Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 11th 2014 Contents SBG14 FEEDBACK
SUNDAY BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt MAY 11 • 2014
INTERNATIONAL TENDER NOTICE
CENTRAL TENDERS BOARD
Provision of Consulting Services14-2024 for the Ministry of Energy and Energy
Affairs, Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
Proposals are invited for the Provision of Consulting Services for the Development of a Natural Gas Master Plan 2014-2024 for the Ministry of
Energy and Energy Affairs, Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
Bidding documents may be obtained during normal working hours at the Central Tenders Board's Office, 116 Frederick Street, Port-of Spain.
Telephone No. 1(868) 625-4330.
Any further technical information can be obtained during normal working hours from:
Mr. Richard Jeremie
Chief Technical Officer (Ag.)
23rd Floor, International Waterfront Centre
#1 Wrightson Road
Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
Telephone No.: 868-623-6708/6714 Ext. 2386/2388
Proposals must be accompanied by the following:
(i) Valid Income Tax and Value Added Tax Clearance Certificates issued by the Board of Inland Revenue and dated not more THan six (6)
months prior to the closing date for submission oF proposals (applicable to local consultants).
(ii) Valid Certificate of Compliance issued in accordance with the National Insurance Act (applicable to local consultants).
The original and five (5) copies each of the Technical and Financial Proposals should be placed in separate sealed envelopes clearly marked on
ENVELOPE #1 - TECHNICAL PROPOSAL
"Provision of Consulting Services for the Development of a Natural Gas Master Plan 2014 - 2024 for the Ministry of Energy
and Energy Affairs, Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago"
ENVELOPE # 2 - FINANCIAL PROPOSAL
"Provision of Consulting, Services for the Development of a Natural Gas Master Plan 2014 2024 for the Ministry of Energy
and Energy Affairs, Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago"
The name and address of the Firm must be printed on ENVELOPE 2 - FINANCIAL PROPOSAL.
Envelopes must be addressed to the Chairman, Central Tenders Board, 116 Frederick Street, Port- of-Spain, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and
be deposited in the BROWN Tenders Box located in the lobby of the Board's Office not later than 1:00 p.m, (Local Time) on Thursday 5th
Consultants should note that the dimensions of the slot in the Tenders Box are 37.5 cm x 5 x 5 cm and as such, proposals should be packaged
The Technical Proposals will be opened shortly thereafter. The Consultant or his authorized representative may be present at the opening.
Late proposals will not be considered in any circumstances.
The Board does not bind itself to accept any proposal.
The Central Tenders Board reserves the right to cancel the present notice in its entirety or even partially, without defraying any cost incurred by
any firm in submitting their proposal.
Prospective consultants are advised that they can visit the website http://www.finance.gov.tt for all published Tender Notices.
Central Tenders Board
Government of the Republic of
Trinidad and Tobago
April 23, 2014
Dear good citizens,
As you are aware on July 15, 2013 the Gov-
ernment of the Republic of T&T offered for
sale 48,495,665 ordinary shares at $22 per
share, in First Citizens Bank (FCB), the only
surviving indigenous state-owned commercial
bank in the country, a success story that was
born out of the acquisition of the business
and assets of the failed Worker s Bank, National
Commercial Bank and Trinidad Co-operative
Prior to this, since June last year, I had pub-
licly raised concerns in the Business Guardian
over the prescribed share allotment formula,
in that only 30 per cent of the offer was being
allocated to individuals while 70 per cent was
being allocated to corporate T&T. I argued
that this was unfair and inequitable given the
dearth of sound investment opportunities
available to the average citizens.
Interestingly, of the 30 per cent allocated
to individuals half of this amount or 7.2 million
shares were allocated to the bank s less than
According to Finance Minister Larry Howai
the allotment was formulated in the context
of the likelihood that the employee group
could potentially purchase a total of 8.3 million
shares if each employee exercised the right to
purchase the maximum 5,000 shares, dis-
counted at 10 per cent or $19.80 per share.
The minister explained that had this
occurred it would have ensured an equitable
distribution of shares among employees. How-
ever, for a variety of reasons, a significant
number of employees did not participate in
the IPO, thus creating a "loophole" for certain
senior employees and directors to purchase
shares way in excess of the discounted avail-
ability of 5,000 shares.
We know now that there was one senior employee
in particular, the bank s former chief risk officer Hassan
Philip Rahaman who applied for and was allotted 659,588
shares in the IPO. He shortly thereafter sold the majority
of these shares on January 14, for a whopping profit
of more than $12 million but not before ensuring that
he pocketed the dividends of almost $719,000.
Over the past few weeks, I along with others have
raised a number of serious questions in the public
domain regarding this multimillion-dollar transaction
in particular and the IPO allocation process in general.
It is now a matter of public record that the Finance
Minister ordered a forensic audit on March 14, 2014
into the matter.
Mr Rahaman was eventually fired on March 25, 2014,
according to the board, due to "a loss of confidence."
The audit report has now been sent by the Attorney
General to the DPP and the police for them "to consider
whether there is justification to lay several criminal
charges arising out of violations of the Securities Act."
All this has transpired, notwithstanding the robust
defense of Mr Rahaman s multimillion-dollar share
purchase by the bank s chairman Nyree Alfonso who,
only mere days before, had stated categorically that
"there were no breaches of any regulations, policies or
procedures." In fact, she further clarified her position
by publicly stating that "you cannot use morals and
ethics because everyone s are different."
Then there are the troubling, unanswered questions
of:(1) Why wasn t the purchase of the 659,588 shares
by the former Chief Risk officer redflagged by the
responsible officer of the bank at the time of preparation,
finalisation and approval of the company s Shareholder
Register, necessary prerequisites that would have had
to be satisfied by FCB prior to listing on the T&T Stock
Exchange (TTSE) on September 16, 2013.
(2) Why, even after the Finance Minister had
announced on February 14 that he had ordered a forensic
audit into the said purchase, didn t any bank executive
immediately inform him and the public that Mr Rahaman
had already sold the majority of his shares? Since this
was one of the major concerns of the public at the time.
(3) Who were the bank representatives that the minister
spoke with prior to his announcement on March 14?
Was it the chairman, the corporate secretary, the CEO
Larry Nath or all of the above and what did they tell
(4) Why did it take until March 12, for this contentious
multimillion-dollar sale to be disclosed to the public,
in contravention of the rule 604 of the TTSE, when
those same shares were the subject of a forensic audit
and this information would have been available to certain
officers of the bank at all material times between January
14 (the date of the sale) and February 14 (the date audit
was announced) and certainly long before March 12.
As a consequence of the chairman s handling of this
matter, which has been characterised by the AG as being
"injudicious, premature and prejudicial," the apparent
"inadvertence" of the bank in not disclosing the sale
in accordance with Rule 604, compounded by the
board s acquiescence, FCB s previously unblemished
reputation has now been put at serious risk. This has
resulted in a loss of confidence and calls in several
quarters for the entire board to do the honourable thing
and resign. However, to date, they have failed and/or
refused to so do.
Accordingly, as a citizen of T&T and a shareholder
of the bank, I am calling on all of the other 12,000-
plus minority shareholders to join with me in ensuring
that this board is voted out of office at the annual
general meeting (AGM), which will be held on tomorrow
at 10.00 am at the Lord Kitchener (Aldwyn Roberts)
Auditorium, National Academy for the Performing Arts.
In the interim, I shall be grateful if you would kindly
e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, to indicate if
you support the above position and whether you will
be attending the AGM.
Minority Shareholder Rights Advocate
A call for First Citizens' minority shareholders
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