Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 12th 2016 Contents A15
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US crude slid yesterday, hitting 12-year
lows as domestic stockpiles grew,
Goldman Sachs called for depressed prices
until the second half of the year and
investors fled from equities and other
risky assets into safe havens such as gold.
Benchmark US crude oil fell for the sixth
day in a row, sliding US$1.24, or 4.5 per
cent, to US$26.21 a barrel in New York.
Brent crude, a benchmark for international
oils, dropped 78 cents, or 2.5 per cent, to
US$30.06 a barrel in London. Natural gas
fell 5 cents, or 2.5 percent, to US$1.99 per
1,000 cubic feet.
Prices came off session lows in post-
settlement trade after the Wall Street
Journal quoted UAE's energy minister as
saying OPEC was ready to cooperate on
Most traders were sceptical, noting that
Venezuela and Russia recently called in
vain for OPEC and other major oil
producers to cut output.
Earlier, US crude plumbed a new 2003
low and Brent fell below US$30 a barrel
after data showing strong, steady growth
in US and global oil inventories.
Oil plunges to 12-year low
Nigel Baptiste yesterday
took up his appointment as
Republic Bank s managing
director and president of
Republic Financial Holdings
Baptiste has been with
Republic for 25 years and has
served as an executive director
for the past ten years.
In a statement yesterday
Republic said that Baptiste
leads the group with the sup-
port of the team of executive
directors, which now comprises
Derwin Howell, Roopnarine
Oumade Singh and Jacqueline
Quamina. Robert Le Hunte,
who runs the bank s operations
in Ghana and Ian De Souza,
who runs the Barbados sub-
sidiary are also executive direc-
"It is a privilege to have been
given this opportunity to lead
what I believe is an excellent
and dedicated team of individ-
uals," said Baptiste.
Baptiste replaces David
Dulal-Whiteway, who retired
on Ash Wednesday, after ten
years at the helm of the bank.
Chairman of RFHL, Ronald
Harford, said: "We are delight-
ed to welcome Mr. Baptiste into
his new role and look forward
to continued success under his
leadership. We also thank Mr.
Dulal-Whiteway for his years
of service, during which time
he has played a significant role
in the development of the
Republic generated $1.2 bil-
lion in profit after tax for its
2015 financial year, which
ended on September 30. The
2015 performance was 0.6 per
cent better than the bank s
after-tax profit in 2014.
If you have noticed that you are paying more for
Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Zero, Coke Light or Sprite,
it is not because the bottler of the product
(Caribbean Bottlers T&T Ltd) has increased the
price. It is probably because your retailer has adjust-
ed the price to take account of the fact that soft
drinks now attract VAT at 12.5 per cent...and then
A caller to the Guardian said yesterday that he
purchased a 20-ounce Coke Zero yesterday from a
popular bakery chain at Price Plaza in Chaguanas
for $5.75. Before soft drinks became VATable on Feb-
ruary 1, he paid $5 for the beverage.
What accounts for the fact that the bakery is selling
the product at $5.75, which is a 15 per cent increase
when they should be selling it at $5.63?
Before soft drinks became VATable, Caribbean
Bottlers sold a case of 24, 20-ounce soft drinks at
$76. That works out to be a wholesale price of $3.16
per bottle. If the bakery chain sold a 20-ounce bottle
at $5, the margin between the buying price and the
selling price was $1.84 per bottle.
After soft drinks became VATable, the case of 24
increased to $85.50 from $76. That s a wholesale
price of $3.56 per bottle. If the bakery chain is selling
the product at $5.75, their margin has gone from
$1.84 to $2.19 per bottle.
If the bakery chain sells all 24 bottles from the
case at $5.75, its gross revenue would be $138 per
case, for a case that it paid $85.50 for. That s $52.50
per case. Before the VAT increase, the chain bought
a case of soft drinks for $76 and sold it for $120,
making $44 on each case. By the way, the suggested
retail price of a 20-ounce soft drink from Caribbean
Bottlers, including the 12.5 per cent adjustment, is
$4.50. Also by the way, many retailers across T&T,
now sell a 20-ounce bottle of the product at $6 or
A team of International Monetary Fund
(IMF) staffers concluded a mission to Cari-
com member state Suriname yesterday,
after initial discussions on possible finan-
cial support for the authorities home-
grown economic programme.
Late last month, the Suriname govern-
ment approached the IMF to discuss the
possibility of the institution financial support
in response to the sharp decline in inter-
national commodity prices, especially gold
and oil, which the South American country
produces and exports.
Falling oil and gold prices have depleted
Suriname s foreign reserves and the IMF
has said that the aim of its assistance is to
strengthen the level of foreign reserves and
pave the way for the economy to achieve
sustained growth and financial stability.
Suriname devalued its currency by 21 per
cent in November last year, leading the Fitch
rating agency to state: "Maintaining the peg
at 3.30 Surinamese dollars to the US dollar
in the face of falling gold and oil prices and
a ballooning government deficit led reserves
to shrink to US$370 million, down from
more than US$800 million in 2011."
Are retailers price
gouging Coca-cola? Baptiste new head at Republic
Former Managing Director of Republic Bank and President of RFHL, David
Dulal-Whiteway (left) presents the bank's new Managing Director and
President of RFHL, Nigel Baptiste, with a plaque, symbolizing the changing of
the guard. Dulal-Whiteway retired from the bank on Wednesday.
Suriname wants IMF money
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