Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 7th 2013 Contents BG10 | NEWS
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt NOVEMBER 2013 • WEEK ONE
Banks contribution to Caribbean development will come
under scrutiny at a November conference in St Lucia, according
to a statement from the Caribbean Association of Banks
(CAB) that was e-mailed to the Business Guardian.
Formerly known as the Caribbean Association of Indigenous
Banks (CAIB), the local members of CAB are First Citizens,
Republic Bank and Intercommercial Bank.
"The resilience of the regional banking sector to volatility
in global financial markets and its contribution to stability,
growth and development in the region, will come under
scrutiny here next month. The adaptability of the financial
services sector to industry trends will also be examined," the
Under the theme "redefining strategy---the leadership chal-
lenge," Caribbean bankers will meet from November 13-16
at the Sandals Grande Beach Resort and Spa, Gros Islet, St
Lucia, the statement said. It was headlined: "CAB Conference
ripe with opportunities for local Private Sector."
Over 200 international finance professionals will gather
in St Lucia for the 40th annual general meeting and conference
of the CAB, the statement said.
CAB said it "provides a platform through which financial
institutions across the region can share their experiences,
ideas and expertise in tackling internal and external challenges
to the financial services sector and the economies of the
Addressing the conference on the first day will be Australian
banker, Brett King, founder and chief executive officer (CEO)
of "the breakout mobile bank, Moven," the statement said.
King is also author of "some of the financial sector s rev-
olutionary texts which advocate a technologically integrated
approach to 21st century banking," the statement said.
The conference will feature "discussion, dialogue and
strategising for corporate leaders," CAB said. Topics listed to
be discussed are:
• Corporate governance and risk management strategy
• Global growth challenges
• Is increasing shareholder value possible?
• 21st century leadership
• Creating the self-led organisation
• Credit unions and banks partnering for growth and prof-
• The role of social media in building customer relations
• Managing at the speed of change
These discussions are expected to be insightful and inform-
ative and are designed to equip participants with the expertise
to help guide the operations of their respective firms and
institutions in the current global environment, CAB said.
Joanna Charles, chairperson of the local organising com-
mittee, said in the statement that "the conference provides
a unique opportunity for networking among business and
CAB described itself as "a community of banks and other
financial institutions in the Caribbean region."
The association said its mission is to advance the interest
of member institutions through advocacy, networking, pro-
vision of training and other solutions to strengthen the
Caribbean financial sector. CAB currently represents 58 mem-
bers classified as either "general, service or associate."
CAB said it "ensures that members stay up to date on leg-
islative, regulatory and market developments that influence
or impact the future of the banking and financial services
industry," by providing information and educational support
to, and advocacy for, its members.
Banks' contribution to development to
come under scrutiny
The Unit Trust Corporation announced on
Tuesday that it was closing five of its US-dollar
mutual funds at the end of November.
The five funds, described as segregated port-
folios, are: UTC Asia-Pacific Fund; UTC Energy
Fund; UTC European Fund; UTC Global Bond
Fund and the UTC Latin America Fund.
The funds are all under the control of the
UTC s Cayman subsidiary.
In total, the five funds had US$10.7 million in
assets at the end of calendar 2012, according to
the Cayman company s annual report.
In the annual report, the UTC said that four
of the five funds "generated positive returns for
unitholders in the 2012 financial year. This rep-
resents a turnaround from the fund performances
observed in 2011, when all five funds declared
losses---in four of the five cases, double digit
The only fund that recorded a negative per-
formance for 2012 was the Energy Fund, which
generated a negative 4.01 per cent return, which
the UTC described as "significantly improved
over the previous year s return of negative 20.82
The Global Bond Fund generated a net return
to unitholders of 6.47 per cent; The Asia-Pacific
Fund returns 6.91 per cent; the European Fund
generated a return of 8.12 per cent and the Latin
American Fund returned 2.09 per cent.
The decision by the UTC to close the five US
dollar funds leaves the organisation with two
US-do.llar funds: the US$ Income Fund and the
UTC North American Fund.
According to the UTC s 2012 annual report,
the size of the US$ Income Fund at the end of
2012 was US$711.28 million ($4.52 billion), which
was 10.25 per cent more than the size of the fund
a year earlier. The net return on the US$ Income
Fund in 2012 was 1.10 per cent.
The UTC North American Fund had a fund
size of US$30.92 million (US$196.44 million) at
the of 2012, which was a 3.7 per cent increase
The notice in Tuesday s newspapers did not
provide an explanation of why the Corporation
decided to close the funds, but it stated that
"shareholders will be allowed to redeem their
units in these funds and receive a cheque for the
full proceeds on or before November 29.
T&T has been left off a list of eight coun-
tries that the Inter-American Development
Bank has granted approval to use public
On Monday, the IDB said that it approved
Argentina, Bolivia, Costa Rica, El Salvador,
Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, and Peru to use
procurement subsystems on Bank financed
In a statement, the IDB said: "This
approval reflects the countries efforts to
improve their public procurement systems,
which represent a US$800 billion market
in the region. The impact of these efforts
is measured by various indicators, including
market access, which has increased signif-
icantly as 70 per cent of all public procure-
ment opportunities are today accessible
through electronic means."
The development bank said that the deci-
sion establishes the "basis to expedite con-
tracting processes by avoiding duplication
and reducing transaction costs." The systems
that may be used are shopping, framework
agreements, reverse auction, and selection
of individual consultants.
The IDB said that this approval represents
a step towards a potential use of the entire
national system, as in the case of Brazil,
Chile, Ecuador and Mexico.
The IDB s approval results from the
assessment of these systems, and their com-
pliance with international standards and
practices, according to the international
These standards are listed in the Guide
for Acceptance of the Use of Country Pro-
curement Systems, and were approved by
the Bank in June 2010 based on OECD best
IDB approves procurement systems
in eight regional countries....T&T not on list
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