eing imported into the Bahamas and I believe that Alice Town, we are in a position to do even better, said Mr Dorsette. The chairman (of BAIC h as made available the small greenhouse to the school and that is just to show his appreciation for the sector. Once you begin to grow these seedlings, you need to get into a greenhouse and the greenhouse will take you into commercial production, where you can produce consistently, good quality at rea s onable prices here in Alice Town. Local grocery stores like Solomons Super Centre have incorporated local vegetable sections to encourage Bahamians to buy locally grown produce. However, the stores still have to import produce to ensure they meet public demand, as local supply is interrupted by boom and bust cycles. Farmers and others do not produce sufficient consistently, said Mr Dorsette. You would find that we pro duce tomatoes, but all of a sudden everyone grows tomatoes and then theres no tomatoes.We call it a glut and then scarcity. What we would encourage is for you to begin at the school level to find varieties of tomatoes and other crops that could extend the season. You can start early, you have the regular variety, and then you have a variety to goa little later. That way, instead of having tomatoes for only three or four months, you can extend the season and have it for eight months, or you can do the same with other crops. In so doing, we can produce longer, said Mr Dorsette. Mutton So there is a need to diversify. Tell me why we should send nine million US dollars out to New Zealand to bring in mutton when we can grow more of it right here locally. You can also teach the boys and girls the impor tance of livestock production because again we are importing meat from New Zealand and Australia the same goat and sheep, which we can grow in the Bahamas. I think we need to improve on that. Mr Dorsette emphasised that the Bahamas should learn from the immediate aftermath of September 11, 2001 when ships did not come to the Bahamas with food imports because of the crisis in the US. Mr Dorsette said: They told us if the food stores were to run out of food in four weeks and no ships come to The Bahamas, boys and girls, we would begin to starve. There is no need for us to be put in that situation when we can all put something in our backyards and begin to grow. L OCAL NEWS PAGE 16, FRIDAY, APRIL 1, 2011 THE TRIBUNE Agriculture Ministry wants Bahamians to help reduce food import bill THE BIMINI ALL AGE SCHOOL had locally grown produce on display at their Agriculture Expo. STUDENTS AT THE BIMINI ALL AGE SCHOOL gather to celebrate their first Agriculture Expo to showcase the produce theyh ave grown at the school. A RNOLD DORSETTE BAIC a ssistant general manager, encourages students and teachers to get into the lucrat ive sector of agriculture and get their share of the $500 million the Bahamas spends on importing food every year.
SECTIONB email@example.com FRIDAY, APRIL 1, 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 $5.23 CONTACT ONE OF OUR SALES REPRESENTATIVES TODAY FOR A FREE QUOTEFamily Guardian Financial Centre, East Bay & Church Streets +242 396-1300/1400 I www.fgiagentsandbrokers.com Oops!Happily no one was hurt. But one of the drivers is happier than the other. He got on-the-spot accident assistance from his insurance company. And his policy includes car rental coverage while his vehicle is in the shop. You can bet hes happy hes covered through FG Insurance Agents & Brokers. CAR INSURANCE / are you covered? A member of the FamGuard Group of Companies By NEIL HARTNELL T ribune Business Editor T he Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerces president yesterday urged all relevant parties to work out finally once and for all a long-term solution toF reeports over-thecounterb onded goodsr egime, a dding that C ustoms demand for a National I nsurance Board (NIBc aused some retailers sales to slump by 40 per cent during t he first two months of 2011. Speaking to Tribune Business from Minneapolis, on his Once and for all bond resolution called for Chamber chief says Customs NIB letter demand caused 40% sales slump for some retailers K P TURNQUEST SEE page 2B By NEIL HARTNELL T ribune Business Editor C able Bahamas yesterday said it had seen its regulatory f ees increase collectively to about 5 per cent of gross reve nues, compared to less than 1 per cent under the previous supervisory regime, leading its senior financial executive to describe the BISX-listed company as being triple taxed. S peaking to Tribune Business after it revealed its 2010 year-end financials, Barry Williams, Cable Bahamas senior vice-president of finance, said the company was likely to seet he same kind of results this financial year, regulatory and licensing fees having increased by 100 per cent last year from $2.8 million in 2009 to $5.6 million. Cable triple taxed as fees hit 5% gross Increase from less than 1% of gross under p revious regime, as BISX-listed firm suffers 30%, $8.5m profit hit Operating expenses up $7.8m due to 100% regulatory fee rise* Firm expects more of same in 2011 after very painful hit Cost rise comes straight off gross top line S EE page 4B By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor Cable Bahamas yesterday said Internet revenues beat 2010 budget targets by about4 per cent to continue as the main driver of its top-line growth, as it raised an extra $ 10 million in preference share financing through the roll-over of an existing issue. B arry Williams, the BISXlisted communications providers senior vice-presi dent of finance, told Tribune B usiness that while subscriber numbers had remained relatively flat, the communica-t ions provider had been encouraged by year-over-year revenue growth of 8 per centi n its Premium Services. Although a sign that demand for discretionary ser vices was rising after declines in 2008 and 2009, Mr Williams told Tribune Business it was likely to be a year before we see tangible benefits from major projects, such as Baha Mars $2.6 billion Cable Beach redevelopment, filter ing through into its financial performance. The most significant main CABLE BEATS INTERNET REVENUE T AR GET BY 4% T a kes in extra $10m on preference share roll-over* Premium services revenues up 8%, while data and cable TV rise 6% and 5% respectively* T riple Play launch imminent, with SRG deal to close in next few weeks* Pays down debt to around $49m, with assets on balance sheet just under $200m SEE page 4B By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor Bank of the Bahamas International expects a $3 million investment made over the last five years to start paying off in 2011 with the launch of its electronic banking platform, developing new revenue and profit streams following a 67 per cent net income rise in its fiscal 2011 second quarter. Paul McWeeney, the banks managing director, told Tribune Business yesterday that apart from facilitating the issuance of ELECTRONIC PLATFORMS $3 MILLION INVESTMENT TO SOON PAY OFF FOR BANK Bank of the Bahamas International sees 67% Q2 net income rise P AUL MCWEENEY SEE page 4B By ALISON LOWE Business Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org The Government was yes terday urged to revisit a proposal from the Bahamian Con tractors Association (BCA that all foreign developers be mandated to put in place a per cent performance bond as protection for Bahamian sup pliers when they go bust and leave people and products unpaid for and unfinished. Stephen Wrinkle, president of the BCA, said events in recent years where foreign developers, who had initiated projects in the Bahamas only to stall or drop them when the financial crisis hit, provides a clear indication of the need for a national policy with regard to FDI projects that would provide protection for Bahamian companies. Addressing the Rotary Club 10% bond revisit is called for SEE page 4B By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor The Bahamas Electricity C orporation (BEC t he medium to long run be p rivatised, joining its B ahamas Telecommunicat ions Company (BTC t erpart, a consultants report recommending that competition be introduced into the Bahamian power sector through Independent Power Producers (IPPsa mix of renewable and conv entional energies. A report on strengthen ing the Bahamian energy sector, produced by Germanc onsultants Fichtner, suggested that competition be c reated by separating elect ricity production from its t ransmission and distribut ion to end-consumers, given t hat the latter was likely to b e a natural monopoly given the relatively small size of this nations market and BECs estimated 100,000 customers. Advocating that the Bahamian energy industry b e restructured to allow for more efficiency, the Ficht ner report, produced last year as part of an initiativef inanced by the Inter-American Development Bank ( IDB), said that while the G overnment had determ ined no final views on t his process, there were common thoughts in the p olitical arena. These were that BEC should be privatised, although how this was to be carried out and to what extent were undetermined BEC will be privatised S EE page 3B n Separation of power generation from distribution recommended for B ahamian energy sector n Consultants urge competition in power generation through Independent Power Producers, supplying renewable and conventional energies
FRANCESCA LEVY, A P Business Writers MATTHEW CRAFT, AP Business Writers NEW YORK The Dow Jones industrial average achieved its best start to the year in more than a decade Thursday, rising 6.4 percent in the first three months. The index of 30 large companies gained 742 points in that stretch. Measured against other first quarters, that's the largest point gain since 1998 and the second best on record. Stocks ended the day mixed as the price of oil jumped to a 30-month high. Slightly disappointing reports on unemployment claims and factory orders also weighed on the market. The first-quarter gains were anything but an easy ride. Uprisings in the Arab world, a jump in oil prices along with the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan led to many deep one-day falls. "This is a market that has been defined by resilience in the face of uncertainty," said Andrew Goldberg, a market strategist at JP Morgan Funds. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 30.88 points, or 0.3 percent, to 12,319.73. That's just 72 points shy of its Feb. 18 high for the year. The Standard & Poor's 500 fell 2.43, or 0.2 per cent, to 1,325.83. The Nasdaq composite rose 4.28, or 0.2 per cent, to 2,781.07. The S&P 500 rose 5.4 percent during the first quarter, the Nasdaq 4.8 percent. The market turned wildly volatile in March. In the third week, the Dow moved by more than 100 points four straight days. On March 16, fears that Japan's nuclear crisis would get even worse turned all three major indexes negative for the year. The very next day a jump in manufacturing and a drop in unemployment claims helped bring them back. Stocks swung between small gains and losses Thursday as the price of oil surged to settle at $106.72 a barrel. Troops loy al to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi retook control of the key oil port of Ras Lanouf from rebel forces. The power shift threatens the quick restart of oil exports promised by a rebel victory. Oil prices have jumped $20 since the Libyan uprising began in February. Higher oil prices can pinch spending by forcing consumers to pay more for gasoline and could cut into economic growth. There were also slightly disappointing reports on new unemployment claims and factory orders. The Labor Department said fewer people applied for unemployment benefits last week, signaling that companies may be slowing layoffs. The number of new claims fell by 6,000 to 388,000. Analysts had expect ed a larger drop. The news comes a day before the Labor Department's monthly employ ment report. The unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged at 8.9 percent. B USINESS PAGE 2B, FRIDAY, APRIL 1, 2011 THE TRIBUNE B y ALISON LOWE Business Reporter email@example.com H ighlighting the significance of the Governments decision to mandate Bahamian involvement in the Baha Mar construction project, the Bahamian Contractors Associations (BCA said the Lynden Pindling I nternational Airports (LPIA n ot fully followed through o n commitments to work with local companies. S tephen Wrinkle alleged that Ledcor, the Canadian general contractor respons ible for the LPIA re-development project, promised that it was committed toB ahamian involvement in the project but this did not materialise If [foreign developers] are not mandated to do it,t hey are not going to put a foot forward, said Mr Wrinkle. He was addressing the Rotary Club of WestN assau on the construction industry. T he BCA president has a dvocated that the Government consider a policy of m andating foreign develop e rs carve out a certain t ranche of work for Bahami an contractors, as it has doneo n the Baha Mar project, w here Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham was able t o negotiate with the China State Construction and Engineering Company andthe projects Chinese f inanciers late last year to e nsure that $400 million w orth of work on the $2.6 b illion job go to Bahamians. S uggesting that it was based on advocacy from the B CA that the Prime Minister went out and won the $400 million assurance from the Chinese, Mr Wrinkle added: I will tell you it was very hard fought, we were in the trenches for a long t ime, but when the dust settled, weve got that. He said that after this a greement was achieved, the r elationship between Baha M ar and the BCA and the Bahamian construction sector changed overnight. The airport was a wash for us, and all of the other FDI projects previous to that have also been a wash,b ut because it was mandated, we have a seat at that table and the attitude changed over night, MrW rinkle said. From the relationship we had to when the PM cameb ack with the deal...it b ecame a lot easier for us to form a partnership. Were actually their best friend now because they are goingt o have to deal with ( Bahamian contractors gett ing) $400 million worth of w ork one way or other. Mr Wrinkle mentioned t he developers of Albany as a n exception when it came t o Bahamian participation i n construction work, d escribing the company as having tried to involve Bahamian contractors and being overall pretty receptive in this regard. Going forward, Mr Wrinkle said the onus is now on t he construction industry, in c onjunction with Baha Mar and other stakeholders, to e nsure that the opportunity w hich the Governments m andate has provided is not squandered, as