Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 31st 2013 Contents A23
AUGUST 31, 2013
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The Central Bank has advised that the
Mortgage Market Reference Rate (MMRR)
for September 2013 will be held at 2.25
Commercial banks residential mortgage
rates continued to trend downwards in
June 2013. With the MMRR declining to
2.25 per cent in June 2013 from 2.50 per
cent in March 2013, the weighted average
rate on new residential mortgages fell to
5.58 per cent in June 2013 from 5.91 per
cent in March 2013. Meanwhile, the
weighted average rate on outstanding res-
idential mortgages also dropped to 6.53
per cent in June 2013 from 6.82 per cent
in March 2013. Lower mortgage rates have
in part stimulated real estate mortgage
demand, with robust growth (year-on-
year) in real estate mortgage loans during
the first half of 2013, the Central Bank said
in a statement yesterday.
The Central bank said commercial banks
and their affiliated non-bank financial
institutions are expected to apply this rate
to all existing residential mortgage loans
that are due to be repriced as well as new
mortgages from September 2.
Mortgage market reference rate for September held at 2.25%
The National Enterprises Ltd (NEL) is
awaiting approval on whether it can
invest in First Citizens initial public offer-
The divestment company is hoping it
gets the nod to invest in three per cent
of the State-owned bank s shares.
Assuring there was no conflict with
NEL investing in the IPO, Kenny Lue Chee
Lip, chairman of Nel, said the investment
is a "great" one.
"We didn t fall under entities like Unit
Trust Corporation and National Insurance
Board, who were given specific allocation.
We had to fit in with everybody else. They
allocated ten per cent to companies, so
we are fighting up for a share of that ten
per cent. We are competing openly with
He was speaking to T&T Guardian yes-
terday at a news conference held at the
Hyatt Regency Trinidad hotel, Wrightson
Road, Port-of-Spain, to celebrate $4 billion
in dividend disbursements to shareholders
over the last 11 years.
Asked what makes the IPO a lucrative
investment for NEL, Lue Chee Lip he said
the dividends over a long-term period
would be beneficial for the company.
"Based on the prospectus and the pric-
ing of the shares, the dividends potential
is very good."
Speaking to reporters after the news
conference, Finance Minister Larry Howai
said NEL is expected to get a response
within two weeks. He said it would
enhance NEL s portfolio of investments.
"I don t think it (NEL S proposed invest-
ment in the IPO) should be any issue. I
think it would enhance the portfolio that
they have right now," Howai said.
Government hires UK law
firm as adviser on Clico
The Government has hired London-based law
firm, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP and
a UK Investment adviser to determine what
would happen to the debt to the $18.4 billion
debt due to the Government as a result of the
Clico bailout, Finance Minister Larry Howai said
"We have been using Freshfields, as well as a
UK investment adviser. We gave them 45 days.
They would have started either yesterday or day
before," he said.
On July 4, a letter of intent was submitted by
CL Financial proposes a framework based on cer-
tain agreements and an understanding of the
essential terms that will settle the $18.4 billion
debt due to Government as a result of the Clico
bailout and which will form part of a new share-
holders agreement between Government and
Asked how much it would cost to hire the law
firm and the UK investment adviser, Howai said
his technical staff have been looking at it.
Howai was speaking at a function at the Hyatt
Regency Trinidad hotel, Wrightson Road, Port-
of-Spain, to celebrate $4 billion in the disbursement
of dividends by National Enterprises Ltd over the
last 11 years.
Contacted for a comment, Peter Permell, chair-
man of the Clico Policyholders Group, yesterday
said: "The CPG is therefore persuaded that this
is approach is not only sagacious, but the respon-
sible thing to do in the circumstances as we con-
tinue to keep a very close eye on this matter."
Chairman: NEL seeks
3% of First Citizens IPO
Finance Minister Larry Howai, right, receives a cheque for $212m from Kenny Lue Chee
Lip, the new chairman of National Enterprises Ltd (NEL), at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad
hotel, Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain. The cheque represents dividends from NEL to the
Government for the financial year ended March 31, 2013. PHOTO: MARYANN E AUGUSTE
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