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THURSDAY, JULY 11, 2019

$4.55 ‘Tax on society’: 75% of workers have no pension

BAHAMIANS face paying “another tax on society” to support the near-75 percent of workers not covered by an employersponsored pension plan, a leading investment banker has warned. Michael Anderson, pictured, RoyalFidelity Merchant Bank & Trust’s president, told Tribune Business that the Central Bank’s latest private pensions survey had again highlighted the need for Bahamians to “start sooner rather than later” when it came to building savings for their retirement. He said the survey, which found that just 25.7 percent of Bahamian workers were covered by an employersponsored plan in 2017, underscored the urgency with which this nation needed “to make inroads into what will be a significant problem in the future”. Mr Anderson added that Bahamians with either insufficient or no retirement

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RCHITECTS have warned the government it is “losing millions of dollars” annually in VAT and other taxes through “unscrupulous” practices by consultants working on construction projects. The Institute of Bahamian Architects (IBA), in a February 2019 report submitted to the Ministry of Finance, said the Public Treasury as well as local professionals were not getting their due share because much of the work - especially on large-scale foreign direct investment (FDI) projects - was being performed offshore. The presentation, which has been seen by Tribune Business, argued that this was being aided by “unscrupulous licensed” Bahamian professionals who merely “stamped” plans and drawings locally - something that the IBA argued was a breach of the Professional Architects Act. “The Bahamas government loses millions of dollars from architectural and related consultancies on projects every year,” the IBA told the

‘Big jump’ over VAT realty submissions By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor nhartnell@tribunemedia.net THE government’s requirement that all documents for “stamping” on New Providence be submitted via e-mail from August 1 was yesterday described as “a big jump” by practitioners. Attorneys, speaking on condition of anonymity, questioned whether 20 days was sufficient time for everyone to come to grips with the electronic submission of conveyances and associated

paperwork to the Department of Inland Revenue. Yet that transition time is much greater than that allowed for islands other than New Providence, where all documents requiring “stamping” - whether under the Stamp Act or the value-added tax (VAT) now being imposed on real estate transactions - were supposed to be submitted electronically from July 1.  The details are contained in “procedures for the VAT stamping” of conveyances

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National debt in $30m FALL

By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor nhartnell@tribunemedia.net

THE Bahamas’ national debt has seen its first quarterly decline for years as it fell by just over $30m during the three-months to end-March 2019 thanks to a small budget surplus. The Central Bank’s quarterly review for the period, published this week, disclosed: “At end-March, the national

$4.61

Architects: Millions lost by ‘unscrupulous’ practices By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor nhartnell@tribunemedia.net

By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor nhartnell@tribunemedia.net

$4.59

debt - inclusive of contingent liabilities - declined by $30.1m (0.4 percent) over the prior quarter to $8.186bn, but strengthened by $277.3m (3.5 percent) visà-vis March 2018.” One quarterly decline does not represent a trend, and the level of increase over the prior year indicates much more work remains to be done, but the quarterly

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• Leakages shown to Finance ministry • Electronic link to building control urged • Institute: ‘Closer to 200 days’ for build permit Ministry of Finance. “Foreign/non-Bahamian licensed architects do majority of high-end projects in The Bahamas. This is despite the fact that none of these projects are beyond the abilities/scope of Bahamian architects. “The majority of Bahamian architects have been educated/trained in the US/Canada/UK like most of the foreign architects who illegally practice here. It is facilitated by unscrupulous licensed Bahamian architects (illegally stamping) and the Building Control Department in contravention of the Professional Architects Act.” The IBA presentation argued that this resulted in “significant tax and VAT losses to the government”. Pointing to the areas of leakage, it said business licence and VAT revenues were lost as the majority of the work and associated fees were performed by foreign architects based outside The Bahamas. And only “small fees” were earned by

Bahamian architects who merely stamped documents, which the IBA argued further reduced tax payments to the Public Treasury. Citing Ocean Club Estates on Paradise Island as an example to illustrate the potential revenue losses and leakages to the Ministry of Finance, the IBA said architects’ fees were typically ten percent of the construction costs. On a $5m home these would be $500,000, with the associated VAT payment standing at $62,500. While there is no evidence that any of the “unscrupulous” practices cited by the institute have occurred with any Ocean Club Estates home construction, its example added: “On average there are approximately five residences built every year in Ocean Club, which would result in VAT revenue of $312,500. “If the whole Bahamas is taken into consideration, including the private islands and numerous highend communities it can be seen that a significant portion of VAT is (potentially)

lost” on architects fees alone. The IBA said its figures did not take into account other professional consultants normally associated with such projects. Gustavus Ferguson, the IBA’s president, told Tribune Business that the Institute had wanted to show K P Turnquest, deputy prime minister and minister of finance, the “many ways” in which it believed the government was losing significant revenue associated with professional consultancy fees on multi-million development projects. “We wanted to speak to him as to how the country is losing revenue,” Mr Ferguson added of the presentation. “The country is losing revenue on many different fronts, and we’d looked at it in many different ways. “We gave him [Mr Turnquest] many different scenarios as to what’s happening now. We gave him estimates for revenue loss. All of that we presented to the Ministry of Finance.”

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$4.61 Citibank to head BPL refinancing of up to $550m By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor nhartnell@tribunemedia.net CITIBANK has been selected as the lead adviser for the $450m-$550m mega financial restructuring of Bahamas Power & Light (BPL), Tribune Business has been informed. Geoff Andrews, chairman of the special purpose vehicle (SPV) that is key to the refinancing of BPL’s multiple legacy liabilities, confirmed both the choice and size of the planned capital raising when contacted by this newspaper. “They have been selected as the preferred bookrunner,” the former Deloitte & Touche accountant and partner said. “All of the respondents gave great proposals, and we had great meetings with them, but at the end we felt Citibank was the best prepared and qualified to lead us in the process. “The other institutions are large and well-qualified. It was a very tough decision to make, but we felt Citibank was the best choice.” Citibank had to beat off competition from rival bidders who included Goldman Sachs and a partnership between Credit Suisse and CIBC FirstCaribbean. Mr Andrews, who previously said more than three institutions were interviewed for the contract to act as financial adviser, placement

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Company removes ‘boat load of harbour garbage’ A BAHAMIAN mosquito control firm has cleaned up Nassau Harbour by removing a “boat load of garbage” from the water and bushes along the western Paradise Island shoreline. Bahamas Mosquito Fogging Company collected plastic, styrofoam, tyres, nets, ropes and multiple other materials harmful to the environment. Toby Smith, its chief executive, said:  “The garbage went from in the water to far into the bushes, and we spent the day cleaning up and making sure the garbage was properly disposed of.” Robert Brown, of Brown’s Boat Basin, and Francisco De Cardenas, Bahamas Waste’s managing director,

TRASH left behind on beach area before clean up.