he warned this could jeopardise thei ndustrys chances in the future. We have to rise up to this opportunity. We have to be successful. Failure is not an option for Bahamian con tractors because if they failt his, were not going to get a ny more FDI projects, s aid Mr Wrinkle, adding that it is in some ways unfortunate we havent had s ome smaller ones to build up to before facing the prospect of meeting thec hallenge Baha Mar repres ents. Nonetheless, the BCA president expressed confi d ence that success in this regard for the industry will be facilitated by the fact that Baha Mar understands it isi n their vested interest to ensure that the training programs (for contractors and construction workers whichw ill be funded by Baha Mar) work. Mandate Bahamian work on FDI projects S TEPHEN W RINKLE w ay back from the Government/private sector trade and investment promotion tour to Canada, Mr Turnquest p raised the Ingraham administration for acting in the interests of Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA licencees, but urged that the bonded goods issue be finally r esolved for the good of commerce in Freeport. Tribune Business revealed yesterday that Customs had b een ordered to discontinue its demand for GBPAl icencees to produce an NIB letter of good standing before t heir bonded privileges were renewed, and Mr Turnquest said: Obviously, were happy t hat the Government has seen fit to be reasonable with the situation, and to respect the rights of licencees. Without scientific data, I k now there are a number of retailers that have complained it has affected their business s ignificantly. Various entities have been unable to secure the over-the-counter bonded letter because they are delin quent in their National Insura nce Board (NIB tions. I can only go by the retailers who have complained about it, but some have said they were down about as m uch as 40 per cent in the first one or two months. Z hivargo Laing, minister of state for finance, yesterdayr eleased a statement denying that Customs decision to withdraw its NIB letter demand had anything to do with the Judicial Review case brought on the matter by Callenders & Co partner, Fred Smith, on behalf of three companies in which he holds a n ownership interest. A dding that he and the Prime Minister had reviewed the matter, Mr Laing said the Government had decided to suspend until further notice the NIB letter demand, following discussions with Customs and NIB headed by the Prime Minister. Apart from the Grand Bahama Chamber o f Commerce, Grand B ahama MPs and busin esspersons had also e xpressed concerns over the policy. Looking forward, Mr Turnquest told Tribune Business y esterday: Hopefully, well go back to a more normal situ ation with respect to the rights of the licencees, and w ell be able to work out a reasonable and amicable relationship with Customs that will foster the continued development of Grand Bahama. Statute Hopefully, well be able to sit down in the short-term to work out finally, once and for all, a government and Customs position as to how were going to manage this process, a nd put into some kind of s tatute the rights and obligat ions of licencees going for ward, so were not going back to this every time theres a change in Comptroller and change in government. Describing this as very critical to the stability of F reeports commercial envir onment, and its ability to attract Bahamian and foreign i nvestors, Mr Turnquest a dded: We cant keep going b ack over this ground. Every time we do this it upsets old business relation ships. People dont know w here they stand and how to conduct themselves. Its a matter of ensuring the rulesa re clear, theyre consistent, a nd that everyone knows how to operate. Mr Turnquest said in conv ersations he had held with the Government, it had indicated willingness to dialogue o n the matter of over-thec ounter bonded goods. He added that he felt the issue w as heading in the right direction. Deborah Fraser, director of legal affairs at the AttorneyG enerals Office, in a letter t o Mr Smith over the NIB lett er action, said: We advise t hat the Comptroller of Customs has been instructed to d iscontinue, with immediate effect, the request that l icencees provide a letter of good standing from the National Insurance Board (NIB o ver-the-counter bonded sale l etter. We trust this more amicable approach will bring this matter to an end. However, i t should be noted that this approach ought not to be regarded as any admission oro therwise prejudiced to, or as a waiver, of any other statutory obligation on the part of your clients or other licencees. M eanwhile, while reluctant to give specifics ahead of the Government, Mr Turnquest said the Canada trade/invest ment promotion trip was like ly to bear fruit. I was happy with the level of participation and promotion with respect to opportu n ities in Grand Bahama, and feel that we will see some b enefits as a result of the trip, he added. Once and for all bond resolution called for FROM page 1B DOW HAS BES T S TART TO THE YEAR SINCE 1999 (AP Photo/Richard Drew KEEPINGFOCUS: Specialist Christopher Culhane works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, March 10, 2011. WALL STREET
BUSINESS T HE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, APRIL 1, 2011, PAGE 3B By ALISON LOWE Business Reporter a firstname.lastname@example.org T he Bahamian Contract ors Associations (BCA president yesterday lamented that progress towards establishing legislationw hich would regulate the Wild, Wild West construction industry seems to have slowed due to the Gove rnments desire to include a consumer code deemed unnecessary by the organis ation. P roviding an update on t he progress of the Bill, w hich creates the requirement that all contractors m ust be licensed to operate, BCA president Stephen Wrinkle charged that contractors will find it near impossible to be involved in f oreign development pro jects going forward if the Bill is not passed. If this Prime Minister d oesnt do as he promised and pass that Bill (which was previously tabled in Parliament), were going to be in an extremely difficult position because we cannot goo n to these job sites and m ake demands of these FDI developers unless we have a recognised system of cer tification and licensing in place. You cant do it. Like with Ledcor (Canadian lead contractor on the US termi n al construction project at the airport), they just said: Who the hells a contractor? Who are you?. Its a Wild, Wild West out there, said the BCA president. A contractor himself, Mr Wrinkle has advocated for t he passage of the Bill w hich he previously dubbed the BCAs number one pri o rity as an integral part of its efforts to ensure the greatest possible Bahamian involvement in the Baha M ar development project, noting that through achiev ing certification and licensing, contractors will be better able to assure would-be employers that they are capable of completing the job at hand. Addressing the Rotary Club of West Nassau yesterday, Mr Wrinkle said there is a legal issue surrounding the inclusion of the code, given that it mandates the provision of insurance policies to protect against contractor fraud and negligence something that insurance companies were not minded to offer. I dont know if (the Gove rnment) will be able to overcome that. Its like putting a round peg in a s quare hole. The insurance companies wont do it. They cant put it in if they wont cover it, so therein lies their dilemma. But they are working on it at the Attorney G enerals office, they are t rying to incorporate it, said M r Wrinkle. M r Wrinkle explained that the BCA, which sup ports the regulation of the i ndustry, is of the view that the consumer code is unnec essary because the legislation itself provides sufficient protection in the form of repercussions and accounta bility. I think what happened is t hat members of the Cabinet know theres nothing in existence now (governing the construction industry) and they are trying to get everything in one fell swoop without having an opportun ity to understand the content of the Bill as it stands,b ut as it stands there are repercussions, there is accountability and its a p retty good Bill. So we are tenaciously standing behind it and trying to get it passed. On the other hand it may never get passed because we cant control the Cabinet, said Mr Wrinkle. Mr Wrinkle said the BCA last met with the Ministry of Public Works to discuss the status of the Bill in February, and were due to meet in March, but have now had that meeting postponed until this month. Consumer Code hold-up for the Contractors Bill Contractor fraud and negligence unlikely to be covered by insurance as yet. There are no clear views yet with respect to the separation of the monopoly activities from potentially competitive activities, the Fichtner report noted. This could mean that BECs generation segment could be separated from transmission, distribution and retail, and privatised sepa rately. It may as well be necessary to allow for a separate system operator to be in charge of economic dispatch of the generation facilities under specific rules. BEC would then act as a single buyer of power capacity and electricity. Here the issue is that power generated by IPPs or others will be bought by BEC as transmission and distribution operator on the basis of long-term contracts. The consultants recommended that the regulatory regime be amended to create a favourable climate for private investment and other forms of private sector participation. As a result, it needed to create competition for the Bahamian energy market through competitive procurement of IPPs, while rates had to be set at economic levels. These, the report said, had to assure the financial sustain ability of the monopoly activities and, on the other hand, providing incentives to achieve economic efficiency of the serviced provision. Other key requirements were transparency in reporting procedures and standards; technical regulations and stan dards for access to BECs transmission and distribution network; and the promotion of customer interest by establishing and enforcing quality and customer service standards. FROM page 1B BEC will be privatised I think what happ ened is that memb ers of the Cabinet know theres nothi ng in existence now ( governing the construction industry) a nd they are trying t o get everything in one fell swoop witho ut having an o pportunity to understand the cont ent of the Bill as it s tands, but as it stands there are r epercussions, there i s accountability and its a pr e tty good B ill. Stephen Wrinkle
B USINESS P AGE 4B, FRIDAY, APRIL 1, 2011 THE TRIBUNE Cable triple taxed as fees hit 5% gross N oting that this was the major factor behind a more than 20 per cent, or $7.8 million increase in Cable Bahamas cost, which in turn dropped net income by more than 30 per cent or $8.5 million, Mr Williams said he didnt see much changing unless the regulatory fees were reduced. C omparing the previous Public Utilities Commission (PUC with that now employed under the Utilities Regulation & Competition Authority (URCAt hat under the old regime Cable Bahamas paid a fee just under 1 perc ent of its per annum gross revenues. Now, with the URCA regime in place, Mr Williams told Tribune Business that the BISX-listed communi-c ations company pays a Communications Fee equivalent to 3 per cent of its g ross revenues, and an URCA fee c lose to 1.5 per cent of the gross. In addition, Cable Bahamas is also now paying a Business Licence fee, estimated at slightly less than 1 per cent ofg ross revenues. Theres nothing we can do about the regulatory fees. Thats just part ofl ife now, Mr Williams told this newspaper. Under the old regime of the PUC, the telecommunications services fees were less than 1 per cent of the gross. Now, its about 5 per cent...... Were not double taxed, were triple taxed. Its pretty steep. M r Williams said Cable Bahamas had anticipated the regulatory fee impact to its bottom and top line in 2010, and its financials were in accordance with expectations, but this did not lessen the hurt. Although we expected this, its still v ery painful, he told Tribune Busin ess. Essentially, the fees are very much fixed in terms of percentages, and theyre quite heavy. One of the things theyve done, w hich is very disappointing, is that all these fees have to be paid in the first q uarter of the year. Its one-time, and a significant burden to pay all these f ees in the first quarter of the year as youre just getting going. Mr Williams said Cable Bahamas a nd other communications industry operators had written to URCA several times to request that licence and regulatory fee payments be spread outo ver the financial year, rather than made one-time. Be mindful that were operating companies with cash flow considerations, Mr Williams added. Something clearly needs to be done about that because its not suitable. T he situation, he explained, was compounded by the fact that Cable Bahamas regulatory and Business Licence fees came off the gross or topline, meaning the impact of their increase was felt in the net incomel ine straight away. No one likes to know theyve take n an $8.5 million hit on the bottom line, Mr Williams added, especially since these have come off the gross top line. Its not a great equation. T he operating expenses increase overshadowed the 5 per cent increase i n 2010 total revenues to $88.8 mill ion. The fee increases, coupled with r ises in programming rates and electricity costs, saw Cable Bahamas operating income drop by $3.7 mil-l ion or 8 per cent compared to 2009. However, the year-over-year bottom line decline was also sparked by a $3.2 million increase in preferences hare dividends year-over-year, prompted by Cable Bahamas issuance of one $40 million tranche to finance the Columbus Communications buyout, and rollover of an existing issue into an increased $20 million tranche. Asked about Cable Bahamas p rospects for 2011, Mr Williams replied: I think itll be more of the same. Weve tried to trim and be efficient where we can, and will continue to try and do that, but some of the expenses we cant do anything about,b ecause theyre coming right off the t op line. Theres absolutely nothing y ou can do Barring some move to have these fees reduced to something more reasonable, I dont see much changingt his year. Well have to wait and see how it plays out, but because the m ajority of these costs are tied to the t op line, so you can expect the same k ind of results. Mr Williams, though, added that one consolation was that CableB ahamas year-over-year comparisons would be better. FROM page 1B d river was our Internet revenues, the Cable