Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 21st 2015 Contents A19
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
Exxon Mobil Corp con-
firmed yesterday that it has
made what it calls a "signif-
icant" oil discovery off
Guyana in waters also
claimed by Venezuela as
part of a long-running bor-
der dispute between the
South American countries.
The company and
Guyana s government had
said on May 7 that the ex-
ploration was showing
promise but provided no de-
tails. Exxon Mobil now says
it is still working to deter-
mine the commercial viabil-
ity of the find at a site within
the 6.6 million-acre area
known as the Stabroek
Block but has reasons to be
"I am encouraged by the
results of the first well on
the Stabroek Block," said
Stephen M Greenlee, presi-
dent of ExxonMobil Explo-
ration Company. The
company says it encoun-
tered more than 295 feet (90
metres) of high-quality oil-
bearing sandstone reservoirs
in the drilling site about 120
miles (193 kilometres) off
Guyana. It said the well was
safely drilled to 17,825 feet
(5,433 metres) in 5,719 feet
(1,743 metres) of water. (AP)
Finance Minister Larry Howai
is satisfied with the actions being
taken by the Central Bank to deal
with the supply for foreign cur-
rency on the local market.
"I do not expect any issues in
respect of this matter and I am
satisfied that the Central Bank has
an improved arrangement in place
which will minimise the problems
experienced last year.
"Foreign exchange reserves are
equivalent to 12 months of import
cover, much higher than in many
countries. There should be no
problem with meeting demand
during the holiday period," he told
the T&T Guardian yesterday.
"My understanding is that the
banks continue to have sufficient
foreign exchange to meet normal
business requirements although
with a short lag."
However, Hugh Howard, pres-
ident of the American Chamber
of Commerce of T&T
(AmchamTT) said businesses are
still complaining about the shortage
of US currency.
"Businesses are still complaining.
I really do not know what is taking
place. After a while people stop
complaining when they get no
relief. While we have not heard
anything further I cannot say that
the situation has been resolved,"
"I expect that some action will
be taken. Elections will be soon so
I do not think the Government will
want to go into an election with
businesses complaining about
shortages in currency."
Daphne Bartlett, president of
the San Fernando Business Cham-
ber said she has been getting fewer
complaints about the US currency
"The banks allow people to open
US accounts and there is the option
of transferring money from your
TT dollar account to the US one.
This means that when a business
owner needs the money, it is there
in the US account. Apparently peo-
ple have been making use of that
facility in the bank so the situation
is better," she said.
Barlett said there is also the pos-
sibility of a drop in locals traveling
during the peak August holiday
season, so there would be a less
demand for foreign currency.
"The economy is not good and
Trinidadians tend to hold on to
their money during these times.
It could just be the case that a lot
of people go to Tobago rather than
to a foreign country just to try to
save their money," she said.
Regulation of the real estate sector
is top priority for the new president
of the Association of Real Estate
Agents of T&T (AREA), Sally Singh.
For that reason, she said, it is the
responsibility of stakeholders to pro-
mote the Real Estate Professional Bill
"We must put our heads together
and promote the legislative framework
which is at its final stage soon to present
to the Minister of Trade. We all need
to take example and lead the charge,"
she said when she spoke at an AREA
seminar on Best Practices for Real Estate
2015 at Queen s Hall, St Ann s, yester-
Keynote speaker at the event, econ-
omist Dr Roger Hosein, said he expected
the T&T economy to grow by two per
cent but he cautioned the Government
to slow down on spending.
"For the period 2015 and 2020 I find
it difficult to see a growth rate of above
two per cent.
"This economy is at a new normal.
It is really important that responsible
people like yourselves take that to the
various places that you operate so we
will not require unreasonable demand
expectation," he said.
He said the practice of fiscal inter-
ventions by successive governments in
this country needs to stop. This year,
he said, the economy is headed into a
precarious position since more workers
"About 300,000 more workers (will
be needed) between now and 2030 if
we are to increase gross domestic prod-
uct (GDP) by 20 per cent. We need to
start the process of thinking where will
we get those workers from. My knee
jerk reaction is to try to increase the
retirement age," he said.
Hosein said the Cepep programme
is good representation of "where we
Had they been constructed, he
added, E-teck parks would have pro-
vided better opportunities for long-
The economic called for further
diversification of T&T s economy, say-
ing "pressure should be put on the
political parties by members of the
public" to state their plans are for diver-
US $$ at banks to meet demand
Howai on forex supply:
T&T economy headed into precarious position
In February 2014, Finance Minister
Larry Howai promised to take steps to
solve the shortage of US dollars in the
At that time he assured: "There are
adequate reserves of close to US$10
billion and another US$5 billion in the
Heritage and Stabilisation Fund."
In July 2014, just before the sharp fall
in international energy prices, University
of the West Indies (UWI) economist Dr
Roger Hosein gave a brief history of
Central Bank's foreign currency injections
and stated that in January to May 2013
the Central Bank injected US$490 million
to meet excess demand by the public.
Hosein said for 2013, the annual
intervention by the bank turned out to
be US$1,315 million. For the same period
(January---May) in 2014, the Central
Bank injected US$610 million into the
financial system, which if linearly scaled
gives an annual figure of US$1,464
million which is actually similar to the
2013 figure and lower than the injections
made by the Central Bank in the years
2009 to 2012.
In December 2014, Central Bank
Governor Jwala Rambaran accused
some local businesses of hoarding in
foreign currency accounts and denied
there was a shortage of US dollars.
Exxon Mobil: Oil discovery off Guyana is 'significant'
President of the Association of Real Estate Agents (AREA),
Sally Singh chats with economist Dr Roger Hosein during a
conference on Best Practices for Real Estate 2015 at
Queen's Hall, St Ann's, yesterday. PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
Links Archive May 20th 2015 May 22nd 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page