Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 9th 2015 Contents A21
Monday, March 9, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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The T&T Security and Exchange Commission s
(SEC) report on IPO controversy has not yet
reached the desk of Finance Minister Larry Howai.
Explaining the process to be following now that
the investigation has been completed, the minister
explained: "They have to give the persons involved
an opportunity to comment. After they have com-
mented, they then have to do some kind of a review
and make some kind of a determination based on
the responses they got.
"They move forward from there. They either
decide there isn t anything to pursue and close
their files on it, or they decide there is something
to be done, then forward it to the relevant authority
or the DPP."
The investigations focused on the purchase of
659,588 First Citizens shares during the bank s
IPO. In late March 2014, the bank said it conducted
an internal audit which raised questions about the
purchase and sale of those shares by their chief
risk officer, Philip Rahaman, who was later dis-
Howai referred any queries about the investigation
to the SEC which is led by Dr Patrick Watson.
"It is best to talk to the SEC about that because
I like to ensure that as far as those things are con-
cerned the institution is able to operate independ-
ently," he said.
However, the minister said he is sticking to April
deadline for roll out of the Phoenix Park Gas Proces-
"I haven t gotten feedback. I expect it should be
finished and then after that we go to the preparation
of the offer document, because they have to bring
the proper figures to the offer document, then they
send it to the SEC.
"They open the issue after that. well I am still
looking for us to achieve an April time frame it
depends on how long the SEC takes to complete
their review," he said.
Unemployment in Tobago is at a record low,
according to the latest available figures from
the Central Statistical Office.
Secretary for Finance and Enterprise Devel-
opment in the Tobago House of Assembly (THA)
Joel Jack said the data shows that by the end
of the second quarter of 2014, unemployment
on the island was touching two per cent. Any-
thing below five per cent as full employment,
The Finance Secretary said the Central Bank s
data on inflation for November 2014 suggests
that headline inflation in Tobago is now down
to about 2.5 per cent, significantly lower than
the national rate of roughly nine per cent.
He said based on preliminary information
from the recently-concluded Moody s credit
rating exercise, Tobago is also on course to main-
tain its Baa1 credit rating, placing it among the
highest-ranked islands in the Caribbean, above
Barbados, Jamaica, St Vincent and others.
However, he warned against complacency.
"Notwithstanding the significant strides we
have achieved in all aspects of development in
Tobago, if we are to sustain these improvements
in our quality of life in the future, one significant
challenge we will continue to face is the need
to diversify the island s economic base and trans-
form the economy," he said
He said the Survey of Business Establishments
confirms that for 2011-2013, the services sector
is still, by and large, the most dominant sector
in the Tobago economy, accounting for approx-
imately 92.6 per cent of the island s gross domes-
tic product (GDP).
The survey also indicates that general gov-
ernment activity, the financial sector and the
tourism sector contribute overwhelmingly to
the island s GDP.
Tobago unemployment at record low
significant strides we have
achieved in all aspects of
development in Tobago, if we
are to sustain these
improvements in our quality
of life in the future, one
significant challenge we will
continue to face is the need to
diversify the island's
economic base and transform
the economy." ---JOEL JACK
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