Bahamas executive said of the companys 2010 financial results. It beat our target probably by about 4 per cent, and when c ompared with what we did i n 2009, we were up by almost 6 per cent The other area that saw significant growth for us yearover-year was Premium Services. In 2008 and 2009, weg ot a bit of a beating, because P remium Services are pretty discretionary and the ones that consumers let go first, but we still had an increase overt he previous year. We still did pretty good on the data business, Maxil a nd Caribbean Crossings, and s till maintained in excess of 6 p er cent growth in this area. And Mr Williams added: On the cable TV side, all in a ll, including Pay-Per-View, it was just under 5 per cent u p year-over-year. Even t hough it was ahead of the p revious, we did fall on the c able side slightly below expectations. Mr Williams described Cable Bahamas subscriber numbers as pretty muchh olding steady when yearend 2010 numbers were comp ared to 2009. The company had enjoyed a less than 500 increase once net connections and disconnections were factored in, meaning there w as minimal growth. All things considered, they were very positive results,M r Williams said of the companys 2010 financial perfor mance, as were still feeling t he pinch of the economic sit uation in the country. Its anybodys guess as to when this thing is going to tangibly turn a round. Theres many big projects on the horizon, but the results a re normally lagging behind these projects as they are get ting started. It will help, but it w ill be a year before we see tangible benefits from them, at least as it relates to our ser vices. M r Williams told Tribune Business that Cable Bahamas was gearing up to launch its T riple Play product suite to Bahamian consumers immi nently, adding fixed-line telecommunications to its I nternet and cable TV offerings by virtue of its Systems Resource Group (SRGa cquisitions, which is expected to close in the next few weeks. All the regulatory hurdles a re cleared, Mr Williams said of the SRG purchase. Were just moving forward into the final stages of closing, and anticipate that within a couple of weeks it should be done. Cable Bahamas expanded its staff to more than 400 in the latter part of 2010 in preparation for its entrance into fixed-line telecommunications, adding personnel on the help desk and customer care side, and bringing in the technical expertise required. Explaining the $3.2 million increase in year-over-year preference share dividend payments, Mr Williams said these came from the issuance of the $40 million Series 4 tranche, paying 8 per cent interest, to finance the Columbus Communications buyout, and the rollover of its existing Series 3 tranche. We rolled over our previous Series 3, which was $10 million, and there was a really great demand for more of those prefs to be put out, he explained. Our Board approved the increase from $10 million to $20 million at 7 per cent. Youll likely see the same amount of payments in 2011. Some of the preference share financing was used to pay down Cable Bahamas existing debt, which reached a pretty optimum position of $49.1 million at year-end. Its a pretty healthy position to be in, Mr Williams told Tribune Business. We still have some room on our existing credit facility that weve not drawn on. Were adequately funded and have a strong balance sheet, and just under $200 million in total assets. C ABLE BEATS INTERNET REVENUE TARGET BY 4% FROM page 1B pre-paid, credit and debit cards, the electronic banking platform would also allow the BISX-listed institution to acquire the business of other merchants and companies wishing to issue their cards, providing all the support and systems they needed. Hopefully, in the next fiscal period [financial year 2012, w hich starts on this years July 1] we will bring on stream the business developed from the electronic banking platform, Mr McWeeney told Tribune Business. Were well positioned to bring that business on stream from July, when the new electronic banking model will be introduced. Confirming that the platform would be brought out in the 2011 calendar year, Mr McWeeney said he expected it to widen income streams, and added: Over the lastf ive years, weve invested close to $3 million in the new platform. Im not only talking about hardware and software, but acquiring the people who understand the business. Its new to this territory, and not many understand the process. Reco v er ed Meanwhile, Bank of the Bahamas International recov e red much of the ground lost during the fiscal 2011 first quarter with an improved performance during the three months to end-December 2010, as net income rose to $2.187 million compared to $1.239 million the year before. The improvement was largely driven by an almost $3 million increase in top-line interest income, which grew from just over $13 million to break the $16 million barrier dur ing the fiscal 2011 second quarter. Mr McWeeney attributed this growth to a combination of growing the book of business, with Bank of the Bahamas Internationals loan book having expanded by more than $31 million since the fiscal 2010 year-end, growing to $660.875 million at end-December compared to $629.213 million at end-June, a rise of 5 per cent. Another factor, he added, was trying to introduce pricing that better matches the risks involved in the credit market, meaning that Bank of the Bahamas International is matching interest rates to the borrowers perceived risk. The book of business has grown over the last 18 months, Mr McWeeney told Tribune Business. A lot of the initiatives weve been working on are coming to fruition. We have embarked on some new initiatives and have been able to capitalise on that. Weve been pretty good at containing non-accrual loans to a certain threshold, so that they do not exceed certain internal management targets. If we continue to manage the book of business so that non-accrual loans are contained in a decent position, and grow the book of business, we should be able to show a decent profit. Any bank making profits from operations should be commended for excellent management of their business in the most difficult time for the last 70 years. Adding that Bank of the Bahamas International expected to weather the storm, Mr McWeeney said all the Bahamian commercial banks were expecting to continue making loan loss provisions for the next 12-18 months, as borrowers continued to exhaust their ability to repay their obligations due to reduced incomes and unemployment. We expect to be within budget, he added of the likely financial performance for the fiscal 2011 full year. We will continue to suffer from high delinquencies and provisioning, but the bank expects to maintain a decent level of profit for this fiscal period and into the next fiscal period as well. Were optimistic that towards the end of the next fiscal period, we will see a more sustained and dramatic recovery. While Bank of the Bahamas Internationalse fficiency ratios were not where wed like them to be, t heyve moving in the right direction, Mr McWeeney added, noting these were tied to profits. The key right now is to ensure sound liquidity and make sure capital is adequate to support the risk environ ment, he said. Bank of the Bahamas International was going to continue to grow its retained earnings and capital base, Mr McWeeney said, in anticipation of enhanced cap ital regulatory requirements from Basel III in the not too distant future. ELECTRONIC PLATFORMS $3M INVESTMENT TO SOON PAY OFF FOR BANK FROM page 1B of West Nassau yesterday, Mr Wrinkle noted the BCA first suggested the performance bond several years ago, prior to the financial crisis taking hold. At that time, the Government responded that it felt such a requirement would make the Bahamas uncompetitive vis-a-vis other countries where such demands are not made. However, the BCA president noted that similar stipulations exist in other countries, and added that the view this would make the Bahamas non-competitive could be revisitedw ith a view to what has happened around us and with the results we see throughout the country. Protection Bahamian companies need some protection in the instance that developers get on a plane and leave, said Mr Wrinkle, asserting that the BCA will continue to push the issue. The BCA has requested that theGovern m ent mandate that all FDI projects put up a 10 per cent performance bond to mitigate the destruction they leave behind when they go broke. You have to go no further than Rose Island to see what were talking about, Mr Wrinkle said. They desecrate the landscape and they walk away. Bills, people and products unpaid for and unfinished, and absolutely no responsibility whatsoever. Weve requested it, we didnt get a response, but we certainly will continue to press forward in the next round of FDI development. 10% bond revisit is called for FROM page 1B
BUSINESS T HE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, APRIL 1, 2011, PAGE 5B JEANNINE AVERSA, AP Economics Writer WASHINGTON For the first time in its 9 8-year history, the Federal Reserve on Thursday identified banks that borrowed from its oldest lending program, naming those that drew emergency loans during the financial crisis. The Fed was forced to make the information publ ic after the Supreme Court r ejected a bid by major b anks to keep it secret. T he central bank lent up to $ 110 billion through its e mergency "discount window" at the height of the crisis. At the time, banks were turning to the Fed as a lender of last resort because their credit had frozen up. The Fed argued t hen that naming banks that used its discount window could cause a run ont hem, endangering the institutions and defeating t he program's purpose. The documents released Thursday provided details a bout which banks borrowed from the program f rom August 2007 through March 2010. Big U.S. banks, such as Wachovia a nd Morgan Stanley, took out short-term loans of $6 b illion and $1.25 billion, r espectively, in the fall of 2008, the documents showed. Some of the largest foreign banks usedt he program, too. Barclay's b orrowed $1 billion. Smaller institutions also drew from the discountw indow during the finan cial crisis. The Savings Bank of Maine and the Bank of Yazoo City inM ississippi both did so, the documents show. Washington Mutual Bank took out $10 billion worth of short-t erm, mostly overnight, loans in the week leading to its failure. Its collapsew as the biggest for a bank i n U.S. history. One day before it failed, Washington Mutual took out a $2 billion overnight loan, the documents show. The day it failed, Sept. 25, 2008, Washington Mutual took out another one-day $2 bil lion loan. JPMorgan Chase ended up buying the bank. Few loans are being made now because most banks are in much better health. And both the financial industry and the econ omy have strengthened. Bloomberg L.P. had sued the Fed, seeking details about the Fed's discount window lending as well as other Fed loans made during the crisis. A similar lawsuit was later filed by News Corp.'s Fox News Network LLC. Other news organizations, includ ing The Associated Press, filed legal briefs in support. The Fed had said that some of the information being sought was made public in December. At that time, the Fed revealed details about all its crisis lending except those involving commercial banks that borrowed from the discount window. Most of the Fed's crisisera lending more than $3 trillion came through those other programs. Fed documents showed it gave trillions in emergency aid to U.S. and foreign banks as well as other companies. The disclosures were required under the finan cial overhaul law enacted last year. Under the over haul law, the Fed beginning in late 2012 must provide information on any commercial banks that draw emergency loans from its discount window. Those details will remain secret, though, for about two years after the borrow ing occurs. PAUL WISEMAN, AP Economics Writer WASHINGTON The United States is out of step with the rest of the world's richest industrialized nations:I ts economy is growing faster than theirs but creating far few-er jobs. The reason is U.S. workers have become so productive that it's harder for anyone without a job to get one. Companies are producing and profiting more than when the recession began, despite fewer workers. They're hiring again, but not fast enough to replace most of the 7.5 million jobs lost since the recession began. Measured in growth, the American economy has outperformed those of Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan every Group of 7 developed nation except Canada, according to The Associated Press' new Global Econo-my Tracker, a quarterly analysis of 22 countries representing more than 80 percent of global output. Yet the U.S. job market remains the group's weakest. U.S. employment bottomedand started growing again a year ago, but there are still 5.4 percent fewer American jobs than in December 2007. That'sa much sharper drop than in any other G-7 country. TheU.S. had the G-7's highest unemployment rate as of December. Canada and Ger many have actually added jobs since the recession ended in June 2009. U.S. companies aren't acting the way economists had expect-e d them to. In the past, when the U.S. economy fell into recession, companies typically cut jobs but often kept more than they needed. Some might have felt protective of their staffs. Or they didn't want to risk losing skilled employees they'd need once business rebounded. Among manufacturers, for example, some tended to hoard workers during downturns by giving them make-work assign ments sweeping factory floors, counting inventory, painting warehouses. The result is that productivity output per workers has typically decelerated or even dropped as the economy has weakened. Japan and Europe have been following that script. At thedepth of the recession in 2009, productivity shrank 3.7 percent in Japan and 2.2 percent in Europe. The United States has proved the exception. U.S. productivity growth doubled from 2008 to 2009, then doubled again in 2010, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Panicked by the 2008 financial crisis and deepening recession, U.S. employers cut jobs pitilessly. They slashed an average of 780,000 jobs a month in the January-March quarter of 2009. "My sense is there was much more weeding out of the weakest workers the ones they didn't want," says Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff. Yet after shrinking payrolls, many companies found they could produce just as much with fewer workers. And with that higher productivity came higher profits. By July-September quarter of 2010, U.S. corporate earnings