MEMBERS of the clean up crew with trash collected.

aided Bahamas Mosquito Fogging Company in the clean-up effort. Bahamas Mosquito Fogging Company has previously performed clean-ups of Rawson Square and public beaches, and restored Steve Burrows’ Conch Shell and White Crown Pigeon sculptures. Mr Smith has sculpted

Ringo The Flamingo on Baha Mar’s roundabout in his driveway. Calling on Bahamians to protect their environment from human neglect and improper garbage disposal, Mr Smith said: “If you are able to bring items in packaging to the water then you should take it with you or dispose of it in a responsible manner when it is no longer needed. “What’s also greatly disturbing is the amount of waste motor oil that is dumped indiscriminately in the harbour, and without an enforced penalty. Styrofoam floats through the harbour and, as it does so, it ends up completely black having soaked up waste oil floating on the water surface.”

40 CABLE STAFF GAIN LEADERSHIP AWARDS MORE than 40 supervisors and high performers at Cable Bahamas have graduated from with college-level certificates in leadership from the National Cable Television Institute (NCTI). The BISX-listed communications provider’s ‘REV University’, its educational and training department, gave team members access to the certification programme run by a global company that offers online courses in the industry. Students were able to discuss and apply what they learned online in the workplace. Franklyn Butler, Cable Bahamas’ chief executive, said: “As a technology leader in the country we make it our business to be on the cutting edge as it relates to industry standards and methodologies. It’s only fitting that we continuously invest in our team to ensure that they are well equipped with the best information out there.” The students enjoyed access to Toastmasters memberships at no cost, along with the other courses. The process followed a typical collegiate semester by beginning on September 2018 and ending in June 2019. Beverly Saunders, Cable Bahamas vice-president of human resources, said: “Each member of our team has a demanding workload, and so those who have completed these sessions are really demonstrating the commitment to personal development in the pursuit of their careers. “We celebrate their success because we believe in people as a core value that serves as the base of what we are driving at REV; exceptional employees who consistently deliver exceptional experiences for our internal and external customers.”


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Thursday, July 11, 2019, PAGE 3

BISX MOVES CLOSER TO 100 FUND LISTINGS THE Bahamas International Securities Exchange (BISX) has added seven new investment fund listings as it targets passing the 100-listing mark for the category this year. The newly-listed funds are: Pavillon Rouge MultiStrategy Fund; Quercus Multi-Strategy Funds (Bahamas); Sithma Fund; Alchemia Capital (ACL); Lending Opportunity Fund – Class US$; Lending Opportunity Fund – Class CHF; The A Series Fund SAC Thesaurus Conviction

KEITH DAVIES Sub-fund; Joint Innovations Fund. All the funds are openended mutual funds with subscriptions and

redemptions carried out by the relevant fund administrator. The funds are incorporated as International Business Companies (IBCs) under Bahamian law, and are licensed under the Investment Funds Act 2003. Ivan Hooper, The Winterbotham Trust Company’s chief executive, said: “We continue our efforts in listing funds on BISX; this time, by sponsoring the listing of a further seven licensed funds with diverse investment objectives. “Continuing our work

with UCAP Bahamas, investment manager for these funds, we hope to be able to sponsor further funds in the future. As the largest fund administrator by number of funds in The Bahamas, listing has become a key component of our offering. Listing with BISX is a key enhancer to this offering and our ability to attract funds to The Bahamas. Keith Davies, BISX’s chief executive, added: “We continue to enjoy the great working relationship we have with Winterbotham as

we expand the BISX mutual fund listing facility. They have done a tremendous job of incorporating the listing facility into their client service offerings and discussing the merits of a BISX listing with their clients. “The result has been a great success, and we have seen the benefits with increased listings as their clients continue to choose BISX listings. The BISX mutual fund listing facility demonstrates the synergies that exist between the exchange and the offshore financial sector, with

both the Exchange and Winterbotham and their clients benefiting from this relationship. We look forward to passing 100 mutual fund listings this year, and also to celebrating the 20th year of BISX’s incorporation.” The Winterbotham Trust Company served as the BISX sponsor member that brought the seven funds to the exchange. UCAP Bahamas is the investment manager, and The Winterbotham Trust Company has been appointed to serve as the funds’ administrator.

Minister urges closer links for education and industry A CABINET minister has called for even closer collaboration between industry and educators to help develop a new generation of Bahamian entrepreneurs. Addressing teachers attending the 16th Education Industry Internship Programme, hosted by the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), Mr D’Aguilar said: “As educators, you form, develop and nurture the young people who will take their place in the tourism workforce. “Every time I’m given an opportunity to address a gathering, I like my audience to leave with at least one take-away. Ladies and gentlemen, in your case, there are two points I would like you to take back to the classroom to guide your moulding of the unique individuals who will comprise the crew that runs the future ship of tourism. “In considering the millions of guests who come to our shores, we must see

DIONISIO D’AGUILAR past the statistics to see their humanity. While guests revel in the material experience that constitutes travel - enjoying the amenities, attractions, landmarks and myriad touristic activities, at the most fundamental, human level, what visitors seek is genuine, warm, caring interactions with the people of the host destination,” the minister added. “That is why it is so important to teach our young people the soft skills of human interaction. How to be considerate, respectful; how to be kind and hospitable; how to make people

feel at ease and valued. If students learn these qualities from their earliest youth and develop a habit of treating their fellow students in a humane manner, when it comes time for them to take their place on the job, with some additional targeted training, great customer service will be for them second nature. “Educators, I know what I am saying sounds so basic, yet it is important that schools integrate these kinds of manners that are the building blocks of unforgettable hospitality and outstanding customer service.” Mr D’Aguilar said his second point related to teaching students how to recognise, identify and take advantage of economic opportunity at an early age. “If education is going to develop in the service of industry, from the earliest grades we must begin teaching our students how to identify economic opportunity,” he explained. “Integrating

entrepreneurship in the school curriculum across grade levels is a must if we are to develop the next generation of Bahamians with a mindset to go into business. “Waiting to introduce the fundamentals of entrepreneurship at the tertiary level is too late. There are so many areas in the tourism and hospitality sector that have tremendous potential for business opportunities.” Mr D’Aguilar said all indicators point to a bright future for the tourism industry worldwide, with international tourist arrivals growing at an annual rate of six to seven percent “This industry internship programme by the BHTA is even more critical today than when it was conceptualised back in 2004,” he added. “In The Bahamas, we are at a juncture where education must function in the service of the industry that sustains the livelihood of our nation. “In summary, as captains of industry, we are asking for a closer collaboration

