Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 27th 2014 Contents A21
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Caribbean Central Bank has
warned about the circula-
tion of counterfeit EC$100
notes in the Eastern
Caribbean. The bank said
the fake bills appear to have
been photocopied or printed
"They will appear smaller
than regular bills and lack
the unique security features
of the ECCB issued bank
notes," it said.
The ECCB said some of
the security features of EC
bank notes include a see-
"On all of the banknotes,
there are fish in the bottom
left hand corner on the front
of the notes. When the notes
are held up to the light, parts
of the fish fill in, as areas on
the back of the note line up
perfectly with the front," the
bank said in a statement.
EC banknotes are in de-
nominations of $5, $10, $20,
$50 and $100. From time to
time the ECCB upgrades the
security features of the
notes, in an effort to guard
against counterfeiting. The
last upgrade of EC notes was
on April 1, 2008. (CMC)
Former Attorney General Anthony
Smart is a good choice for next chairman
of the First Citizen s Bank (FCB), Hugh
Howard, president of the American Cham-
ber of Commerce of T&T (Am Cham T&T)
"Mr Smart is a mature person. He is not
someone who does not have experience. I
think he has the capability to be able to
steady that ship again. I would be very, very
surprised if he disappoints," Howard told
the T&T Guardian. Finance Minister Larry
Howai nominated Smart to be chairman of
First Citizens, replacing Nyree Alfonso, who
retired from the board at the bank s annual
general meeting on May 12.
Other nominees announced by Howai on
Friday are Jean-Pierre du Coudray, T&T
Chamber of Industry and Commerce; Joel
Pemberton, a chartered accountant and
CEO of Trinity Exploration & Production
Plc; Michelle Durham-Kissoon, deputy per-
manent secretary. Ministry of Finance and
the Economy; Courtenay Williams, attorney
and senior partner, Pollonais and Blanc; and
Hazar Hosein, CEO, Land Settlement
Agency, Ministry of Land & Marine Affairs.
Howard said there are three criteria that
should be used when selecting someone for
"The person must have the capability
and must be qualified to deal with issues
that arise. That competence part of it, I do
not think anyone has questioned regarding
Smart. He is an attorney at law of long
standing and I believe he will be comfortable
to preside as chairman of the board. Sec-
ondly, you must have character. I have no
problems when it comes to Smart s character
and this is very important in terms of
appointing people to boards," he said.
Thirdly, said Howard, the individual must
have commitment to country.
"There must be commitment to service
of T&T rather than to any partisan group.
Unless someone can come forward with
evidence that says Mr Smart failed on any
of the three criteria, I would say that he
makes a good candidate and is a good
choice," he said.
Minority shareholder rights advocate Peter
Permell said as far as he knows Smart is
not an active politician and seems to be
capable for the job.
"I have always found him to be a straight
shooter and from all appearances he has
conducted himself with the requisite honesty,
integrity and probity befitting of a minister
of government and a Member of Parliament.
In those circumstances, and in the absence
of any evidence to the contrary, I would be
challenged as a citizen and, moreso as a
shareholder, not to accept his nomination
as a director and the next chairman of the
First Citizens board," he said.
However, Permell said he was "perplexed"
at the Government s decision to nominate
representatives from the Chamber of Com-
merce and the T&T Manufacturers Asso-
ciation (TTMA) to represent the interests
of the bank s minority shareholders.
"The more obvious and appropriate choic-
es in my considered opinion should be the
credit union movement and the union rep-
resenting the interests of the bank s employ-
ees," he said.
Daphne Bartlett, president of the San
Fernando Business, said she welcomed
Smart s nomination.
"He is an attorney, so he will bring the
legal angle of the business transactions,"
Bartlett said it does not matter whoever
becomes the chairman, once the person
puts the interest of the citizens first.
"We want good governance. Remember,
this is not a privately-owned company, but
it is owned by the people of T&T," she said.
The Downtown Owners and Merchants
Association (Doma) says increased govern-
ment spending has been causing periodic
shortages of foreign exchange for several
In a statement yesterday, the group said in
2000 government spending accelerated from
$13 billion and that figure had tripled to $30
billion by 2004.
"Major demands for foreign exchange in
the form of national projects of gargantuan
size and follow-on consumer demand now
seem to have reached a crescendo," Doma
It added that the situation is causing a pro-
found "snowball" effect by exciting demand
that would not have arisen but for fear of a
continued shortage. Doma also said the current
chronic shortage of foreign exchange is deflat-
ing confidence among the national commu-
The statement continued: "Recent
announcements regarding the introduction of
an auction system and the allotment of foreign
exchange to many new dealers do not provide
any adequate way forward nor does the
announcement of injection of another US$200
million of foreign exchange.
"We respectfully wish to point out that
information regarding a new auction protocol
are useless unless we are told what changes
will be immediately made to relieve the chronic
shortage that began more than five months
"If the introduction of a new system has
caused scarcity and a lack of confidence,
changes should be made and this is the infor-
mation that we need."
Doma said it has been reliably informed
that the waiting list of unpaid foreign bills
exceeds the new injection of US$200 million
within just two or three industries.
"In the final analysis, the availability of for-
eign exchange is a vital statistic of a country s
economic data. It is one of those stubborn
indicators that speaks for itself and cannot
be altered by symposiums, consultations or
press announcements. We either have the for-
eign exchange or we do not!" the group said.
"In our case, as the shortages become more
and more protracted we are being reminded
of the need for an urgent discussion of macro-
"These policy discussions will have to
include some sensible talk about government
spending, national priorities and the choice
of projects and whether or not the Trinidad
and Tobago currency is not overvalued at this
Support for Smart choice
Nominees to First Citizens board:
US dollar shortage
ECCB warning of fake EC$100 notes
adviser in the
Tony Ming at
session of the
meeting on The
ICT at the
IMPORTANCE OF ICT
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