were 12 per cent more than when the reces sion began. By contrast, corporate profits fell 6 percent in Japan and 16 percent in Canada from the October-December quarter of 2007, according to Haver Analytics. In Reading, Pennsylvania, Remcon Plastics moved fast once sales evaporated in the fall of 2008. "I have never seen my business go so quiet," says Peter Connors, founder of the company, which makes pharmaceutical equip ment. "I recognized that busi ness wasn't going to be strong for some time." So he laid off 25 temporary workers. And he put his 50 fulltime employees on a three-day workweek. Remcon rethought how it did business restructuring the workplace, for example, so employees didn't have to walk as far to do their tasks. A plastic part that once had to be made by six workers now needs t hree. It can be produced faster. "So even as demand came back, we could wait to add peo ple," Connors says. Japanese, European and Canadian companies are less inclined to purge employees. Their customs, labor regulations and unions discourage aggressive layoffs. CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer WASHINGTON Fewer people applied for unemployment ben efits last week, a sign that layoffs are dropping and companies may be stepping up hiring. The Labor Department said Thursday that the number of people seeking benefits dipped by 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 388,000 for the week that ended March 26. That's the second decline in three weeks. Applications near 375,000 or below are consistent with a sustained increase in hiring. Appli cations peaked during the recession at 659,000. The four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, rose to 394,250. Still, that figure has dropped by 35,500, or 8 percent, in the past eight weeks. "The downtrend ... is undeniable," Joshua Shapiro, chief economist at MFR Financial Inc., said. "We believe that this improvement will continue in the weeks and months ahead." The department also revised the previous five years of data. The changes showed that applications in recent weeks were moderately higher than previously reported. As applications have fallen, hiring has started to pick up. Economists forecast that employers added a net total of 185,000 jobs in March. That would be just below February's gain of 192,000 the most jobs added in nearly a year. The unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged at 8.9 percent. The March data will be released Friday. Still, hiring must rise by about 300,000 per month to rapidly bring down the unemployment rate, economists say. The economy has gained more than a million jobs in the past year but still has 7.5 million fewer jobs than before the recession. The number of people collecting benefits also dropped. It fell by 51,000 to 3.7 million in the week ending March 19, the latest data available. That's the lowest figure since October 2008. But that doesn't include millions of people receiving aid under the emergency unemployment benefit programs put in place during the recession. All told, 8.8 million people received unemployment benefits in the week ending March 12, the latest data available. That's slightly higher than the previous week. Positive There have been other positive reports about jobs and hiring this week. More than half of the largest U.S. companies plan to step up hiring in the next six months, according to a survey by the Business Roundtable, released Wednesday. That's the highest proportion of the group's members that plan to add workers since the quarterly survey began in 2002. The Roundtable represents the CEOs of roughly 200 of the largest U.S. companies. And the Conference Board said more job openings were posted online in March. The number of postings rose by 208,800, or nearly 5 percent, to 4.45 million. Job openings have increased by 600,000 in the first three months of this year. The Conference Board is a nonprofit business research group. ELAINE KURTENBACH, AP Business Writer NANJING, China Financial leaders of the Group of 20 top economies appeared to reach informal agreement Thursday on the need for China's currency to have a wider role in global finance, but not asa substitute for the U.S. dollar. French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said the daylong meeting agreed the G-20 should study including China's yuan in the basket of currencies that sets the value of the Inter national Monetary Fund's SDRs, or Special Drawing Rights a quasi cur rency created by the IMF that is used in dealings with and between mem ber governments. "We raised with our Chinese friends the idea of including the yuan, under conditions and a time frame to be agreed upon," Lagarde said. "From right now we will start work on broadening the basket of currencies." The basket now includes the dollar, Japan ese yen, euro and British pound. Including the yuan would underline China's increased clout in the global economy and finance after it last year overtook Japan to become the second-biggest economy. It might also serve as a carrot that other G-20 mem bers hope will encourage Beijing to relax controls that limit the Chinese currency's appreciation. Since the gathering in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing was not an official G-20 meeting, there was no formal agreement, Lagarde said. She also clarified there was "no sugges tion whatsoever that the dollar be replaced by SDRs," an option that has been raised by China as a way of reducing global reliance on the dollar for trade and as a reserve currency. "There is recognition that the dollar plays a critical role and will continue to do so," Lagarde said. SDRs are allocated by the IMF based on each country's voting rights in the organization and the fund acts as a middleman between countries that want to exchange them for freely traded currencies. The IMF can require countries with ample currency reserves to buy SDRs from weaker nations in exchange for real currency. The G-20 financial mandarins also agreed on the need for reforming the IMF to make it more diverse and representative a long-standing demand from Beijing and other developing nations and to make it more capable of monitoring trends and helping stave off financial crises. Closer coordination and "common rules of the game" are needed to pre vent currency wars, Lagarde said. Despite the show of consensus, discord over the issue of China's exchange rate policies was evident, with French President Nicolas Sarkozy kicking off the talks by urging Beijing to move ahead further with internationalizing the tightly-controlled yuan. Beijing has restrained the yuan's rise since the 2008 global crisis to help exporters that employ millions of workers compete abroad, though it has been easing those controls in recent months. U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, without directly mention ing China, told a closed-door panel that such controls add to financial strains. Washington has long com plained that Beijing keeps the yuan artificially cheap, giving Chinese exporters an unfair advantage in international markets. "This asymmetry in exchange rate policies creates a lot of tension," he said, according to a text of the remarks provided to journalists. "It intensifies inflation risk in those emerging economies with undervalued exchange rates. And, finally, it generates protectionist pressures." The talks ended without any public statement by the Chinese officials attending. They had insisted that Chi na's currency policy was not on the agenda before the talks began. In his opening remarks Vice Premier Wang Qishan cited the need for only gradual change. Sarkozy made an urgent appeal for continued progress on reforming the international monetary system to enhance its stability. "It is clear that we must evolve toward a more flexible exchange rate system that will allow us to withstand shocks," Sarkozy said. There is also a need, he said, for rules and supervision to ensure countries are protected from the excess volatility that can come with liberalized currency trading. "Now that the crisis is past, the temptation to not act is very strong. Ifwe lose the impetus that we achieved during the crisis then the world will slide inexorably back into instability and crisis," he said before leaving for Tokyo. His visit to Japan is intended to express the G-20's support for the country as it struggles to cope with the aftermath of the calamitous March 11 earthquake and tsunami, and the ensuring nuclear power plant crisis. Geithner told a panel at the G-20 meeting that easing controls on exchange rates and shifting to more market oriented policies are key steps toward managing inflation a prob lem that China is currently struggling with. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik JOBHUNTING: In this March 21, 2011 photo job seekers talk to prospective employers at a teen job fair held at the Swanson Public Library in Omaha, Neb. Fewer people applied for unemployment benefits last w eek, a sign that layoffs are dropping and companies may be stepping up hiring. US hiring lags even as economy outpaces rivals FEWER PEOPLE SOUGHT UNEMPLOYMENT AID LAST WEEK INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS FED NAMES BANKS THAT DREW LOANS DURING CRISIS G20 meeting highlights conflicts over currency
BARRY HATTON, Associated Press L ISBON, Portugal Portugal's financial plight deepened Thursday when official figures showed the debtstressed country's budget deficit last year was 8.6 percent of gross domestic product way above the government target o f 7.3 percent that was intended to allay market fears. The estimate by the National Statistics Institute was another setback for Portugal's struggle to avoid taking a bailout, like those Greece and Ireland accepted last year, as it faces two months without a govern ment before a June 5 general election and debt repayments it can't afford. The deficit figure is far above the eurozone's limit of 3 per cent, though the statistics institute noted its measurements were based on new EU accounting rules which include the cost of helping banks and state companies. Outgoing finance minister Fernando Teixeira dos Santos said that without the accounting changes the deficit last year would have been 6.8 percent, showing that his austerity measures are paying off. He also complained about the accounting alterations, saying it was "like changing the score after the game has ended." Though Portugal's economy represents less than 2 percent of the eurozone's GDP, its trou bles could wreck European efforts to shake off a debt crisis that has dogged the continent for more than a year. European leaders had hoped that the rescue of Greece and Ireland would ease investor concerns and spare banks across the continent that are exposed to eurozone debt. But Portugal's political uncertainty and crushing debt load have conspired to stoke the crisis. Its financial difficulties over the past year have pushed the yield on its 10-year bond to a euro-era record of 8.4 percent an unsustainable level for the ailing country which is expected to enter a double-dip recession this year. It is also roughly the same level that eventually forced reluctant Athens and Dublin to accept help. Despite that, Portugal continued to defy predictions it will be shut out of financial markets, announcing the sale of up to ?1.5 billion ($2.13 billion bonds on Friday and up to ?1 billion ($1.42 billion term Treasury bills next week. The government quit last week in a dispute with opposi tion parties over a new batch of measures to restore the country's fiscal health. President Anibal Cavaco Silva announced Thursday in a televised address to the nation that a national ballot for a new administration will be held on the first Sunday in June. He said Portugal faces "a huge challenge" to beat what he said was an "unprecedented" crisis. Rating agencies have downgraded the country's credit worthiness three times in recent days, adding to market pres sure on Portugal to accept financial help it has insisted it doesn't want or need. On Thursday, the statistics institute also said that the 2009 deficit was 10 percent, higher than its previous calculation of 9.6 percent, and that public debt in 2010 was 92.4 percent of GDP meaning the amount Portugal owes is close to the amount of wealth it generates in a year. Teixeira dos Santos, the finance minister, noted the outgoing government doesn't have the legitimacy to negotiate help, leaving the country in a perilous political limbo that will last more than two months. Meanwhile, Portugal faces a major test of its finances in April when it has to rollover ?4.5 billion. Another crunch comes in June when it has to find ?4.96 billion ($7 billion for another bond repayment. The main parties, wary of the political stigma associated with a bailout, have all said they don't intend to ask for outside help. A bailout commits a country to fiscal policies which would limit politicians' room for maneuver. All parties agree on the need to cut debt but differ over the scope and scale of austerity measures. The outgoing gov ernment has cut pay and pensions and hiked taxes, triggering protests including another rail strike Friday. Ireland's financial collapse also brought down its government, with the main opposition party winning a later ballot. B USINESS PAGE 6B, FRIDAY, APRIL 1, 2011 THE TRIBUNE DAprilIs ancerControlMonth. TheCancerCentre,BahamasWillBeHostingEachYear,ThePresidentOfTheUSADeclares AprilAs CancerControlMonth EffortsAreMadeToInformPeople OnWaysToPreventCancerAndHighlight ProgressInCancerResearch.TheCancerCentre,BahamasIsThe Second SiteInTheWorldOutsideTheUntiedStatesAndNorthAmerica ToBeAccreditedByThe American CollegeOfRadiationOncology(ACRO).OurDoctorsStandCommittedAndRededicateThisCentre ToFighting ThisDisease. Hon.Prof.Dr.ArthurPorterPC,MD,MBA,FACR,FACR,FAAMA DirectorofRadiationOncology,And C EOofMcGillUniversityHealthCentre Dr.CorrineSinQueeMBBS,FAAP DirectorofPaediatricOncology ProfessorDr.KarolSikora MA,PhD.FRCR,FRCP,FFPM DirectorofMedicalOncology,And D irector,CancerPartnersUK,LondonWeBring TheBestInAmericanTechnology ToYouWhere ItIsBetterInTheBahamas!GoogleUsToday!AFreePublicLecture World Renowned And OneOfBritainsForemostCancerSpecialists,Prof.Dr. KarolSikoraIsInviting TheGeneralPublicToA Free CancerLectureOnCancerControl-ARealisticChallenge.Tuesday April12th,2011@6:30 pm Call502-9610 ToRSVP ACancerClinic WithProf.Dr.KarolSikora To ProvideConsultationAnd TreatmentToPersonsWithCancerMonday,April11th,2011 ForAnAppointment Telephone:242-502-9610 A look at economic developments and activity in major stock markets around the world Thursday: ___ DUBLIN Ireland's ailing banks need another 24 b illion euros ($34 billion T he Central Bank of Ireland made the recommendation as it published pessimistic results for stress tests on four banks. The banks, whose losses the government insured early during the financial crisis, led Ireland to need a bailout in the first place, so their fate is closely tied with that of the wider country. The stress tests presume that the country's real estate market will keep falling and produce tens of thousands of home foreclosures, a problem that is just starting to bite. ___ Inflation in the 17 euro countries spiked to the highest level in nearly two and a half years in March, cementing market expectations that the European Central Bank will hike interest rates next week. ___ LONDON Stock markets in Europe showed little momentum as oil prices rose and investors awaited a key U.S. jobs report. The euro, meanwhile, was supported by expectations the European Central Bank will raise interest rates next week to combat inflation. T he FTSE 100 index of leading British shares closed d own 0.7 percent, while Germany's DAX fell 0.2 percent and the CAC-40 in France ended 0.9 percent lower. ___ T OKYO Earlier in Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.5 percent to 9,755.10, its highest close since March 1 1, since an earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan's i ndustrial northeast. