Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 23rd 2014 Contents A21
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Credit Suisse Group AG will quit
commodities trading after chalking up
its biggest loss since the financial crisis
in 2008, the result of a 1.6 billion Swiss
franc (US$1.78 billion) fine from US
authorities for helping its clients evade
The Swiss bank reversed a recent
vow to stick with its commodities unit,
and thus joins the ranks of trading firms
answering regulatory demands for more
capital by significantly reducing or even
shuttering their natural resource trading
Credit Suisse's fixed income unit
outshone both its wealthy client unit
and its US rivals with a 4 per cent rise in
sales and trading, flouting its own
downbeat guidance in May. That
compares to drops of at least ten per
cent at American banks like Goldman
Sachs and JPMorgan last week.
Credit Suisse said the commodities
cuts, set to save US$75 million, would
allow resources and funds to be
reassigned to its private bank, which
disappointed investors with a 39 per
cent drop in revenue and weaker
margins, and swung to a loss due to the
Finance and the Economy Minister Larry
Howai said workers at Clico are to be severed
as the Government determines the future of
Responding to a question on the order paper
from Opposition Senator Lester Henry in the
Senate yesterday, Howai said he did not have
"the exact details of what exactly is happening
with the workers, but there has been agreement
that there will be a gradual winding down of
the labour force."
He said: "Certain amounts of payments will
be made, the details of which I don t have at
the moment and exactly how many persons
are actually going to be severed. I don t have
those details with me at the moment."
He said: "The intention is that it be wound
down, (but) some of the employees will be
kept on as part of the process of continuing
to manage the portfolio, pending the ultimate
decision as to where we proceed from there."
He said the decision to transfer selected
assets and liabilities of Clico to a new com-
pany Atrius Ltd was subsequently changed
because the Government s fiscal position
constrained it from committing the estimated
$1.5 billion capital investment in it at this
time. He said the Atrius board was being
Howai said the final decision on the dis-
position of the assets and liabilities of the
company was dependent on the results of
the actuarial valuation now being under-
He said the decision to abort plans to estab-
lish the company was taken during discussions
between the Finance Ministry and the Central
Bank, which now has supervisory control of
Clico under Section 44 of the Central Bank
Henry asked Howai to explain how did the
Government determine that $1.5 billion was
required to establish the company. Howai said
while the actuarial valuation would not be
available until the middle of September, it was
based on a computation and an in-house
"actuarial resources of what we thought the
actual net asset value of the company would
Howai said the Government was also looking
at the possibility of continuing with Clico
under Section 44.
He said it was not something that one would
want to do, but there is precedence for it.
"So that is also one of the options that will
be considered as we go along," the minister
Clico, which is a member of the CL Financial
Group, collapsed in 2009 and has received
billions of dollars from the Government to
continue its operations.
Employees, represented by the Banking,
Insurance and General Workers Union
(BIGWU), demonstrated outside Clico s St
Vincent Street office last month demanding
answers about the future of the company.
Clico workers to be severed
China will continue to make
an important contribution to
T&T s economy and society,
said Huang Xingyuan, China s
Ambassador to T&T.
"There are many business per-
sons from T&T looking for busi-
ness opportunities in China and
the newly-opened T&T Embassy
in China can provide guidance
on this. T&T and China share
the same goals of diversification
and restructuring and T&T
remains an important partner of
China," he said.
Xingyuan was speaking
through an interpreter yesterday
at a China Business Forum at
the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate
School of Business, Mt Hope.
He also said that T&T Pres-
ident Anthony Carmona would
be paying a visit to China next
He said the National Academy
for the Performing Arts (Napa)
is an example of the high quality
work that Chinese companies
have done in T&T.
"More Chinese companies will
work on projects here in T&T.
Also, people in T&T can buy
cheap, high quality products
made in China. Both countries
must work together to further
our co-operation," he said.
Xingyuan said while T&T was
a tiny twin-island state, China,
with the world s largest popu-
lation, dwarfed T&T.
"China is a vast country. How
big is China? The size of T&T
multiplied by 2,000 times. In
terms of the population, multiply
T&T s population 1,000 times
to get China s population. We
are also far apart in distance. But
I must add that Chinese are as
diligent as T&T nationals," he
He made reference to the
Trinidadian saying that "God is
"I know that this god will pro-
vide for the welfare of the people
of T&T," Xingyuan said.
Arthur Lok Jack, chairman of
Associated Brands Industries
who also spoke at the forum,
said China today continues to
contribute to T&T s economic
growth and diversification.
"In T&T alone, China has
made contributions in terms of
technology, business innovation,
flexible financing, construction,
healthcare and a variety of ongo-
ing projects, and many of these
are with state organisations, and
now the private sector," he said.
Lok Jack said China was now
the world s second largest econ-
omy and gives smaller nation
states like T&T an opportunity to
develop along non-traditional
lines with non-traditional part-
"China has been experiencing
economic growth for the past
three decades since its reforms
and opening up to the outside
world. Today, China plays an
increasing role in world politics
and is now the world s second
largest economy. China has also
helped countries of the global
south and allows us to grow
beyond the traditional trading
partners," he said.
Lok Jack called China a "vast
country", but said this may dis-
tort the true picture of its wealth
distribution compared to a small
country like T&T with a relatively
high growth rate gross domestic
product (GDP) per capita.
"Obviously, there is a discon-
nect between the world s second
largest economy and its GDP per
capita because of its large pop-
ulation. I am sure if you were to
disaggregate this and started to
look at China as different regions
or cities, you will find a GDP per
capita that is much higher. So
one has to be careful when one
looks at the low GDP per capita
of China," he said.
Envoy: NAPA an example of China's abilities
Arthur Lok Jack, chairman, Associated Brands Industries Ltd, right,
and Huang Xingyuan, Ambassador, Embassy of the People's
Republic of China, chat during yesterday's opening of the China
Connect event to focus on current issues impacting China and
opportunities to develop economic and trade relations between
China and T&T. The event was held at the Arthur Lok Jack
Graduate School of Business, Mt Hope Campus.
PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
Credit Suisse posts big loss after US tax settlement
Diane Hadad, chairman of the Tobago Division
of the T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce
(TTCIC), is calling for a meeting with Michael
DiLollo, chief executive officer, Caribbean Airlines
Ltd (CAL) to discuss the airbridge between T&T.
She said the domestic route between Trinidad
and the sister isle was not being run efficiently.
Hadad suggested there is need for CAL executives
to identify what are the true requirements for running
the airbridge efficiently.
"We ve been asking for meetings. We keep getting
confirmations that they (CAL s management) will
meet with us. Up to this morning (Tuesday), there
was commitment that they will meet with us, Friday.
But within minutes, the meeting was cancelled until
further notice. We are not sure what is happening,
but clearly there is no communication with CAL.
The CEO has not met with the Tobago arm (of the
Chamber). He doesn t know (the market), so he is
just making business decisions," Hadad said in a
telephone interview yesterday.
Justifying the need for a meeting with CAL exec-
utives, Hadad said for the July/August period, there
were many passengers on standby every Friday night
at the Tobago airport. She added that the demand
for inter-island travel is greater on weekends.
Her comments followed Chief Secretary Orville
London issuing a statement on Monday that he s
asked Finance Minister Larry Howai for Tobago to
get its own airline, and that this be considered in
the upcoming 2015 national budget. (Nadaleen
with CAL on
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