Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 21st 2015 Contents A15
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KINGSTON---The Jamaica government says it
has been victorious in its case against the Noranda
Bauxite Company before the London-based Inter-
national Arbitration Panel.
"As of the first of January this year, the Gov-
ernment of Jamaica is able to charge the full bauxite
levy to Noranda. Bauxite is a depleting resource
and we do need to ensure that the country benefits
more," said Mining Minister Phillip Paulwell, who
was part of the government s team which made
submissions to the Arbitration Panel.
The panel ruled Friday that Noranda Bauxite
Company must pay the levy owed since January
this year and officials say that could result in mil-
lions of dollars (One Jamaica dollar =US$0.008
cents) to the government.
The matter had gone before the UK-based panel
after the government insisted that the company,
which a joint venture between Jamaican and US-
based companies, should pay the bauxite levy for
every ton of the mineral exported.
Noranda contended that it was entitled to with-
hold the payments as it sought clarification about
Paulwell said companies extracting the mineral
should pay what due by law.
The government had also filed an injunction to
prevent Noranda from exporting bauxite until the
dispute was resolved. A team from the company
also made submissions before the three-member
arbitration panel. ---CMC
T&T s net official foreign reserves
plunged by 14.7 per cent between the start
of 2015 and the end of October, which is
the lowest foreign reserve figure recorded
by the Central Bank since November 2013,
according to the latest data on the insti-
tution s website.
The country s net official foreign reserves
at the end of October totalled US$9.64 bil-
lion, which is a decline of US$1.67 billion,
since the start of 2015, a year in which the
country s inflows of foreign exchange have
declined because of the sharp fall in the
prices of T&T s commodity exports.
The Central Bank also noted that the
country s import cover at the end of October
was 11 months, which was a drop from 12.8
months in January 2015.
In delivering the short-term outlook for
the economy in 2016, Central Bank Gov-
ernor, Jwala Rambarran, in his controversial
December 4 speech, said: "The country s
gross official reserves are projected to fall
again as energy exports decline further, but
will still continue to exceed conventional
benchmarks of reserve adequacy (such as
import cover and short-term debt cover-
"The anticipated drop in reserves will
translate into less foreign exchange available
to Central Bank to support the market. Ener-
gy exports are expected to decline by around
US$600 million, constraining foreign
The Central Bank has attempted to engi-
neer higher interest rates on loans in order
to dampen the demand for foreign exchange,
increasing the institution s main policy rate
on eight consecutive occasions since it start-
ed to make its monetary policy less accom-
modative in September 2014.
In the speech, which was hosted by the
Downtown Owners and Merchants Asso-
ciation at the Hyatt hotel, Rambarran said
the timing and pace of increases in US inter-
est rates have "tremendous implications"
for foreign exchange demand and portfolio
capital outflows, especially as the returns
on US dollar assets remain more attractive
than TT dollar assets.
Rambarran said: "Higher domestic interest
rates are necessary to enhance returns on
TT-dollar denominated assets, helping to
curb portfolio capital movements out of T&T.
"Higher domestic interest rates are also
necessary to discourage heavy consumer
borrowing on imported consumer durables,
which are a major source of foreign exchange
In the presentation, the Governor also
made the point that while inflows of foreign
exchange had declined in the last three years,
the demand for foreign exchange has
He said energy exports declined from
nearly US$11 billion in 2013 to an estimated
US$7 billion in 2015, as declining commodity
prices and production have slowed conver-
sions of US dollars by energy companies,
which are is the main source of inflows to
the domestic foreign exchange market.
Rambarran said: "As a result total inflows
of foreign exchange have been falling over
the past three years.
"In 2013, the total supply of foreign
exchange stood at US$5.8 billion. In 2014,
it fell to US$5.5 billion. In the first eleven
months of 2015, total inflows of foreign
exchange fell by almost 20 per cent to
"On the other hand, domestic appetite
for foreign exchange remains robust. In
2013, the demand for foreign exchange stood
at US$7 billion, about the same as in 2014.
During the first eleven months of 2015,
demand for foreign exchange amounted to
The Central Bank intervened in the foreign
exchange market last Monday, when it sold
US$50 million to commercial banks.
Foreign reserves plunge Jamaica
Central Bank Governor, Jwala Rambarran
ST JOHN'S---Antigua and Barbuda
Prime Minister Gaston Browne has
reiterated his government's commitment
to upholding the highest international
standards in the fight against money
laundering and other financial crimes.
Browne was speaking on Friday to
security officials during a review of the
nation's performance for 2015 in
combatting financial crimes and crimes in
The Prime Minister said the financial
regulatory and supervisory agencies,
including the Office of National Drug
Control Policy (ONDCP) and the Financial
Services Regulatory Commission (FSRC),
"must continue to work assiduously in
ensuring that the recognition that Antigua
and Barbuda received from the Caribbean
Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) for
making significant progress in addressing
the deficiencies in relation to legislation
designed to prevent money laundering
"The work done by ONDCP, FSRC and
other relevant agencies earlier this year
resulted in the CFATF approving Antigua
and Barbuda's exit of the Third Round
Follow Up Process."
The Antiguan leader said his country
"now stands on par with the USA and
other first world countries as it relates to
having in place a legal framework and
operational capacity to prevent money
laundering within its borders."
PM: Antigua committed to combating laundering
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