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.3 percent while South Korea's Kospi rose 0.2 percent, but China's Shanghai C omposite index fell 0.9 percent. __ LISBON, Portugal Portugal's National Statistics I nstitute estimates the debt-stressed country's national budget deficit last year was 8.6 percent, way above the government's target of 7.3 percent. __ NANJING, China Financial leaders of the Group of 2 0 top economies appeared to reach informal agreement on the need for China's currency to have a wider role in global finance, but not as a substitute for the U.S. dollar. F rench Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said the d aylong meeting agreed the G-20 should study including China's yuan in the basket of currencies that sets the value of the International Monetary Fund's SDRs, or SpecialD rawing Rights, a quasi currency created by the IMF that is used in dealings with and between member governments. __ DUBLIN Anglo Irish Bank, the dying institution at the heart of Ireland's journey to near bankruptcy, con firmed an Irish-record 2010 net loss of 17.7 billion euros ($25 billionb ad. ___ ATHENS, Greece Standard & Poor's downgraded four Greek banks' credit ratings, two days after cutting the d ebt-ridden country's credit worthiness by two notches, putting it further into junk status. ___ BERLIN Germany's unemployment rate dropped to 7.6 percent in March as the growing strength of Europe's biggest economy bolstered the labor market and a traditional springtime revival kicked in. ___ MOSCOW Cabinet ministers representing the gov ernment on the boards of state-controlled companies will have to step down, an adviser to Russia's president Dmitry Medvedev said. ___ MADRID Three Spanish savings banks hope to revive merger negotiations after talks involving a fourth bank collapsed. A spokesman for Caja de Extremadura said no agreement had been reached yet but that talks with Cajastur and Cantabria savings banks would likely con tinue. ___ ANKARA, Turkey Turkey says its economy grew by 8.9 percent in 2010, making it one of the fastest-expanding economies in the world. ___ BEIJING China said it will increase this year's production quota for rare earths but gave no sign it might reverse plans to cut exports of the exotic metals needed by high-tech industry. ___ ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast Rebels fighting to install Ivory Coast's democratically elected president began besieging the main city of Abidjan on Thursday as the top army commander fled his post in the face of an offensive that saw several towns and a seaport quickly fall. ___ LONDON Average U.K. house prices rose by 0.5 percent in March compared with February but the market showed no sign of beginning a strong recovery, a major mortgage lender reported. ___ BEIJING Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., the country's biggest state-owned commercial lender, says its 2010 profit rose 28 percent amid an economic rebound and more profitable lending. ___ TAIPEI, Taiwan Taiwan raised its key interest rate for the fourth time in nine months in a bid to combat inflation. GLOBAL ECONOMIC NEWS a ssociated press Portugal to choose new govt as debt woes worsen QUESTIONTIME: Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates talks with journalists during a news conference Tuesday, March 29, 2011 a t Lisbon's Sao Bento palace. Rating agency Standard & Poor's Tuesday downgraded debt-stressed Portugal's credit worthiness, deepe ning the country's financial plight as it fights to avoid a bailout. Portugal's government quit last week in a dispute with its rivals over a debt reduction plan and Silva is consulting with political leaders before announcing a date for general elections. A P P h o t o / F r a n c i s c o S e c o
S HAWN POGATCHNIK, A ssociated Press D UBLIN Ireland's ailing banks need another euro24 billion ( $34 billion) in cash in a m ove that will leave all of t hem under state control and facing a complete over-h aul, officials announced T hursday in a long-awaited effort to cap a 3-year banking crisis. The Central Bank of Ireland made that recommendation as it published pessimistic results for stress t ests on four banks. The b anks, whose losses the gove rnment insured early duri ng the financial crisis, c aused Ireland to need a b ailout in the first place, so their fate is closely tied with that of the wider country. The tests presumed that the country's real estate market would keep sinking for the next two years and p roduce tens of thousands of home foreclosures, a problem that is just starting t o bite in a country committ ed to the idea of home o wnership for all. C entral Bank Governor Patrick Honohan said all four banks would need enough money to cover mammoth write-offs of dud property loans and to boost their cash reserves to higher s tandards. He said these c ash requirements can't be met by any of the banks, so e ach will have to receive f unding from Ireland's e mergency European Union-International Monetary Fund credit line. The European Commiss ion, European Central B ank and Washingtonbased IMF in a joint state-m ent praised the Irish plans a s "comprehensive" and "a m ajor step toward restoring t he Irish banking system to h ealth." And in a separate statement, the ECB said it now considered the four banks solvent and worthy of uninterrupted flows of shortterm liquidity loans until Irel and's banks are restruct ured and able to borrow on open markets again. It also a nnounced a lowering of l ending conditions in the i nterim. In recent months that funding, provided in tandem b y the ECB and the Irish Central Bank, has soared to m ore than euro180 billion and raised tensions between F rankfurt and Dublin over w hen, if ever, Irish banks could be weaned off the f unds. Analysts sounded a skept ical note. They noted that Ireland now has produced three supposedly definitive s tress tests on its banks since 2009 claiming to have found t he bottom only to prod uce even scarier numbers within months. Impression Our initial impression is that the question of whether this is enough will continue to linger," said MarchelA lexandrovich, European financial economist at Jef feries International. I reland's 3-week-old gov e rnment unveiled plans to shrink the country's financial sector through a series of mergers and asset selloffs. F inance Minister Michael Noonan told parliament that Ireland intended to create" two pillar banks" based on the market leaders, Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Banks. The other four Irisho wned banks would essen t ially disappear within the next few years by selling their good bits and transferring their bad to the two market survivors. Noonan said the inade quacy of Ireland's previous stress tests and other bailout efforts meant that, this time, the new government had no choice but to embrace a financial Doomsday scenario and show how Ire land could withstand it. "The cost is huge. And it's huge because Ireland has very little credibility left," Noonan said in an interview. "So the policy ... is to over capitalize the banks, to restore confidence and credibility. They're literally being stuffed with capital." Noonan said this was necessary because "people don't believe Irish statistics anymore." "They have been given assurances about numb ers too many times before t hat have proven to be incorrect. So now we haveh ad to undergo the most c onservative stress tests anyw here in the developed w orld, and we've had to o verdo it in terms of capitalization," he said. The government plans to take majority control of Irish Life & Permanent, Ireland's biggest provider of private pensions and residential m ortgages. Until now, it has b een the only bank to avoid the process of creeping n ationalization but now i t's going to be dismantled. A s part of the new plan, Irish Life & Permanent will sell off its profit-making u nits in pensions and investments in a public flotation. I ts most vulnerable unit, retail bank and mortgage p rovider Permanent TSB, w ill be merged with one of the two survivors. N oonan said the fourth and smallest bank targeted b y Thursday's stress tests, Educational Building Society, will be merged into A llied Irish. Ireland already wholly owns ESB and has a 9 3 percent stake in Allied I rish. The outside consultants who designed the stress tests, New York-basedi nvestment managers BlackRock, based their estimates of loan losses and cash needso n an Irish economy that falls deeper into recession over the coming two years. BlackRock based its projec-t ions on mortgage defaults, i n part, on the housing-mar ket implosion in Las Vegas. BlackRock's hypothetical I reland of the near future would suffer mortgage losses of up to euro17 billion, while average house pricesw ould fall 17.4 percent this year and 18.8 percent next year. The economy would s hrink 1.6 percent this year. Honohan stressed he didn't think any of this would actually happen, but Ireland needs to demonstrate it can cope if it does. The EU and IMF in November offered the gov ernment loans, worth up to euro67.5 billion ($95 billion on condition that the banks be tested again to determine a worst-case scenario for funding. The EU-IMF bailout fund earmarked up to euro35 bil lion for bolstering the banks, so Thursday's figures come in well below that limit. Nonetheless, the new figure would take the estimat ed total cost of Ireland's bank-bailout efforts since 2009 to euro70 billion ($99 billion) some euro15,500 ($22,000 woman and child in Ireland. Ireland has already put euro46 billion into its banks s ince 2009, when it began nationalizing them to prevent their collapse andt ook the country to the brink of bankruptcy as a consequence. T he state already owns 36 p ercent of Bank of Ireland. It also fully nationalized and is shutting down two other banks, Anglo Irish and Irish N ationwide, that were not targets of Thursday's stress tests. T hursday's plan calls for Allied Irish to receive euro13.3 billion more; Bank o f Ireland euro5.2 billion; I rish Life & Permanent euro4 billion; and EBS euro1.5 billion. NEW YORK The euro climbed against the dollar Thursday as an inflation reading in Europe bolstered investor expecta tions that the European Central Bank will raise interest rates next week. Consumer prices in euro countries were up 2.6 percent in March, the fastest increase since October 2008. Central banks raise interest rates to help counter infla tion. But higher rates on government bonds increase demand for the currency linked to that country or region. The euro rose to $1.4198 late Thursday from $1.4121 late Wednesday. Debt problems in Europe are ongoing. Portugal says its budget deficit last year was larger than expected. The debt-heavy country is trying to avoid a bailout like the ones Greece and Ireland accepted last year. Such a move would be the latest sign for investors that Europe's debt problems might not be easily resolved. Meanwhile, Ireland's tests on its banks showed that about $34 billion more in aid is needed for its financial sector. Economic news from the U.S. was better. The number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week fell by 6,000 to 388,000, according to the Labor Department. Investors are awaiting Friday's unemployment report to see whether the economy added jobs in March. Economists forecast that employers added a net total of 185,000 jobs during the month. In other trading Thursday in New York, the British pound fell to $1.6065 from $1.6069 late Wednesday. The dollar rose to 83.07 Japanese yen from 82.89 yen, and fell to 0.9163 Swiss franc from 0.9193 Swiss franc. The U.S. dollar also fell to 96.88 Canadian cents from 97.13 Cana dian cents. The U.S. currency was also lower against most currencies from around the world, including the Australian dollar, Scandinavian currencies, currencies in Latin Amer ica and the South Korean won. B USINESS PAGE 8B, FRIDAY, APRIL 1, 2011 THE TRIBUNE EMPLOYMENTOPPORTUNITYRADIOLOGISTTheImagingCentreatTheMedicalPavilionisseekinga qualifiedRadiologistwithatleast4-5yearsposttraining experience.Candidatemustbewellversedinthefollowing areas:UltrasonographyMammographyCT&MRIScansInterventionalExperience(Plus) Qualified individualsshould submitcompleteresumeto: HumanResourcesDepartment Re:Radiologist P.O.BoxN-4296 Nassau,Bahamas Tele:(242)356-6666 Fax:(242356-6680 E-mail:email@example.com NEWS FROM EUROPE Ireland: Banks need euro24B more, will be overhauled (AP Photo / Peter Morrison FACING THEPRESS: Patrick Honohan, Governor of the Central Bank o f Ireland listens to media questions at the Central Bank, Dublin, Ireland, Thursday, March 31, 2011. Irelands ailing banks need another euro 24 billion ($34 billion government, in a move that will leave all of them under state controla nd facing a complete overhaul, officials said Thursday. The Central Bank of Ireland made that recommendation as it published pes simistic results for stress tests on four banks a condition of Irelands i nternational bailout. INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS E uro rises against dollar on inter est rate
