Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 22nd 2015 Contents Republic Bank says the formation of
its holding company, Republic Financial
Holdings Ltd (RFHL), will not have any
impact on the group's financial
statement or any negative impact on
the bank's operations, programmes,
customers, employees or shareholders.
The trading symbol of the new listed
entity on the T&T Stock Exchange will
In a statement, the bank also said the
change will have no impact on the share
price as there is no change in the
commercial operation of the group.
"Under the holding company structure,
the Group plans to capitalise on greater
operational efficiency and strategic focus
that will lead to increased value for
clients, employees and shareholders."
Effective December 16, 2015, when
the holding company was officially
formed, the directors of RFHL (formerly
"Republic Bank") are: Ronald F. deC.
Harford -- Chairman, David Dulal-
Whiteway -- President and chief
executive, Shazan Ali, Dawn Callender,
Dr. Terrence W. Farrell, Alison Lewis,
William P. Lucie-Smith, Russell
Martineau S.C, Kristine Thompson and
Gregory I. Thomson.
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Republic forms holding company
Port-of-Spain-based, regional credit rating agency, Cari-
CRIS, yesterday reaffirmed the ratings of CariBBB+ (Foreign
Currency Rating) and CariA- (Local Currency Rating) on
its regional rating scale and bbAAA on its Barbados National
Scale of the debt issue (notional) of the size of US$300
million of the Government of Barbados.
In a statement, CariCRIS said the ratings indicate that the
level of creditworthiness of this obligation, adjudged in relation
to other obligations in the Caribbean is adequate.
"The reaffirmation of the ratings is being driven by the
small recovery in the economy year-to-date and the slight
narrowing in the fiscal deficit. However, the external position
and the high level of debt to GDP are still of concern. The
economy reported marginal economic growth of 0.3 per cent
for the first nine months of 2015 arising from strong per-
formance in the tourism sector," said CariCRIS.
The rating agency said it expects the mild economic improve-
ment to continue for the rest of 2015 and into 2016, hinged
on the timely commencement of investment projects. There
was also improvement in the fiscal accounts with the deficit
narrowing to 2.8 per cent of GDP for the half year ended Sep-
tember 2015 from the 3.4 per cent reported in the prior year s
The gross public debt in Barbados stood at 108.6 per cent
of GDP as at September 2015, which the rating agency described
as "high but stable."
CariCRIS expects an increasing debt to GDP burden as the
government seeks financing for its fiscal deficits. An overall
external deficit of 1.2 per cemt of GDP was reported for the
9 months to September 2015 as compared to 5.3% per centof
GDP in the corresponding period of the previous year. Foreign
reserves continued to fall, decreasing by 8.3 per cent to US
$976.7 million although import cover remained stable at 3.6
months as a result of the reduction in imports.
The rating agency said the non- tradable sector contributes
on average 80.3 per cent of GDP, with financial and other
services accounting for the largest component at 21.6 per
cent. Other major sectors driving economic activity are tourism
(11.1 per cent), distribution (20.5 per cent), transportation (10.8
per cent) and construction (5.7 per cent).
The unemployment rate was at 12 per cent as at September
20151. The private sector presence in the economy is not as
significant as some of its Caribbean counterparts as the gov-
ernment accounts for roughly 40 per cent of employment
and gross capital formation.
CariCRIS reaffirms Barbados rating
People walk outside a money exchange office in Baku, Azerbaijan, yesterday. Azerbaijan's Central Bank said the move to let
the manat float was made to "preserve hard currency reserves ... and ensure the national economy's competitiveness on the
international arena." Following the move, the manat fell by 32 per cent. One manat, which was worth around $0.95 Friday,
was now trading at $0.65. See story on Page A18. AP PHOTO
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