EX-CENTRAL BANK EXECUTIVE TO HEAD FINANCIAL CRIME FIGHT A FORMER Central Bank executive has been confirmed as The Bahamas’ National Identified Risk Framework Coordinator (NIRFC) with responsibility for leading the fight against financial crime. Dr Cassandra Nottage has more than 40 years’ experience in anti-money laundering/counter terrorism financing, having held the post of manager of bank supervision at the Central Bank of The Bahamas for 12 years from 2002. After spending 36 total years with the Central Bank, Dr Nottage upon departure started a financial sector and regulatory consulting business. From here she was recruited to assist the Attorney General’s Office with its anti-money laundering/counter terrorism

DR CASSANDRA NOTTAGE financing mandate and progressed to the NIRFC post. Dr Nottage has held positions on the Central Bank’s policy advisory, monetary policy, regulatory decisions and financial stability committees. She is a past director of the Bahamas’ Deposit Insurance Corporation; Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) financial expert; Caribbean director

on the governing Board of the Association of Banks of The Americas; twice past chair of the Caribbean group of banking supervisors; and an associate of the Toronto Leadership Centre. Dr Nottage has been a guest lecturer with the Bahamas Association of Compliance Officers (BACO) and Bahamas Institute of Financial Services for 17 years, lecturing in the ICA AntiMoney Laundering and Compliance Diploma programmes and the Banking Certificates programme. She pursued a Doctorate’s Degree in Business Administration days after retiring from the Central Bank at Walden University. Her studies centred on the Bahamian financial sector – Compliance strategies to reduce the

risks of money laundering and terrorist financing.

with educators. It’s great to get students out of the classroom. Organise field trips for them that would allow them to experience some of the activities, adventures and excursions that our guests experience - excursions offered by entrepreneurial Bahamians - and during those outings, set aside some time for the entrepreneur to talk to your students about their experience as a business person in tourism. “Additionally, you may invite some of these entrepreneurs to your classrooms with their products as exhibits to talk to your students

about running a business in tourism. Give your students an opportunity to see and admire ordinary Bahamians who have staked a claim in our economy, Bahamians who have carved out for themselves a slice of the tourism pie.” The Industry Internship Programme is a partnership between the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Tourism, the BHTA and the University of The Bahamas,  and was designed to provide educators with hands-on experience in the tourism industry in an effort to enhance classroom delivery.


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Citibank to head BPL refinancing of up to $550m FROM PAGE ONE agent and arranger for the refinancing, added that BPL also approved Citibank’s selection. He then confirmed that BPL’s restructuring, which will involve the issuance of so-called Rate Reduction Bonds (RRBs) to private investors, will seek to raise between $450m to $550m in new debt financing. “That’s probably the range we’re looking at,” Mr Andrews told Tribune Business. “We are still looking at raising a significant amount of that locally.” When the RRB financing was first mulled during the last Christie administration, it was suggested that as much as $650m might be required. Mr Andrews, who heads The Bahamas Rate Reduction Bond Ltd, added that it was now working to “finalise” the contract with Citibank and - with BPL also involved - determine the terms, conditions and sum required from the RRB offering which is supposed to close by this November. BPL’s refinancing, while essential to its future financial health, may provoke controversy among some elements of Bahamian society given that it is ultimately the state-owned energy

BPL HEADQUARTERS monopoly’s customers that will pay for it via an extra charge that will be added to their monthly bills. The original plan, developed by the former Christie administration under the Electricity Rate Reduction Bond Act, calls for the sums raised by this additional charge to be used to pay the interest owed to investors who purchase the bonds. And it is the Bahamas Rate Reduction Bond Ltd, not BPL, that will be responsible for issuing the bonds and paying investors due interest. This structure will exchange BPL’s legacy Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) debt and other liabilities for new

debt, which will be kept off BPL’s balance sheet via the SPV’s role as issuing agent. The old liabilities include around $350m in bond and bank debt; a $100m employee pension fund deficit; and other assorted liabilities including the cost of environmental cleanups at various sites around The Bahamas. It is likely that some of the financing may also replace the $100m short-term funding that helped acquire the Wartsila engines. However, one Bahamian banker argued that the government should look to equity financing - through a combination of privatisation and an initial public offering

(IPO) - rather than debt to solve BPL’s financial woes. Julian Brown, president and chief executive of BISX-listed Benchmark (Bahamas), told Tribune Business that imposing further debt servicing obligations on a “bleeding company” was the wrong way to go. Rather than further burden BPL or its customers, he argued that the government should instead sell a 49 percent equity stake to an international utility partner that would come in and take operational control, with the remaining 51 percent stake sold to Bahamian institutional and retail investors via an IPO. “It’s a waste of time,” Mr Brown said of the RRB or any debt refinancing. “All we’re doing is causing BPL to have another obligation to pay out money. Equity has no interest obligation until the company is fixed. Debt comes with interest payments that dilute the capital the company needs

National debt in $30m FALL FROM PAGE ONE reduction in The Bahamas’ “red ink” is a potential sign that the government is beginning to arrest the rate of growth in the $8bn-plus national debt. The size of the national debt, as a percentage of Bahamian economic output, also remains some distance away from the Fiscal Responsibility Act’s 50 percent debt-toGDP target. “As a ratio, the direct charge [on government] fell by an estimated 20 basis points on a quarterly basis, but rose by 2.2 percentage points year-on-year to 60.2 percent at end-March,” the Central Bank said. “In addition, the national debt-to-GDP ratio narrowed to an estimated 65.9 percent from 66.1 percent in the previous three-month period, while in comparison to the prior year the ratio firmed by 2.2 percentage points.”

to turn itself around. A debt deal is not going to work”. Interest on the planned RRB debt would be paid by its customers, not BPL, but Mr Brown continued: “It’s not a debt deal; it’s an equity deal. When you restructure a company you don’t take out debt; you do it with equity. Debt comes after your cash flow is higher, not before. You cannot fix BPL, a company that’s bleeding, with debt. “I’m not criticising Dr Minnis. If he thinks I am, I apologise. This is in the national interest of all Bahamians. How can you grow the economy when the small guy cannot keep his doors open because the light doesn’t stay on? They’re fooling themselves. If they do not do anything else we’ll be having this discussion in ten to 15 years after they’ve failed for the umpteenth time.” Mr Brown said his restructuring model would work better than the previous management contract given to PowerSecure as the 49 percent equity stake would give the international utility partner skin in the game, and a compelling reason to focus on BPL’s management and its turnaround to ensure it yielded a return on its investment. And the IPO would employ a “bottom’s up” format with low investment thresholds designed to enable small Bahamian retail investors to participate. “One of the most important things we need is electricity,” Mr Brown added. “We would be giving ordinary Bahamians the opportunity to participate

in the future growth and development of the country, and one of the most significant parts of the economy. “I think we can raise $500m very easily. The money is here, and when you sell 49 percent of the company you are bringing in foreign capital to fix the problem. You price it so the poor guys get in, and if you did it properly you could raise $500m in this market no problem.” When this newspaper pointed out that the largest IPO in Bahamian capital markets history had been Commonwealth Brewery’s $62.5m, of which the National Insurance Board (NIB) had to pick up the final $10m-$12m balance, Mr Brown pointed to the $3.5bn deposited into the Bahamian banking system in 2018 as evidence of sufficient liquidity. “This clearly shows that it is possible for a BPL IPO to raise anywhere from $100m-500m easily in the public market,” he added. “This capital, along with the capital raised from the 49 percent sale to our strategic partner, will provide the necessary capital to finally put BPL in a position that will allow it to properly operate and not require annual government support.” However, the government already seems to have decided to go down an alternative route of the RRB and outsourcing New Providence’s energy generation to the proposed new Shell North America power plant.  