BUSINESS T HE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, APRIL 1, 2011, PAGE 9B $'(/,1(%,(19(18( 9,&725RI0,$0,675((73%2; 1$66$8%$+$0$6 JOHN HEILPRIN, Associated Press GENEVA The World Trade Organization has ruled that Boeing Co. received at least $5.3 billion in illegal U.S. subsidies to develop and build new planes, according to a finding of a report first issued in Januarybut made public on Thursday. The WTO trade panel's r eport came in response to EU complaints, which had alleged that Boeing received almost $24 billion in illegal state subsidies between 1989and 2006. The public release of the ruling Thursday is the latest development in a six-year c ontest and will likely next go to a WTO appeals panel. WTO say in its ruling that the EU has demonstrated the U.S. gave Boeing "export subsidies that are prohibited" and recommends the U.S. either withdraw them or "take steps to remove the adverse affects." The report details findings, which were first issued in private to the EU and U.S. in January. It says Boeing received illegal subsidies suchas grants and free use of technology from NASA, the Department of Defense, and the states of Illinois, Kansas and Washington. These include $2.6 billion in NASA research and development programs, $2.2 billion in foreign sales corporation export subsidies, and varioustax breaks and other incentives from several states and cities. The Defense Department also gave Boeing an illegal subsidy, the ruling says, but "the amount of the subsidy ... is unclear." NEW YORK The former finance arm of General Motors said Thursday it is preparing an initial public offering as it seeks to repay billions in government aid received during the finan cial crisis. Ally Financial Inc. said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the IPO could raise up to $100 million, but the actual offering will likely be larger. The preliminary estimate of proceeds often changes closer to the IPO date as the offering is pitched to investors. GM itself is an example of the possible change in amount: When it announced plans to go public to pay money back to the government after being bailed out, it also said it would sell up to $100 million worth of common stock in its initial filing. The IPO in November raised $23.1 billion. "We're talking about a number that could vary dra matically," said Scott Sweet, a longtime analyst of IPOs and founder of IPO Boutique. "GM started at a number that wasn't even remotely close to where it ended. That's likely the same situation here." Ally will not receive any pro ceeds from the IPO. MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer WASHINGTON U.S. factories orders fell in February, as the government cut demand for military planes and communications equipment while businesses bought fewer computers, turbines and power generators. Orders to U.S. factories slipped 0.1 percent in February after three straight monthly gains, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. When excluding transportation, orders rose 0.1 percent. That's the seventh straight increase for that category. Still, a key measure of what businesses spent on capital goods fell for the second straight month. Even with the decline, factory orders totaled $446 billion last month. That's a level economists view as healthy and it is 26.4 percent above the recession low hit in March 2009. Economists expect the sector will grow in the months ahead, based on strong demand for exports and tax cuts designed to encourage businesses to spend more on capital goods. The category that measures business investment in capital goods dropped 0.7 percent in February. That followed a 5.9 percent fall in January the biggest in two years. The declines show that businesses are not yet taking advantage of the new tax break approved in December. Scott Anderson, an economist with Wells Fargo, noted that new orders outside of defense were up 0.5 percent in February, indicating that much of the month's weakness was in defense, a volatile category. "Business spending has not slowed as dramatically as the headline number suggests," Anderson said. "The underlying trend in orders remains positive." Orders for long-lasting manufactured goods fell 0.6 percent in February, slightly smaller than the 0.9 percent decline in durable goods reported in last week. Orders for nondurable goods, which include chemicals, food and paper, rose 0.3 percent. Transportation equipment orders fell 1.5 percent, even though commercial aircraft rose 26.7 percent last month. A big reason for the decline: military aircraft orders dropped 17.4 percent. Ordersf or autos rose 0.9 percent. Manufacturing activity in the United States has been expanding since the recession officially ended in June 2009. Total industrial output has risen nearly 12 percent since hitting a recession low in June 2009. The gains in February came from increased output of cars, appliances, computers and furniture, according to the latest report from the Federal Reserve. There are concerns that the earthquake and nuclear crisis in Japan might disrupt factory output in the United States. Japan shipsp arts to U.S. manufacturers. U.S. auto and electronics companies are seen as the most vulnerable although analysts believe any disruptions will be short-lived. NEW YORK The insurer AIG, the recipient of a huge government bailout during the 2008 financial crisis, named a new CEO and management team for its Chartis global property casu alty business on Thursday as part of a reorganization of one of its main business units. American International Group Inc. said Peter Han cock, executive vice president of risk and investments, would replace Kristian Moor as CEO of the Chartis insurance unit. Moor has been with AIG for more than 30 years and will become the unit's vice chairman. The restructured Chartis will be divided into commercial and consumer groups with supporting claims and underwriting blended into these two operations. John Doyle, previously CEO of Chartis U.S., will run the global commercial busi ness. Jeffrey L. Hayman, cur rently Chartis' chief adminis trative officer, will lead the global consumer business. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, file LANDOFPLENTY: In this file photo taken April 16, 2010 photo, Central Illinois farmer Gary Niemeyer finishes planting his 1,550 acres of corn on his farm in Auburn, Ill. The government predicts U.S. farmers w ill increase the 2011 corn crop, but it wont likely be enough to stem the rise in food prices. AIG names new boss at property casualty unit business BRIEFS WTO rules US aid to Boeing is illegal Ally, former GM finance ar m, files for an IPO CHRISTOPHER LEONARD, AP Agribusiness WriterS T. LOUIS The government predicts U .S. farmers will increase this year's corn crop, but it won't likely be enough to stem the rise in food prices. F armers intend to plant 92.2 million acres of corn this spring, 5 percent more than last year, the Agriculture Department estimated Thursday. That would be the second-biggest corn crop since 1944, after a record-setting planting in 2007. Yet the addi tional supply isn't expected to keep up with growing global demand. Anal ysts Prices of corn and soybeans rose after the report as analysts warned that even with the increase in corn acreage, grain prices won't drop back to their lower levels of six months ago. Prices will likely stay elevated, in part because of rising demand for grain from the U.S. ethanol industry and exports to an expanding Asian middle class. The government said earlier this year that corn reserves were at their lowest level in 15 years. The low surpluses are leaving markets jittery. It means that relatively slight declines in supply, from droughts and other short-term disruptions, can send prices jumping. "Stocks are going to remain very tight," said John Sanow, a grain markets analyst with Telvent DTN in Omaha. Grain prices are at their highest points since the food crisis of 2008. Worries over a shortage have doubled the price of corn since last summer, from $3.50 to more than $7 a bushel.(One bushel of corn equals 25.4 kilograms or 56 pounds). The high prices are encouraging farmers to plant more corn. It isn't likely to be enough. The price of corn had fallen this week in anticipation of the crop report, dropping to about $6.60 a bushel. But the price shot up to $6.93 a bushel by late Thursday morning. Some of the increase in corn acres comes at the expense of this year's soybean crop. Farmers intend to plant 76.6 million acres of soybeans. That's down 1 percent from last year. Soybean prices rose 3 percent to $14.15 a bushel. (1 bushel of soybeans equals 27 kilograms/60 pounds). It can take months for grain prices to filter through to U.S. groceries. That's because ingredient costs account for just 10 percent of the price of the processed food Americans buy. The USDA predicted earlier this year that overall food prices would rise a little more than 3 percent this year. Traders fret that farmers will expand the corn crop by planting on acreage previously set aside for land conservation. That land isn't highly productive, so crop yields there could be dis appointingly low, KeyBanc Capital Markets Akshay Jagdale said in a report to clients. If yields look sluggish this summer, and if bad weather affects the Midwest, prices could climb again, Jagdale said. Bigger corn crop not likely to ease food inflation INTERN A TIONAL BUSINESS FACTORY ORDERS DIP 0.1 PERCENT IN FEBRUARY
P AGE 14B, FRIDA Y APRIL 1, 201 1 THE TRIBUNE B U S I N E S S R E V I E W T H E F A M I N E i s o v e r a t l a s t A f ter a d ecad e-l on g s i len ce, apar t f r o m t w o B a h a m i a n D e p o s i t o r y R e c e i p t ( B D R ) d e r i v a t i v e o f f e r i n g s i n the s h ape of Kerz ner Inte r n ationa l a n d C o n s o l i d a t e d W a t e r t h e B a h a m i a n e q u i ty m a r ke t s b u rs t b a c k i n to l i fe wi th the ir b ig ge st o ffe ring y et C om mon we al th B re we ry's $6 2. 5 mil lio n i n i t i a l p u b l i c o f f e r i n g (I P O ) Y e t i r o n ic al ly the g rea te st d iff ic ul ty ma y lie n o t i n g e t t i n g t h e I P O f u l l y s u b sc r i b e d b u t w h a t h a p p e n s a f t e r w a r d s A n d a s a l l k n o w l e d g e a b l e Ba ha mia n cap it al m ar ke ts pa r ti cipa nt s k no w th e p rob le m s st em fro m B I S X s l a c k o f l i q u i d i t y p r i c i n g me c ha n i sm a nd o v e ra l l m a rk e t st ru c tu re F ru str at i on s o ve r t hi s i ssu e a n d the effe ct (rea l or i mag ined ) tha t it ha s ha d on the sha re pri c es o f B ISX li ste d sto c k s, h a v e p ro mp te d i n c re a sing nu mbers of public c ompanie s A M L F o o d s a n d B a n k o f t h e Ba hama s be ing the l ate s t to i ntroduc e s h are buy bac k program mes to m op u p sm all r et ai l inv es to rs des p er at e to e xit fo r n on -f in an cial or inve stment reason s The y, an d the bu yba ck pl ans, a r e the sym ptoms rath er tha n the c au s e o f deepr oot ed st ru c t ur al is su es in t he Ba hamian capital markets that h a v e i n p a r t c o n t ri b u t e d t o t h e st u n t i ng of th eir dev elo pme nt o ver th e pa st d e c a de a nd th e a b se nc e o f m ore IP O s. A s K e n w oo d K e r r, P ro v i d e n c e A d v i s o r s c h i e f e x ec u t i v e, s o el o quen tly put it in his inve stmen t note o n t h e C o m m o n w e a l t h B r e w e r y IP O po stIP O l iq ui d it y re m a in s a ke y ris k t o i n v e s t o r s w h e n i t c o m e s t o e n t e r i n g and ex iting the stock T h e c om pany is ex posed to systemic risk p ost-I PO in te rms of li quid ity a nd a bi lit y to se ll sha res i n the o p e n m a r k e t In v e s t o rs i n l o c a l s h a r e s must al wa ys be co nc erne d ab out the lac k of liqui dity on th e B ISX. At 25 per ce nt o f the sha r e s in the pu blic doma in, this is a smal l floa t .futu r e c orpora te pe rforman ce s h ould d r i ve li quidi ty," Mr Ke rr wrote He wa s fu r t her ba cke d by fell ow i n ve st me n t a n al y st R i c ha rd C o ul so n, w ho wrote in h is Tr i bune Busin ess c o lu mn : Pe rha p s the la rg e st ris k fo r i nve stors a rises no t from th e c om pany itself but from poor l iquidity in our ca pit al mar ke t s.. T he M e mo ra nd um wa rn s: An a c tiv e se c on da ry m a r k e t m a y n o t d e v e l o p f o r t h e s har e s '. Q ui te t r u e, bu t t h is s ta te m e n t r e pr e se n ts a n i n di c t m e n t o f o u r w ho le in ter-l inke d "se cu ritie s i ndu s try no t simply B ISX . In sh ort, a n in ve stor w ill h av e no tr ouble buying a s hare of t his s ucc e ss f ul c o m p a n y b u t h e c a n n o t c o u nt o n s e l l i n g i t t h ro u g h R o y a l F i d e l i t y o r a n y o f t h e o th e r t h re e s e c u ri t i e s f i rm s C ol in a, F am Gua rd or C olo ni al ." S o c le a rl y th e r e i s a p ro b l e m B u t, be fore sta r t ing to add r e ss this, w hat ha s to b e ac know le dge d is th at the B ahamas is a r e latively small mar k et c e rtai nl y c o mpa re d to the ma jo r d e ve l op ed c ou nt rie s, s o li qu i di ty l e ve ls are b ound t o be le ss. Ope nin g up th e m ark et m ore t o resi de nt, tem por a r y r e s i d e n t a n d i n t e r n a t i o n a l in vesto r s, thoug h, cou ld he lp. A nd BI S X is cer ta inl y awar e o f th e p r o blem K eit h Da vie s, i ts c hief e xe cuti ve, p ledg ed in Tribun e Busine ss that th e ex c hang e w as thi s y ea r pre pared to re vie w its prici ng me cha nism, partic ula r l y the 1, 00 0 share s t r a d e d t h r e s h o l d t h a t m u s t b e rea c hed be fore pric e m ove men ts of 1 0 p e r c e n t e i t h e r si d e o f t h e p re v i o u s da y's clo s e c an be tr i gge red. W h a t i s i n p l a c e i s a m a rk e t st ru c ture approved by t he Gover nme n t a nd ap prove d by ou r m embe rs and i t' s be e n so sin c e th e i nc e p tio n o f t he excha nge, M r Davi es s ai d. "T ha t w as see n as the b est mod el w e c ould u se g i v e n t h e B a ha m i a n c on t e x t. Th e B aha mia n c onte xt is this. We ha ve a rela tive ly s m all marke t, w ith a rela t i v e l y s m a l l n u m b e r o f i n v e s t o r s w h o are ac tiv e in the ma r k et." H e po inte d ou t tha t e v en th e la rger C ari bbe an re gio nal m arke ts, suc h as B arba dos, Trinid ad a nd J ama ica w ere a lso p lag ued by re lativ ely lo w tra di ng v ol um es a nd l iq uid ity p oi nting out tha t t his wa s b ound to be a fac t of life in sma ll c oun tr i es suc h as the B aha mas. I n re spo ns e to c om pl ai n ts th at lo w l i q u i di t y l e v e l s w e r e de p re s si n g B I S X share price s belo w the ir true v alue w ith pric e s b ei ng inf lue nc e s b y re ta il investors s elling out for non-financ ial rea sons, Mr Da vie s re plie d that most Ba ham ian stoc ks ha d a pprec iated upw ards over time, espec ially th ose that were well-managed and ge nera ted stron g profi tabil ity. I t i s u n