The national debt reduction was driven by a “modest” $40m surplus for the first three calendar months of 2019, a period that is traditionally the government’s greatest revenue earner as it coincides with peak economic activity stemming from the winter tourism season, payment of business licence fees, the bulk of real property tax receipts and commercial vehicle licensing month. “Buoyed by the increase in VAT receipts following the 4.5 percentage point hike in the rate to 12 percent in prior periods, the Government’s revenue firmed by $88.3m (15 percent) to $677.4m in the third quarter of fiscal year 2018-2019, outstripping the $36.5m (6.1 percent) increase in aggregate expenditure to $637.5m,” the Central Bank said. However, it also highlighted in a separate report the continued growth struggles of the Bahamian financial services industry amid the constant barrage of international regulatory initiatives from the likes of the European Union (EU) and Organisation for Economic

Co-Operation and Development (OECD). The Central Bank said. “Specifically, survey data showed that total employment declined by 80 (1.9 percent) to approximately 4,049 persons in 2018, after a three percent fall-off a year earlier, and an average 3.6 percent contraction over the 2013-2017 period. “In particular, the number of Bahamian employees decreased by 62 (1.6 percent) to 3,800, while the nonBahamian segment fell by 18 (6.7 percent) to 249.” The Central Bank added that total assets in the Bahamian international banking sector had fallen by 9.8 percent over the past five years as institutions “continued to consolidate their operations amid declining business prospects”. They decreased in 2108 by 1.4 percent to $166.1bn, a reversal from a 2.1 percent increase in 2017. “The total domestic assets of the banking sector declined by 2.4 percent to $10bn in 2018, a reversal from a 2.3 percent expansion in the previous year,” the Central Bank said.


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Thursday, July 11, 2019, PAGE 5

‘Tax on society’: 75% of workers have no pension FROM PAGE ONE savings will face “a deterioration” in their living standards and quality of life, ultimately becoming an increasing financial burden on their families, the state or both. To prevent such financial dependency, the RoyalFidelity chief urged The Bahamas to finally complete a 22-year effort to introduce legislation that will regulate private pension schemes as a starting point. The last attempt, the Employees’ Pension Fund Protection Bill 2012, was said by the Central Bank to still be “awaiting approval prior to implementation”, and Mr Anderson suggested that the initial focus be placed on provider regulation before seeking to make it mandatory for all working Bahamians to pay into a retirement plan. The Central Bank survey confirmed that the two largest national savings pools remain private bank deposits and the National Insurance Board (NIB), but Mr Anderson argued that the latter was “woefully inadequate” when it came to meeting Bahamians’

Architects: Millions lost by ‘unscrupulous’ practices FROM PAGE ONE “We look forward to the electronic submission of documents. That’s one way the government can guarantee their revenue collection. As it

retirement needs. Most bank accounts, too, fell into this category as 75 percent contained less than $10,000 savings. The report, which exposes how little progress The Bahamas is making in developing a savings culture that ensures more of its people are comfortable in old age, revealed that as many as 150,000 to 160,000 working Bahamians - based on recent Labour Force Survey data - have currently made no formal financial preparations for their retirement. “During 2016, the number of private pension scheme participants rose by an estimated 1,403 (2.8 percent) to 50,876,” the Central Bank said. “In the following year, participation strengthened by a projected 1,487 (2.9 percent) to 52,363. “As a proportion of the employed labour force, the fraction of workers covered in these schemes contracted by one percentage point to approximately 26.4 percent in 2016, and by a further 0.7 percentage points to 25.7 percent in the following year, underscoring more disproportionate employment creation in positions not offering this benefit.”

These percentages have changed little from previous surveys, with the Central Bank’s latest 20162017 survey providing more evidence of the “ticking timebomb” faced by Bahamian society and its economy unless immediate action is taken to improve the national savings rate and turn persons away from excessive consumption. The regulator added that “funds received from private schemes”, along with personal savings from insurance annuities and NIB benefits, often provided the main sources of retirement savings for Bahamians. “The supplementary importance of private savings is accentuated by the fact that NIB’s contributions are calculated on insurable earnings, capped at $670 per week as at July 2018,” the Central Bank said. “For employees outside the civil service who do not participate in private pension schemes, the most significant expected sources of retirement resources are bank deposits, assets of domestic credit unions and insurance annuity products.” Mr Anderson, whose merchant bank offers pension management and administration services, said the proportion of working Bahamians covered by a formal pension plan was likely to be slightly higher than the 25.7 percent figure cited by the Central Bank for 2017 because some would set up their own individual schemes or buy into vehicles such as mutual funds. Still, he told Tribune

Business: “I think it goes without saying that persons without a formal pension plan become beneficiaries of the state, and the country ends up paying for those people. It’s a significant problem for any country... “The National Insurance Board, when it comes down to it, is woefully inadequate to meet these obligations. Other places, such as Cayman, have made pensions mandatory. The government has to look seriously at putting pensions legislation in place and making inroads into what will be a significant problem in the future. “There’s no good time for this thing to start, but the sooner we start the better. We’re already significantly behind, and if we don’t start now we will be in future trouble.” The Central Bank report itself said that the low 35 percent response rate, with just 49 out of 140 existing and potential pension plan sponsors responding, “underscores the importance of concluding and activating the regulatory framework for private schemes”. It added: “Currently, the draft Bill for pension fund regulation - the Employees’ Pension Fund Protection Act 2012 - is still pending approval prior to implementation. The Bill would permit more comprehensive monitoring of activities, especially as it relates to smaller plans. “As contemplated, the regulatory framework for private pension plans would also reinforce mandates for prudent management practices within

private schemes.” Mr Anderson said attempts to regulate the Bahamian pensions industry spanned at least 22 years given that he saw his first draft legislation in 1997 when the company was called Fidelity Pension and Investment Services. “None have made it to the end,” he added. He suggested that the government focus its initial efforts on regulating pension plan sponsors, managers and administrators before seeking to determine the “participation rate” and whether to make it mandatory for all employers, or all Bahamian workers, to either offer or enroll in such schemes. Asked about the consequences for those with insufficient retirement income, Mr Anderson told Tribune Business: “It’s just like a deterioration in your way of life as you get older and more reliant on state benefits. “People need to start looking at the massive cost of going through life without a job at the end. It is a huge problem. People don’t die; they end up being poorer and need help, and the country has to pay more towards that. “It takes the private sector to step in and help build additional retirement savings, or otherwise you will put another tax on society.” The Central Bank survey identified a further concern in that the rate of increase in pension benefits paid out to beneficiaries appeared to be greater than the contribution growth rate. “With respect to the net

financial obligations to pensioners, the estimated dependency rate, which measures pensions paid as a percentage of funding contributions, rose from an estimated 56.1 percent in 2015 to 59.8 percent and 63.7 percent in 2016 and 2017, respectively,” it said.  “In this regard, the rate of increase in the benefits paid out to pensioners appeared to exceed the rate of growth of contributions made by current participants.” Mr Anderson suggested this was caused by the continuing presence of under-funded defined benefit plans, especially at state-owned enterprises such as BPL and Water & Sewerage, where employer contributions were insufficient to cover benefit payouts. The RoyalFidelity chief said the relatively low growth rate of total private pension assets in The Bahamas showed that this nation was “not increasing its ability to fund pension liabilities”, as it was barely higher than the annual inflation rate. “Preliminary data indicates that the total value of private (sponsored) pension assets grew by 3.1 percent in 2016 to approximately $1.128bn, and by a further 3.9 percent to $1.173bn in the following year, outpacing the modest growth noted in the domestic economy,” the Central Bank said. “At end2017, plan assets stood at an estimated 9.7 percent of GDP, increasing from 2015’s 9.3 percent of GDP.”

stands now, they do not have an efficient way to monitor revenue collection efficiently at the Building Control Department.” The IBA’s presentation called for an electronic “tamper proof” link to be established between the Department of Inland Revenue and the Building Control Department to give the former access to the building permit application process and project cost information. “The Bahamas government must insist that projects that they are

aware of properly engage Bahamian architects/consultants,” it added. Mr Ferguson, though, acknowledged that the IBA’s proposed solution would require close co-operation between the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Works to be effective. “He [Mr Turnquest] will not be able to collect his revenue if these other things have not changed,” Mr Ferguson said. “There’s a lot of revenue being lost, but this is one area where an extensive amount is being lost. To try and get a

percentage of that he will have to sit with the minister of works and convince him of these changes.’ The IBA presentation also reiterated that the government was losing revenue due to the lengthy building permit process, which delayed construction projects that injected significant revenues into the economy through the extra employment and spend they generated.

Delays, the Institute added, resulted in reduced permit fees; loss of VAT on architectural and consultancy fees, insurance and construction materials purchases; and reduced National Insurance Board (NIB) contributions from the loss of employment. Comparing The Bahamas to its regional rivals, the IBA presentation said: “It takes 180 days on average to get a permit (most

architects feel this  is inaccurate – days are closer to 200 days on average). “According to the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business, the days it takes to obtain a permit in Jamaica is 141, in Antigua is 135, in St. Kitts is 105. The Cayman Islands, not covered in the the report, takes approximately 40 days and Turks and Caicos takes approximately 100 days.”

Life Insurance Consultant Are you a people person? Join a team where people come first. About Us – A leading regional player in the retail insurance sector, Colonial Group International, with over 300 employees and offices in Bermuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands and the Turks & Caicos Islands, offers a complete range of premier financial and insurance services to our individual and corporate clients. We know that our products make a real difference to our clients and their families. The Role – You will be responsible for achieving set sales targets by developing, fostering and maintaining relationships with new and existing clients by offering Colonial Life’s full range of life insurance and investment products. Reporting to the Sales Manager, you will provide regular accountability reports regarding activities undertaken to achieve sales targets. You will also ensure client information is up to date in the system as well as other related general administration duties. Excellent and innovative customer service delivery is important to us, critical to our strategic objective of business retention and growth and applies to all roles across the Group. The Person – You will have three to five years of life insurance sales experience with proven sales results and possess a relevant life and health insurance license. Active membership with the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) would be an asset. In addition, you will have superior communication and organization skills along with the ability to be effective in a fluid, fast-paced and demanding sales environment. To Apply – Please send your résumé/cv by no later than July 19, 2019 to our Vice-President, Human Resources at bs_hr@atlantichouse.com.bs.

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PAGE 6, Thursday, July 11, 2019

‘Big jump’ over VAT realty submissions

FROM PAGE ONE

that were released yesterday by the DIR. Once all documents are “vetted”, the revenue agency is pledging a five-day turnaround time following which practitioners will be summoned to bring the original documents together with the necessary tax payment in the form of a manager’s cheque or bankers draft “only”. “Effective July 1, in New Providence all documents that are required to be stamped under either the VAT Act or the Stamp Act are to be submitted to the Department of Inland Revenue,” the procedures stated. “Documents can be submitted in person at DIR’s headquarters at Shops of Carmichael Plaza, Carmichael Road, Nassau, Bahamas or via email to NP@bahamas. gov.bs.” Yet they then added: “As of August 1, 2019, all documents must be submitted via email at NP@Bahamas.gov.bs. Submissions will be vetted and you will be advised by the department within five days from the date of presentation. “Original documents must be presented at the Department of Inland Revenue headquarters...for stamping

along with full payment by way of a manager’s cheque or bankers draft only, made payable to the ‘Public Treasury’ and DIR’s notification of vetting completion.” As for other islands, the “procedures” said: “As of July 1, 2019, all documents that are required to be stamped under either the VAT Act or the Stamp Act are to be submitted for vetting via e-mail.” Vetting time and payment methods are the same as for New Providence. Tribune Business was informed prior to Independence Day that all the conveyancing-related documents processed by the DIR during the first week of the new fiscal year were ones submitted prior to July 1. One attorney, speaking on condition of anonymity, told this newspaper that the requirements set out by the DIR “sound so bizarre” and would likely create an issue for the Bahamas Bar Association to comment on and address. “It might be OK but it’s a big jump,” they added of the August 1 electronic submission deadline for New Providence. “Are they going to get everyone to understand it in the next two weeks? That

THE TRIBUNE sounds like a possible circus. It seems to reflect their lack of understanding of the conveyancing process.” The attorney also questioned why law firms, which paid millions of dollars in taxes to the Public Treasury on behalf of clients on a regular basis, were now seemingly prohibited from writing cheques on their company accounts. With banks charging $10, and implementing new procedures, for a draft, they added: “This just increases the time, cost and inefficiency. What they could do is make life easier by enabling us to pay online. That would be wonderful. People are going to wonder why their legal fees are so high. Between compliance and this it’s not making our jobs easier.” The government’s release comes after Tribune Business last week reported attorney complaints that there was “total confusion” stemming from the switch from stamp duty to VAT on real estate transactions, with practitioners going “back and forth” between the DIR and Public Treasury amid uncertainty over which agency to deal with. KP Turnquest, deputy prime minister, acknowledged to Tribune Business: “There is a bit of legitimate confusion between Inland Revenue and Treasury that will be sorted out by Monday. It’s brought on by the fact that while real estate attracts VAT, affidavits