f a i r t o r e l y o n B IS X s e f f o r ts al one. B oth Paul Mc We ene y, Ba nk of th e B a ha m as In te rn a tio n al 's m a na gi n g d ire c to r, a n d Mr C o ul son ha v e a r g u e d t h a t B I S X s f o u r p ri m a r y b ro ke r/de al er me mb ers Ro ya lFi de lity C FAL Fam Guard C a pital Markets an d Co lonia l nee d to ac t as ma r k et m a ke r s i n l i ste d st o c k s, p r ov i d in g l iq u i d i t y b y mo p p i n g up s h a r e s t h a t c o m e o n t o t h e m a r k e t R a t i n g s a g e n c i es a n d o th er i n fra st ruc t ur e c a n a l so be put in pl ac e. R a t h e r t h a n j u s t c o m p l a i n i n g m u c h c o u l d b e a c h i e v e d b y a l l Ba ha mi an cap it al ma r ke t s p la ye r s w o r k i n g t o g e t h e r t o d e v i s e s o l u t i o n s t o c o m m o n p r o b l e m s t h a t a f f e c t a l l S o m e g o o d i d e a s h a v e b ee n p la ce d o n t he t a bl e s o l et s m o v e t h e m f o r w a r d H o p e f u l l y Co mmo nwe alt h Br ewer y, to get he r w i t h t h e u p c o m i n g B a h a m a s T e l e c o m m u n i c a t i o n s C o m p a n y ( B T C ) and Ar aw ak Cay Por t IP Os, a n d t h e G o v e r n m e n t s s ee m i n g l y n ewf ou nd com mi t me nt t o s p r ead i ng t he we al t h th r o ug h cr eat i ng a t r u e s h a r e h o l d e r d e m o c r a c y w i l l al s o b ea r fr u i t a nd he lp T o cr eat e we al th f or al l Ba ha mi an s we ne ed a f ul ly fu n ct io ni ng c ap it al m ar k et Capital markets must tackle structural woes P RI M E M i n i s te r H u b er t In g ra h am is not everyone's cup of tea, to put it m i l d l y E s p e c i a l l y w h e r e t he P r o gressive Liberal Party (PLP) is con c e rn ed A s t ra i g h t s h o o t er w h o m ea n s w h at h e s ays and says w hat h e mean s (h is o wn w or ds ) or s om e o ne w ho b el i eves i n a O ne m an B an d s tyl e o f g o ve r n an ce w h e r e t h e o n l y c h ec k / b a l a n c e i s h i m s e l f I n d e e d i t s b e s t s u mm ed u p b y a s en i o r at t o rn e y, wh o on c e t ol d T r i bu ne B us i n e s s o f M r I n g ra h a m: "H e' s a d i v i s i ve f i g u r e; yo u either love him or you hate him." While it is far from love, Tribune Business personally finds the Prime M i ni ster' s h abi t o f sp eaki ng h is mi n d r e f r e s h i n g Y o u k n o w w h e r e y o u stand with him; if he likes you, he'll s ay so an d i f h e d o esn t, h e' ll tel l yo u that, too. Yet there are times when th e le ade r of a nation must re frain from refreshing candor, and instead b ite t h e tongue Espe cia l ly w h e n it come s to p icking p ublic f i g hts with i ndividu a l companies a n d busin e ssmen. Two such occasions have already r e ar ed t h ei r h ea d d u r i n g 20 11 t o d at e The first came at January's Business Ou t lo o k co n feren ce, wh en Mr In grah a m chastised th e p r i ncip a l s o f A F H o l d i n g s t h e f o r m er C o l i n a F i n an ci a l Grou p (CFG), fo r wantin g "to buy every damn thing". DISCOURAGING H e r e t h e P r i m e M i n i s t e r w a s proba bly doing nothing mor e t han ve ntin g h is fr u s trat io ns that the two C ol i n a p r i n c i p a l s m i f f e d t ha t t h e Go v ernme n t had re j e cted their join t bid wit h A t la ntic Te le -N e tw ork to a c q u i r e a m a j o r i t y s t a k e i n t h e B ah amas Tel eco mmu n i cati o n s Co mp a ny (BTC), wer e using their me dia as se t s (e s p e c ia lly the ir ne ws pa per ) to v ent th e ir displea sure a t the de cision both by s tok ing up oppo s itio n to Ca ble & Wire les s p lus play in g o n t h e n ati o n a l i st emo ti o n th at B ahami ans sh ould be th e ones a cqu ir i ng soca lled n a tion a l as se ts'. Ye t wa s he w i se to g o p ub lic? The B us i n e s s O u t l oo k c o n f e r e n c e w a s p robabl y no t th e corre ct platform to d o so T ri b u n e Bu s i n ess b e li ev es, gi ven th at thi s f oru m i s d esigned sp e ci fi call y t o en co u rage b u sin ess an d eco nomic gr owt h. H is w ords c ould be i nterpreted as d iscou ra gin g Bahamian-owne d busines ses f rom e xpa n din g to becom e m ajor play ers in their o wn econ omy, and a warnin g to oth ers n ot to bec ome to o big f o r th e ir b oo ts' where t heir own and n a t ion al intere sts c ome into pl a y Es p e c ial l y at th i s j u n ct ur e, t h e Pr im e M i n iste r m ust be s ee n to do ev ery thing p o s s i b l e t o i n c e n t i v i s e B a h a m i a n e n t r e p r e n e u r s a n d c o m p a n i e s t o grow, not d e -motiv ate them A nd a s th e o ld a d a ge goe s, f irst t ime an acci den t, tw ice carel e s sness' M r I n g ra ham s h ot str aig ht fr o m the lip ag a in this m onth, this tim e ta rg e t i ng R o bi n H o od p r e s i de nt a nd o w n e r, S a ndy Schae fer s tating : It i s mo s t r egret t ab l e t h at s u ch a p ers o n h as b een a ll o w ed t o h a ve t h at t yp e o f b usine ss in the coun tr y. H e is no t a good pe rson f o r t h e Baha ma s." In t h i s i n st an ce t h e P ri me M i n i st er ap pea r s to ha v e be e n ir ke d by Mr S c h a e f e r s c o m m e n t s a b o u t t h e i m p a c t t h e P r i n c e C h a r l e s D r i v e roa d w orks, par t of t he Ne w Prov idenc e Roa d Im prov e m e nt Proje c t, wer e hav in g o n his s tore a n d o t h e r b u si n e s ses in th e vi ci ni ty. Wh il e bo t h me n a re fre e to s p e a k their m in ds, o n e w o n d e r s w h e t h e r t h e R o b i n H o o d o w n er' s co m men t s mer it ed th e res p onse th e y g ot. W h at e ver M r S c h ae f er m ay o r may n ot b e wha tev e r he ma y or ma y n ot h a v e done, he is not the iss u e her e. Th e b ig g er picture is. It is p ote n t iall y ex tr em el y d an ge ro u s fo r th e l ea d er o f a ny country to pick a fig h t with an ind iv id ua l company o r b usine ssm an, simply be ca u s e of t h e me ssa ge i t s e n d s t o o t h e r m e m b e r s o f t h e b u s i n e s s / i n v e s t m e n t c o m m u n i t y Bo t h B ah am ia n a n d f o r ei gn i n ves t o rs c ould e a sily int er pre t t he Sc ha ef e r co mmen t s as a w arn i n g t h at th ey h ad b e t t e r n o t s p e a k o u t o n p o l i c y im p a ct i ng th e ir inter es ts, for fea r of s wift g ove rnme nt a n d P r ime Mini s t e r i a l r e t r i b u t i o n T h e B a h a m i a n e co no my h a s b e en h e avil y relian t o n f ore ig n dir e c t inv e st m e nt thr oug ho ut i t s h i s t or y a nd i n t h e c u r r e n t en vi r o n m en t n ee d s i t m o re t h a n e ver T h e n e t e f f e c t o f M r I n g r a h a m s rem ark s co u l d b e t o d et er i n ves t men t lo c a l a n d f or e i g n t ha t i s s o re ly n e e d e d t o r e m o v e t h e B a h a m i a n e cono m y fr o m re ce ssion. A n d tha t wa s be fore ev e nts tha t sa me e ven i n g co mp o u n d e d t h e P ri m e M i n i s t e r s e r r o r i n t o w h a t w a s a c o los s a l g a ff e W he t he r Mr In g r a ham k new th at a j o in t Cu sto ms/ Roya l B a h a m a s P o l i c e F o r c e r a i d o n R o bin Hood 's he ad o f fice ha d be en p l a n ne d f o r t h a t n i g h t or no t ( h e prob ably d id n ot) m atters li ttle. P e rcep ti o n i s o ft en r eal it y, an d man y ar e l i k e l y t o i n t e r p r e t h i s m o r n i n g re ma rks a n d the ev ents o f th a t night a s ca use a nd e ffe ct'. W h at e ve r w a y yo u c u t i t t h e R o b i n Ho o d r ai d an d co m p u t er s ei zu res wi l l b e vi ewed i n s o me qu ar ters as a clear case of political victimisation', with C u s toms use d as a politic al too l to put an upsta rt busine ss ma n, w ho m the po wers t hat be do no t lik e mu ch, in his place. Customs may well have had good cause to take the action it e m b a rk e d u pon, bu t th e e v e n ts a s p la y e d out w i ll c e r ta i nly a ll ow M r Sc haef er to tak e on th e mar tyr ro l e'. RAMIFICATIONS C u s t o m s C o m p t r o l l e r G l e n n Go m ez ei t h er o n h i s o w n i n i t i a ti ve o r pro mpted b y h is Mi nist ry o f F in a n ce bo ss es, qu ickly realised the d a mag i ng ra m i fi c a ti ons he nc e his m e dia blitz the following day to vehement l y de ny t h e R ob i n H oo d r a i d w a s linked to Mr Ingraham's comments. I t w a s p u r e l y c o i n c i d e n t a l M r Gom e z s a i d W het h er it w as to o l ate, a n d t h e d a m a g e a l r e a d y d o n e remains to be seen. Whatever anyone says about him, and people say a great many things, P r i m e M i n i s t e r H u b e r t I n g r a h a m always has what he believes are the na tion's bes t i n t er es ts a t he a rt. No one has a better grip on the machin ery of government than him and, as PM in a free country, he cannot be stopped from doing and saying what h e f e e l s B u t pe r ha ps he n e e d s t o r e m e m b e r t he s a y i ng : L oo s e li p s si n k s h i p s ". S t ra i gh t ta l k i s ad m i ra b l e, but the setting must always be con sid ered F or h i s ow n an d t he n ati on 's go o d M r I n g ra h am m ay o cc as i o n a l l y, ju st oc casi on al ly, n eed t o ref lec t a li ttle mo re an d rest ra i n h imsel f. F or n o one else can. Straight-talking PM must send right investor signal process, indicating there had t o h a ve b e e n s o m e co n t ac t b e t w e e n t h e c o m p a n y a n d B TC's mana ge ment and da ta r o o m T h i s w a s g o i n g o n w h ile th e two ot her bi dder s w er e st ill in the game, th eir o ffe rs n ot be in g re je ct ed u nti l June/July 2010. More clarifi cation is needed to avoid the impression that two parallel, b u t d i f f e r e n t p r i v a t i s a t i o n processes were being run. 4 W h a t w a s g o i n g o n with the Utilities Regula t i o n & C o m p e t i t i o n Authority (URCA)? Answe r: A sin is te r plot, if t h e O p p o s i t i o n i s t o b e b elie ve d. It w orks som ethin g l i k e t h is U s ma n S a a da t a f o rme r L I M E e xec ut i ve, la nd s h is post as U RC A's direc tor o f p o l i c y a n d r e g u l a t i o n i n mi d20 09, j us t as i t i s b ei ng e s t a b l i s h e d H e i n t r o d u c e s M a rs h a L e w i s, a f or m e r C W C ex ec ut i v e an d c o ll e ag ue t o U RC A a s a hu man resourc es c onsul tant. W he n Mr S aad at a p pl ie s fo r th e c h ie f e x ec u ti v e p o s t f o l l o w i n g M i c h a e l Symo net te' s de par tu re M r s Le wis ve ts h is C V. Tog ethe r, th e two forme r C W C ex ec ut i v e s f o r m a c o n s p i r a c y t o g e t h e r w i t h t h e G o v e r n m ent, to d eliv er B TC to th eir fo r m er e mploy er. N ic e st or y, b ut t he r e i s li t tl e r e le v a nc e t o B TC s a c tu a l p ri v a t i s a t i o n f a t e M r S a a d a t c h o s e n a f t e r a n e x t e n s i v e se arch ha d left C W C a lmost tw o y ea r s b efore h is URC A a p p o i n t m e n t a n d j o i n e d b efore C WC had e ve n com e i n t o t h e p i c t u r e U R C A shou ld c ertain ly h ave adv ert i s e d t h e h u m a n r e s o u r c e s p o s t i n t h e B a h a m a s a n d a llo wi ng Mrs L e w is to vet Mr S adda t's C V, e s p ec ial ly as h e w as th e one w ho a pparen t l y br ou gh t he r i n, was no t t he b ri gh te st of ide a s by th e re g ul a t o r. Y e t t he f in a l sa y so ov e r M r S a a d a t s a p p o i n t m e n t wo u l d h a ve co me f r o m t h e U R C A B o a r d n o t M r s L e w i s a nd th ere i s v irtua lly n o ev id enc e o f a con s p irac y, a pl ot, to en gine er B TC' s s a le. He re 's a re ve rse the ory for y ou c onsp irac y w onks. O nc e t h e B TC s a l e o p p o n e n t s f o u n d o u t a b o u t U R C A s r o l e i n a pp rov in g t he C WC d ea l for c o mpe ti tio n purp ose s, a c a mp a i g n w a s h a t c h e d t o f i r s t i n t i m i d at e t h e r e g u l a t o r ( i t ap p e a r e d t o s u c ce e d i n t h e e a rly g oi ng ), th en a tte mp t to d isc re dit it an d t he proc e ss, if p ossi ble b loc k ing it or th row i n g i t o f f t r a c k b y r a i s i n g n u me r ou s c on fl i c t o f i n te re st a l l e g a t i o n s r e g a r d i n g t h e C W C co nn ecti ons of f or mer st af f. Pla usi ble do n't y ou th ink 5 W h at a b o u t t h e Bl u ewater deal? A ns we r : Ye s wh at ab ou t it. The Opposition is some what correct in saying this is irrele va nt, g ive n tha t th e dea l i s wi t h CWC a lt h o ug h t h i s might just be a tactic to dis tance themselves from it. C o m p a r i s o n s a r e a l w a y s d i f f i cu l t b e ca u s e e v e r y o n e t h i nk s t h ey c an do a b e tt e r d e a l T h e I n g r a h a m a n d C h r i s t i e a d m i n i s t r a t i o n s a p p e a r t o h a v e d i f f e r e n t p hilosop hies and end-games when it comes to BTC's pri vatisation, the latter focusing o n p ur ch as e pr ic e and min imising and staff downsizing in the Bluewater deal. T o a c h i e v e t h o se o b j e c t i v e s t hey w er e prepar ed to off er some rather startling conces s i o n s n a m e l y o n t h e t a x e s BTC would pay post-privati s ation and the length of the ex cl usiv it y pe riod s B lu ew a ter w i l l en j o y M o s t a b h o r r e n t we re t he si xye a r e x cl usi v iti es pr op o se d f or l a nd l in e an d c el lular servic es, s om ething that would ha ve ce rt a inly be nefited Bluewater, allowing them to r e c ou p t he i r p ur c ha se p ri c e a n d t h e n s o m e m o r e b u t w o r k i n g t o t a l l y a ga i n s t t h e interests of the Bahamas, its c i t iz en s a nd b u s in e s s e s an d the economy. No deal is perfect, and the CWC sale is far from it, but out of what the Bahamas has r e ce iv ed so fa r, it a ppe ars t he b es t of t he b un ch Re mem ber, remember...... the bigger pictu r e is libera lisation of the B a h a m i a n c o m m u n i c a t i o n s s e c t o r a n d i n t r o d u ct i o n o f competition in all areas. Pri vati s a tion goe s ha nd-in -glov e wi th thi s th e two p ro ces s es r unning pa r a llel, s i de-by-side to ge t t he B aha ma s w he re w e want it to go. Th e 1 3 -1 4 y e a r e ff o rt t o p ri v a t i s e B T C h a s b e e n 13 1 4 y e a rs t oo l on g Th e c o st t o t h e Ba ha mi an e con om y, d ue t o t he l a ck of competit ion, has b e e n i n c a l c u l a b l e I f y o u believe that the Government s h o u l d n o t b e i n b u s i n e s s t h en t he p r iv at is at io n i s f o r you. Hopefully, more public as s ets will even tuall y f ollow s ui t b ec au s e wh i l e g o ve r n m en ts d o ma ny t h in gs wel l, ru nn i ng e l ec tri c i t y c o m pa n i e s, w a t e r a n d se w e ra g e fi r m s, a n d airlines are not among them. Outs poken for mer Chamb er of Comm er ce pr es i den t Dionis io D'Aguila r pr oba bly s ummed i t up bes t when he sa i d : F o r f a r to o lo n g B T C h a s been operated in the interests of the politicians and employ ees that work at BTC, and not in the interests of consumers." That will now change. For the firs t time in a lon g t im e, th e tail will no longer be wagging the dog. At least as far as BTC is concerned. FROM page 16 The tail no longer wagging the dog Anthony Ferguson Keith Davies Paul McWeeney