A service-oriented individual is being sought to work in the private residence of a high-ranking American official for the following position:

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and other documents attract stamp tax. “These two functions are in separate locations, resulting in a bit of a run around. As I mentioned, we are sorting this out with a view to house both the Stamp Tax and VAT at the Department of Inland Revenue for these transactions.” The government’s release yesterday said the DIR “has full responsibility for all tax matters governing realty transactions now that amendments to the Stamp Act and Value Added Tax Act have taken effect”, adding that the changes were “primarily administrative” since all rates have stayed the same. “We know home owners and industry professionals were looking for guidelines on implementing the new amendments, so we are happy to announce the streamlined process and that information is now available online. Long-term, we are committed to delivering a simple and convenient process for online applications and online payment, so we are asking for patience as we transition,” said Gaynell Rolle, acting controller of Inland Revenue. “This is just the beginning because our ultimate goal is to have the entire process automated and delivered online. In fact, the transition is already under way as we have developers working on the digital system. We plan to run a pilot test later this year, but eventually we will have a fully automated, easy-to-use online system for realty transactions similar to the portals we now have for business licence and VAT filings.” While the Public Treasury previously handled some stamp tax matters, all matters relating to real estate transactions now fall under DIR. The new rules, which took effect on July 1, 2019, impact all mortgages and conveyances undertaken by homeowners and businesses.

China’s June auto sales fall, extending year-old decline BEIJING Associated Press CHINA’S auto sales fell 7.8% in June amid a trade fight with Washington and slower economic growth, extending an unexpectedly painful downturn for automakers that are spending heavily to develop electric cars. Drivers in the global industry’s biggest market bought 1.7 million SUVs, sedans and minivans, according to an industry group, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Total purchases in the first six months of 2019 fell 14% from a year earlier to 10.1 million vehicles, CAAM said. That was below industry forecasts of flat to slightly lower growth this year. Sales growth turned negative last June as jittery consumers put off big purchases amid unease about China’s economic outlook and tensions with President Donald Trump over Beijing’s technology ambitions. Growth in the second-largest global economy held steady in the latest quarter but that was supported by government spending and higher bank lending. The past year is “a sobering lesson for anyone who believed that growth in autos could happen in straight lines,” Bernstein analysts Robin Zhu and Luke Hong said in a report this week. “As it turned out, autos is cyclical, even in China.”

That is squeezing global and Chinese automakers that are racing to meet government sales targets for electric cars. Last year’s auto sales suffered their first decline in nearly three decades, falling 4.1% from 2017 to 23.7 million. In June, total vehicle purchases, including trucks buses, declined 9.6% from a year earlier to two million. June sales by Chinese brands declined 12.2% to 664,000. Their market share lost 3.9 percentage points to 39.5%. Purchases of pure-electric and gasoline-electric hybrid SUVs, sedans and minivans rose 80% to 152,000. Beijing has promoted electrics with billions of dollars in research grants and buyer subsidies. But subsidies are due to end next year and regulators are shifting the burden to automakers by imposing mandatory sales targets for electrics. That requires automakers to pour money into developing electrics that can compete with gasolinepowered vehicles on price, performance and style. One of China’s most ambitious domestic brands, Geely Auto, reported this week its June sales were down 29%. It warned its first-half profit would fall by 40%. Volkswagen AG said June sales of VW-brand cars by the company and its Chinese partners rose 14.2% to 261,100. First-half sales were off 3.6% at 1.4 million.


THE TRIBUNE

Thursday, July 11, 2019, PAGE 7

UK economy recovers in May, easing immediate recession fears

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ANTI-Brexit protester Steve Bray stand outside Westminster Abbey in London today as protesters continue to demonstrate various views over Britain’s Brexit departure from the European Union. Britain’s Institute of Directors said on Friday that company directors are holding back on investing in staff and technology amid uncertainty about political changes ahead of the country’s departure from the European Union. Photo: Natasha Livingstone/AP LONDON Associated Press THE British economy bounced back in May, official figures showed yesterday, allaying some fears that the country could slip into recession ahead of the revised Brexit deadline. The Office for National Statistics said the economy grew a monthly 0.3% in May, largely because carmakers ramped up production after many went idle in April in case the original Brexit deadline ended up with Britain crashing out of the EU without a deal. A bounce-back had been anticipated following April’s 0.4% decline, given that the original March 29 Brexit date has been extended to Oct 31. Even so, the British economy could still contract for the second quarter overall and there is a growing consensus that the third quarter will be flat at best. A contraction in each of the quarters would put Britain officially in recession. Though most economists

think Britain will avoid that fate, growth is largely forecast to be tepid in the third quarter as the Brexit deadline looms and uncertainty persists around the economy. “Storm clouds look to be gathering over the UK economy as consumers and business remain hamstrung by Brexit uncertainty,” said Ben Brettell, senior economist at stockbroker Hargreaves Lansdown. Boris Johnson, the favorite to replace Theresa May as Conservative Party leader and prime minister this month, has said Britain should leave the EU on Halloween come what may, even without a deal. Most economists think that would lead to a severe recession as firms face tariffs on their exports and other dislocations to trade. Johnson will find it difficult to get Parliament to back a “no-deal” Brexit should he overcome Jeremy Hunt in the race to become prime minister. As such, the “fog of Brexit”, as termed by Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, is likely to persist.

JOB OPPORTUNITY A reputable law-firm is seeking a receptionist to answer calls, greet clients and assist with the day to day running of the firm. All interested persons are invited to send their resumes to email address:

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Firms remain wary of investing, holding back growth, and consumers could also start to become cautious. Worries over Brexit have weighed heavily on the British pound which has fallen this week to near two-year lows, and was at $1.2475 yesterday. The drop comes at an unfortunate time for British holidaymakers as they prepare for their summer travels, potentially the last time they will do so with Britain still in the EU. “There is a chance that the pound could find some bargain hunters if they feel likely winner Boris Johnson will soften his views on a hard exit on October 31 once he is safely installed by the Conservative Party and facing the realities of Parliamentary arithmetic and EU negotiators,” said Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com. “His hard Brexit pitch right now is clearly aimed at the membership, so we should be careful about believing it all. Realpolitik will hit.”


PAGE 8, Thursday, July 11, 2019

THE TRIBUNE

BUSINESSES FIND PROBLEMS, PITFALLS IN MAKING GOODS OVERSEAS NEW YORK Associated Press DANICA Lause manufactured knitted hats in China for four years and struggled the whole time. “I was unable to achieve the level of quality control our brand requires in any of the factories we worked with in China,” says Lause, whose company, Peekaboos, makes hats with openings for wearers to pull their ponytails through. To begin with, the factories were unable to make the hats on machines. Lause then had the hats knit by hand, but the sizing was often off or the openings were in the wrong place — problems she only learned about when shipments of the hats arrived.