T h e r e s o r t c o n f i r m e d i t had ex per ien ced s ubs t ant ial l o s s e s o v e r t h e l a s t s e v e r a l y e ar s, bu t sai d i t w o ul d re ve a l a b u s i n e s s s t r a t e g y i n t h e c o ming w eeks that aim s to tur n a ro und t he f or tu nes of the resort. I n t e r e s t i n t h e B a h a m a s I n t e r n a t i o n a l S e c u r i t i e s Excha nge ( BI SX ) was r ei nv i g o r a t e d b y t h e l a u n c h o f C o m m o n w e a l t h B re w e ry /B u rns H ou se' s $6 2 5 million initial public offering (IPO). It drew the attention of both established and new i nv e st ors, pro mi si ng a 1 00 pe r cent dividend pay out policy. Mi c hae l And erson Ro ya lF i d e l i t y M e r c h a n t B a n k & Tr u st 's pr es id ent s ugg es ted the Com monweal t h Brew ery IPO presented "an opportu ni t y t o r es t ar t d eve lo p men t o f t he c a p i ta l m a rk e t s" W h i l e Mr Anderson said he felt the c ompa ny wa s w ell positione d f o r "g o o d c a pi t a l ap p r e c ia t i o n s o m e c o n c e r n w a s expr es s ed t ha t th e di vid end p oli c y ma y not b e susta ina bl e in the long term. The IPO came about after t h e G o v e r n m e n t m a n d at e d t h a t a 2 5 p e r c e n t s t a k e i n C o m m o n w e a l t h B r e w e r y / B u r n s H o u s e b e o f f e re d t o B a h a m i a n i n v e s t o rs in an IPO as a condition for ap p r o v i n g t h e $ 1 2 5 m i l l i o n b u y o u t o f t h e 5 0 p e r ce n t s t a k e p r e v i o u s l y h e l d b y A s s o c i a t e d B a h a m i a n D i s t i l l e r s a n d B r e w e r s (ABDAB). C U S T OM S RE L A TI O N S R e la t io n s b e tw e e n t h e C u st o m s D e pa rt m e n t a n d a m a j o r retail er Rob in Hood, hea ted u p w h e n o f f i c e r s f r o m t h e D e p a r t m e n t a d a y a f t e r P rim e Mi ni ste r Hu be rt Ing ra h a m c o n tr ov e rs ia l l y d e sc r ib e d t h e b u s i n e s s m a n a s n o t a g o o d p e r s o n f o r t h e Bahamas" raided his head quarters on March 16. T h e r e t a i l e r s m a i n c o m p u t e r s e r v e r w a s s e i z e d i n wh a t Cu s t om s Co m p t r o l l e r Gle nn Gomez said wa s part of an ef fort b y th e Cust oms Depar t ment to com ple te it s in v e s t i g at i o n s i n t o wh e t h e r Robin Hood had engaged in i m p o r t d u t y a n d s t a m p t a x evasion. Mr Schaefer denied a n y w r on g d oi ng a nd a ll e g ed a c on spi rac y to d riv e h im o ut o f b u si n e s s, su g g e s t i n g h i s s u c cess in retail was to blame. Mr Sc h a ef e r thr ough his l a w y e r W a y n e M u n r o e threatened legal ac tion over t h e C u s t o m s D e p a r t m e n t s ac t i on s T h e Cu s t o m s c hi e f stood behind the move, and in ve s ti g at io n s c on t in u ed up to press time. B T C S A L E T h e G o v e r n m e n t f o r g e d ahead with the sale of BTC, as the deal to sell 51 per cent of the company to Cable and W i r e l e s s C o m m u n i c a t i o n s ( C WC ) re c e iv e d th e a pp rov a l o f t h e U t i l i t i e s R e g u l a t i o n and Co mp et it i on A ut ho r i ty ( URC A) Sh o r tl y a ft e r t he Government gained the nec essary votes in Parliament to go ahead with the $210 mil l io n d eal des p it e vo cif er ou s o b j e c t i o n s f r o m t h e B T C unions and the PLP. UR CA sa id it f ou n d t he s a le of BTC w oul d n ot c rea te any concerns about a reduc t i o n i n c o m p e t i t i o n i n t h e B ah a ma s in a ny of t h e s e r vice s B T C prov ides the r e gul a t o r p o i n ti n g o u t t h a t i t s p ri mary mandate was to ensure this did not happen. P r i m e M i n i s t e r H u b e r t I n g r a h a m u s e d t h e p a r l i a m e n t a r y d e b a t e t o r e l e a s e d e ta il s f or t h e f ir s t t i me o n the de a l w hi c h ha d p re vi ou sl y be e n th ra sh e d ou t b y th e P LP to sell 49 per cent of BTC to Bluewater. Among t he details of that pl a n w a s t he f a c t th a t B lu e w a t e r w i s h e d t o s h u t d o w n B T C s c ur r ent pen s io n s ch em e "a s s oo n a s possibl e" afte r c ompletion of the de al, and that B T C w o u l d e s s e n t i a l l y p a y "l ittl e to no ta x" to th e Gov e rnm ent und er it s pr opos ed o w ners hip. CW C t a kes over ma na ge me nt c on trol o f BTC on Mon da y, Ap ril 4 F U E L PR I C E S G a s a n d d i e s e l re ta i l e rs ro s e u p and s howed t heir c o llect i v e m i g h t o n M a r c h 1 1 im p o si n g a 1 2 h o u r sh u t d o w n of sales on diesel to get gov er nm e n t' s a tt e n ti o n o v er t h e ir plea for an adjustment in the pric e -co ntro lle d ma rgi ns the y can add to each gallon of gas and diesel sold. After an interve nt i on from t h e M i n i s t e r r e s p o n s i b l e (Phe n ton Ne y mo ur), ret a il ers r e -opene d th eir di esel pumps 1 2 h o u r s b e f o r e t h e y h a d planned to and met with the Minister to formally present the ir req ue st for a 6 8 pe r c e nt i ncreas e in t heir g as mar gin ( 4 4 to 7 4 ce nts) and a 14 5 per cent increase in their margin on d i e s e l ( 1 9 t o 4 7 c e n ts ). F u e l d e p e n d e n t b u s i n e s s e s e x p re s se d t h e i r sy m pa th y w i t h the re tai le r s bu t c o nc ern ov er t he i mpa c t of any cos t ri se s g i v e n t h e a l r e a d y cl i m b i n g p r i c e o f o i l M r N e y m o u r asked for the opinions of the ma j or o i l c o mp a n ie s. N o d ec i s i o n h a d b e e n m a d e u p t o press time. THE TRIBUNE FRIDA Y APRIL 1, 201 1, P AGE 15B By ALISON LOWE Business Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org T he Our Lucaya Beach and Golf Resort's announcement on March 4 that the hotel was laying-off close to 200 workers, both line and managerial, was not unexpected, as it cited the need to "save" other jobs and keep the key tourism product "operational". Month in REVIEW B U S I N E S S R E V I E W
B U S I N E S S R E V I E W P AGE 16B FRIDA Y APRIL 1, 2011 JAP AN DISASTER CONTINUES TO CURB AUTO PRODUCTION SEE P AGE 12B M I CH I G A N GO V T L E G I S L A T I V E HE A D S L I S T A CC O M P L I S H M E N TS SEE P AGE 13B Bot h F NM an d PL P M P s ap p ea re d t o v e ry m uc h be o n message', to coin the phrase emp loy e d by on e w el l-kn ow n U K p o l i t i c a l s p i n d o c t o r spe w i ng ou t th e p a rti sa n p osi t i o n s l a r g e l y ar t i c u l at ed b y bo t h si d e s i n th e ru n -u p t o t h e H o u s e d e b a t e T h e m o s t a s t u t e r a t i o n a l e f o r B T C s s a l e p r o b a b l y c a m e f r o m Prim e Mi ni ste r Hu be rt In gra ha m i n hi s pre se nt a ti on t o th e House of Assembly after the Government inked the deal, b ut n ot mu c h sen se s eemed to come after him. But don't worry. Tribune Business will cu t th ro ug h so me of t he p o li ti c al jungle and highlight the ke y t op ic s s urr ou nd in g B T C 's privatisation, and look at the issues going forward. 1. Is Cable & Wireless Communications the right strategic partner for BTC? Ans w er: T he honest tr uth is that nobody knows. Cable & W i r e l e s s s C a r i b b e a n r e g i o n a l b u s i n e s s L I M E appears to have a number of t he requ ired at tr ibutes It is in all the business categories B T C i s i n a nd p r o m is es t o e x pl o i t t he ca r r i e r s T r i p le Pl a y p o t e n t i a l w i th a re n e w e d f o c u s o n t h e I n t e r n e t p l u s i n t r o d u c t i o n o f b r o a d b a n d data, IP TV and mobile TV. T he com pany als o s eems to u n d e r s t a n d t h e C a r i b b e a n region and the need for each country to run by local man agement. Mu c h h a s b e en m ad e of t h e s he l l ac k i ng t o c oi n P r e s i d ent Bar ack Ob ama's ter m, t h a t L I M E h a s t a k e n f r o m Dig ic el a nd ot her priv a te sec to r o pe ra t ors i n J a ma i c a p os tl ibe r alisation T his has been interpr e ted as a ne gativ e, but c o u l d a l s o t r a n sl a t e i n to a p o sit iv e i n t he B a h a mi a n c o n te x t as LIME will have hopefully le a rn t t h e c o rr e c t l e ss o n s fr o m th i s e x p e ri e n c e a n d e n s u re t h e s a me d oes n ot hap pe n wit h BTC. H a v i ng b e e n t h e i n c u mb e n t in 13 other regional markets a s t h e y w e r e l i b e r a l i s e d s ho ul d a id BT C, whi ch wi ll h a ve to face not only C able B a h a m a s b u t i n a l l l i k e l i hood, the entranc e of Di gic el into this nation when the cel lul a r se c to r i s l ib e ral ise d fro m 2014 onwards. T he pr oof of t he pud ding will be in the eating, though, especially on the Prime Min i s t e r s a s s e r t i o n a s s e e m s lik el y tha t C a bl e & W irel ess h a s c h a n g e d a n d i t s t r a c k re c ord of b a d la b ou r re la t io ns is a thing of the past. Hope f u l l y L I M E c a n e n h a n c e BTC 's o perat iona l e ffic ie ncy p u r c h a s e t e c h n o l o g y a n d e q u i p m e n t a t l o w e r c o s t s t h r o u g h i t s g r e a t e r b u y i n g p o w e r a n d e c o n o m i e s o f scale, and transform the car rier into a customer-focused e n t e r p r i s e t h a t d el i v er s t h e p r i c i n g a n d s e r v i c e q u a l i t y demanded by Bahamians. U l t i m a t e l y t h e G o v e r n m e n t a p p e a r s t o h a v e g o t wha t it want s, nam ely a bid led by a telecommunications o p e r a t o r r a t h e r t h a n t h e f i na nci al pr i va te e qu it yl ed bids that dominated the pre v i o u s o f f e r s i t r e c e i v e d f o r B T C be tw e e n 2 0 0 3 t o p re s e n t An operator with an existing C a r i b b e a n f o c u s s u c h a s CWC, will likely value BTC mo r e h i g h ly t ha n o th e r p o te n tial suitors and be willing to pay a prem ium p r i ce Ge ttin g a pu rc h a se p ric e of m o re t ha n $200 million was also key for the Ingraham administration o n p o l i t i c a l g r o u n d s g i v e n that the Christie administra t i o n s B l u e w a t e r d e a l w a s w o r t h $ 2 6 0 m i l l i o n ( a l b e i t paid in instalments). C W C / L I M E i t s o v e r t o y o u S h o w u s w h a t y o u r e mad e of and c o nvi nc e us y ou a r e i n d e e d t h e r i g h t B T C partner. 2. Why was BTC not sold to Bahamian buyers? An s wer : T his wou ld h ave bee n the id ea l s o luti on, li kel y in a joint venture, but apa r t f rom CFAL ( the former C olina Financial Advisors) who jo i n e d w i t h A t la n t i c Te l e N e t work to submit a bid, no oth er Bahamian group applied. Allegations flew that there w e r e B a h a m i a n s n e e d n o t a pp l y s ig n s p os te d fo r t he l a st p r i v a t i s a t i o n p r o c e s s b u t t here is no evidenc e to s upp o r t t h i s O n e h as t o a g ai n ask : W h ere w er e th e B a ha m ians? All three finalists in the 2 0 0 3 B T C p r i v a t i s a t i o n p r o c e s s h a d s o m e f o r m o f B a h a m i a n e q u i t y i n v o l v e ment. Did the experiences of t h a t f a i l e d p r o c e s s p u t B a h a m i a n s o f f t h i s t i m e around. B r uta l it may be, but in the cold light of day, Bahamians would need to joint venture w i th a n i n t e r na ti o n a l t e l e c om s o p e r a t o r a n d f i n a n c i e r s t o acquire 51 per cent of BTC. T h e 51 per ce nt BT C s ta ke s old for $2 10 million, and the l a r g e s t c a p i t a l r a i s i n g i n Baha mian equity market hist or y, cur ren tly t akin g place, i s wo r t h $ 62. 5 m il l io n Yo u do the math. T her e ar e als o fe w s tan da l o n e o p e r a t o r s l e f t i n t h e telecommunications industry wo rldw id e, m ak ing i t d iffi cu lt t o s e e h o w t h e C h r i s t i e admi nistration c ould suc ce s sf ul ly r ealis e an d execut e on its vision for BTC to go out a n d c om p e te i n t h e C a r i b b e a n a g a i n st st ro n g e r r i v a l s. S o u nd s good, though. While Tribune Business is a l l f or Ba h am i an e co n o m ic o w n e r s h i p a n d e m p o w e r me nt, B TC sh oul d not ju st b e given to Bahamians because they are Bahamian. This is a m e r i t o c r a cy O wn e r s h i p o f e c o n o m i c a s s e t s l a r g e a n d small, has to be gained on its m e r i t s t h r o u g h h a r d w o r k sacrifice and dedication. Not just given away on a plate. 3. Are the compl ai nt s and allegations about the pri v at isation p roc ess vali d ? Answer: Where the Oppo s ition has a po int is on how Cable & Wireless Communi ca tions (C WC ) c am e into the p r i v a t is at i o n p r oc es s g i ve n that it was not among those who en tered the be auty c onte st i n s um m e r 2 00 9 N or w a s i t a m o n g t h e f o u r b i d d e r s ad mi tt e d to t he a d v an c e d du e diligence round, or the two A t l a n t i c T e l e Network/CFAL, One Equity Pa rt ne rs /V o d af o ne w ho ul ti mately submitted offers. C W C s e x p l a n a t i o n a s ar ticulated to T rib une Bus iness, i s pl au sible na me ly th at it or ig i n a l ly d e c i de d n ot to b i d because it was focused on its ex i sti n g C a ri bb e a n te rri to ri e s, e sp e c i a l l y a f t e r j u s t a p p o i n t i n g L IM E 's new c hief exec utive i n D a v i d S h a w H o w e v e r sorting out those other oper a t i o n s p r o v e d q u i c ke r t h a n e x p e c t e d s o M r S h a w a pp r o ach ed b ot h hi s Bo ar d a n d t h e B T C p r i v a t i s a t i o n commi t te e t o see if there was an oppor tunity to re-enga ge with the process. There was, and boy did they take it. A mo re det ailed expl anati o n i s r e qu i r e d f ro m t h e G o v e r n m e n t t h o u g h T r i b u n e B u si ne s s re v e a l e d i n m i d -M a y l a s t y e a r t h a t C W C h a d e n t e r e d t h e p r i v a t i s a t i o n T A I L D O G t h e n o l o n g e r w a g g i n g t h e I t was already all over bar the shouting. From the moment the Government signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the sale of a 51 per cent stake in the Bahamas Telecommunications Company to Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC), it was a done deal. Much ado about nothing' was probably an apt way to describe the House of Assembly debate, from which many Bahamians will have learnt little and only got more confused. SEE page 14 UNREST Protests over the sale of BTC were held in the capital in recent weeks.