ACHYUT PATEL, Director of Operations, Rudy Patel, Director of Business Development an Katrina Hart, business development coordinator pose for a picture at beyond Green, a maker of biodegradable bags in Lake Forest, Calif. Small businesses have been drawn to manufacturing overseas for the same reasons as Fortune 500 companies: Labor costs are lower than in the US. But there are downsides and

complications to making goods overseas and owners have contended with these issues for years, long before the Trump administration’s trade wars and tariffs added another layer of difficulty.

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Small businesses without the resources and bargaining power that larger companies have can struggle as they deal with issues like poor quality, missed production deadlines and legal disputes. “It’s a vexing problem for anyone, but being small and offshore makes it harder,” says John Gray, a professor of operations at Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business. The disparities can start during the process of finding a manufacturer, Gray says, noting “large companies will get more attention from the suppliers.” Most companies soldier on and find solutions, but some end up moving their manufacturing to the US. In 2016, Lause began moving the work to a facility in Germantown, Wisconsin. She found engineers who figured out how to get the hats knit on machines, and she discovered it’s not as expensive as she thought to manufacture in the US. When the owners of beyond Green began producing their compostable plastic bags three years ago, it was a natural for them to manufacture in India. CEO Veejay Patel came from India and had already been involved in plastics manufacturing in his home country. But by early this year, Patel and co-owners Rudy Patel and Achyut Patel had reasons to move their manufacturing to the US, says Katrina Hart, coordinator of business development for the Lake Forest, California, company. “Quality control was not up to our needs,” Hart says. Customers were complaining that bags, including

those used to contain produce in supermarkets, had slits, making them unusable. The Patels also realised they would save money by not having bags shipped from India to California and then sent to customers across the US Cost aside, their shipping method wasn’t as environmentally friendly enough for a company whose mission is to be green. They began production in Lake Forest early this year. “This reduced our costs, allowed for a better handle on quality control, and now we are able to contribute to the business and economic success of the community that most of our employees grew up in,” Hart says. Problems beyond quality issues can crop up during the manufacturing process. A 2017 paper Gray co-authored studied some of the problems small and medium-sized businesses encountered overseas; it described one company that found out its overseas supplier had unilaterally decided to swap out one of the components in a product. In another case, a clothing company discovered to its surprise that a thinner fabric was being used. “What you actually get as your final product doesn’t exactly match what you originally purchased,” the paper quoted one executive as saying. Companies often end up negotiating with manufacturers to try to get products made as ordered. But sometimes they end up in legal disputes that are difficult to win. “It’s harder to get an accord across time zones and

cultural and language differences,” says Lee Branstetter, an economics professor at Carnegie-Mellon University’s Heinz College. While very large companies might have employees or representatives at overseas factories as a matter of course to monitor quality, small businesses owners without such help must operate on faith that the goods will turn out right. When Aaron Muderick wanted components for his putty that’s sold as a toy, he turned to a manufacturer in China. The first batch came out well, but the next two were defective. After arguing with the manufacturer about how to address the problems, Muderick, owner of Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty, hired a representative to keep an eye on production. “It helped things get better but it also reduced the cost savings because that person was getting a piece of the action,” Muderick says. A decade ago, Muderick decided to manufacture the putty itself at his headquarters in Norristown, Pennsylvania. He had searched for a Chinese factory, but grew increasingly anxious about the possibility that either the manufacturer or one of its employees would steal his formula and start selling their own putty to compete with his. That’s the kind of intellectual property theft that has long been a point of contention between the US and China. “It didn’t feel right in my gut so we ended up going on our own path,” Muderick says.


THE TRIBUNE

Thursday, July 11, 2019, PAGE 9

Trump directs government to revamp care for kidney disease WASHINGTON Associated Press PRESIDENT Donald Trump signed an executive order yesterday revamping care for kidney disease so more people whose kidneys fail can have a chance at early transplants and home dialysis, and others don’t get that sick in the first place. Trump said his order was aimed at “making life better and longer for millions” by increasing the supply of donated kidneys, making it easier for patients to have dialysis in the comfort of their own homes and prioritising the development of an artificial kidney. The changes won’t happen overnight because some initiatives will require new government regulations. Because a severe organ shortage complicates the call for more transplants, the Trump administration will try to ease the financial hardships for living donors by reimbursing them for expenses such as lost wages and child care. “Those people, I have to say, have never gotten enough credit,” Trump said. “What they do is so incredible.” Another key change: steps to help the groups that collect deceased donations do a better job. Trump said it may be possible to find 17,000 more kidneys and 11,000 other organs from deceased donors for transplant every year. For families like those of 1-year-old Hudson Nash, the lack of organs is frightening. Hudson was born with damaged kidneys, and his parents hope he will be big enough for a transplant in another year. Until then, “to keep him going, he takes numerous medicines, receives multiple shots, blood draws and more doctors’ visits than I can count,” said his mother, Jamie Nash of Santa Barbara, California. Today’s system favors expensive, time-consuming dialysis in large centers — what Trump called

so onerous “it’s like a full-time job” — over easier-to-tolerate at-home care or transplants that help patients live longer. More than 30 million American adults have chronic kidney disease, costing Medicare a staggering $113bn. Careful treatment — including control of diabetes and high blood pressure, the two main culprits — can help prevent further kidney deterioration. But more than 700,000 people have end-stage renal disease, meaning their kidneys have failed, and require either a transplant or dialysis to survive. Only about one-third received specialised kidney care before they got so sick. “My health care providers failed me at the beginning of the dialysis continuum,” said transplant recipient Tunisia Bullock of Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Her kidney failure struck while she was being treated for another disease, and she woke up in the hospital attached to a dialysis machine. She told Trump that she hoped the new initiatives help other patients find care “with less confusion and more ease”. More than 94,000 of the 113,000 people on the national organ waiting list need a kidney. Last year, there were 21,167 kidney transplants. Of those, 6,442 were from living donors, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing, which oversees the nation’s transplant system. “The longer you’re on dialysis, the outcomes are worse,” said Dr Amit Tevar, a transplant surgeon at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, who praised the administration’s initiatives. Too often, transplant centers don’t see a kidney patient until he or she has been on dialysis for years, Tevar said. While any transplant is preferable, one from a living donor is best because those organs “work better, longer and faster,” Tevar said. Among the initiatives that take effect first:

NOTICE UNIFLEX LIMITED Incorporated under the International Business Companies Act, 2000 of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. Registration Number 104458(B) (B) (Dissolved) Notice is hereby given that the above-named Company was dissolved and was struck from the Register of Companies on the 5th day of September, 2018.

Dated this 11th day of July, 2019. _______________________________ JORGE HAIEK REGGIARDO Liquidator

NOTICE RENBY PROPERTIES LIMITED Incorporated under the International Business Companies Act, 2000 of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. Registration Number 112723 (B) (Dissolved) Notice is hereby given that the above-named Company was dissolved and was struck from the Register of Companies on the 18th day of July, 2018.

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PRESIDENT Donald Trump kisses Hudson Nash, being held by father Andrew Nash, as Trump speaks about kidney health at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center yesterday in Washington.  Photo: Alex Brandon/AP • Medicare payment changes that would provide a financial incentive for doctors and clinics to help

kidney patients stave off end-stage disease. The goal is to lower the number of new kidney failure cases by

25% by 2030. • A bonus to kidney specialists who help prepare patients for early transplant,

with steps that can begin even before they need dialysis. • Additional Medicare changes so that dialysis providers can earn as much by helping patients get dialysis at home as in the large centers that predominate today. Patients typically must spend hours three or four times a week hooked to machines that filter waste out of their blood. Home options include portable blood-cleansing machines, or what’s called peritoneal dialysis that works through an abdominal tube, usually while patients are sleeping. Today, about 11% of patients in kidney failure get at-home dialysis and an additional three percent get an early transplant. By 2025, the goal is to have 80% of people with newly diagnosed kidney failure getting one of those options, officials said.


PAGE 12, Thursday, July 11, 2019

THE TRIBUNE

TECH SECTOR LEADS US STOCKS HIGHER AS FED SIGNALS RATE CUT By ALEX VEIGA Associated Press STOCKS finished higher yesterday as Wall Street welcomed new signals suggesting the Federal Reserve is ready to cut interest rates for the first time in a decade. Technology stocks drove much of the gains, nudging the Nasdaq composite to an all-time high. The benchmark S&P 500 index briefly traded above 3,000 for the first time before pulling back to just below its most recent record high a week ago. The market climbed early on after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said that many Fed officials believe a weakening global economy and rising trade tensions have strengthened the case for a rate cut. Powell’s remarks, which he delivered as part of his semi-annual monetary report to Congress, allayed investors’ concerns that an unexpectedly strong US jobs report tomorrow might give the Fed reason to stay put on interest rates. “Investors are increasingly confident that the Fed will cut rates by a quarterpoint at the end of the month, which most investors expected,” said Kate Warne, chief investment strategist at Edward Jones. “This removed a little bit of the uncertainty there, and that’s why we’re seeing stocks move higher.” The S&P 500 index rose 13.44 points, or 0.5%, to 2,993.07. The index, which set three record highs last week, is now less than 0.1% below its all-time high set last Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 76.71 points, or 0.3%, to 26,860.20. The Nasdaq climbed 60.80 points, or 0.7%, to 8,202.53, a record. It’s previous record high was also set last Wednesday. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks rebounded from a brief slide, gaining 2.46 points, or 0.2%, to 1,565.05. Major stock indexes in Europe closed mostly lower. The dollar fell and the price of gold rose.

The US stock market rallied through much of June after the Fed first signaled that it might cut rates if necessary to shore up the US economy. Powell’s testimony before the House Financial Services Committee yesterday came at a time when the US economic landscape is mixed. While the job market appears resilient and consumer spending and home sales look solid, the economy is likely slowing. And the US trade disputes have added uncertainty to the economic outlook. In his prepared statement, Powell said that since Fed officials met last month, “uncertainties around trade tensions and concerns about the strength of the global economy continue to weigh on the US economic outlook”. Meanwhile, inflation has fallen farther from the Fed’s target. “It makes it so odd to think that we actually need to have this kind of stimulus from the Fed to continue this expansion,” said Terry DuFrene, global investment specialist at JP Morgan Private Bank. “But the fact is you’re starting to see some of those signals out there. The economy could start slowing and the Fed just wants to get ahead of that.” The Fed’s benchmark rate currently stands in a range of 2.25% to 2.5% after the central bank raised rates four times last year. Many investors have put the odds of a rate cut this month at 100%. A quarter-point cut in interest rates, which many investors expect, isn’t likely to have a big impact on consumers’ credit cards or mortgage rates. But it would reassure markets that the Fed would be open to further rate cuts if more signs of weakness in the global economy emerge, Warne said. “Shifting from raising rates to lowering rates is a regime change,” she said. “The second thing is we’ve already seen long-term interest rates come down partly in expectation of the rate cut.” Powell is due to appear before the Senate Banking Committee today. Investors will have to wait until the end of the month to see what action the Fed takes on interest rates at its next meeting of policymakers. Before then, however, the market will turn its attention to the upcoming company earnings reporting season, which begins next week. Companies have been lowering expectations for how much profit they made in the April-June quarter. Wall Street now projects that overall S&P 500 company earnings for the quarter fell 2.6% from a year earlier, according to FactSet. As recently as the end of March, earnings

were forecast to be down only 0.5%. This could be the first time in three years that S&P 500 companies report a back-to-back decline in overall earnings. “We’re going to see what’s happening with companies’ earnings, and that’s where the uncertainty lies,” said Tom Martin, senior portfolio manager with Globalt Investments. Technology companies accounted for much of the market’s gains Wednesday. Micron Technology climbed 3.7% and Western Digital rose 5%. Communications services stocks and consumer goods makers also rose. Take-Two Interactive added 1.8% and PepsiCo picked up 2%. Energy stocks also rose as the price of US crude oil climbed 4.5%. Chevron rose 1.7%. Bond prices rose sharply, sending the yield in the tenyear Treasury note down to 2.06% from 2.10% shortly before Powell’s remarks were released at 8.30am Eastern Time. The drop in yields pulled bank shares lower. When bond yields decline they drive the interest rates that lenders charge for mortgages and other loans lower. Citizens Financial Group dropped 2.8%. Industrials and materials stocks also lagged the market. Deere & Co. slid 1.6% and Corteva lost 1.8%. Traders weighed earnings results from several companies. Helen of Troy vaulted 11.15% after the company reported fiscal first-quarter results that topped Wall Street’s forecasts. Its brands include Hydro Flask, Oxo, Vicks and Revlon. Shares in WD-40 climbed 8.5% after the seller of lubricants delivered fiscal third-quarter earnings and revenue that exceeded analysts’ expectations. Levi Strauss slumped 12% after the jeans maker’s latest quarterly report card showed its profit margins fell due to higher costs. Energy futures closed broadly higher yesterday. Benchmark crude oil rose $2.60 to settle at $60.43 a barrel, the highest level since late May. Brent crude oil, the international standard, gained $2.85 to close at $67.01 a barrel. Wholesale gasoline added eight cents to $2.01 per gallon. Heating oil climbed eight cents to $1.99 per gallon. Natural gas picked up one cent to $2.44 per 1,000 cubic feet. Gold rose $12.60 to $1,410.10 per ounce, silver added eight cents to $15.15 per ounce and copper gained seven cents to $2.69 per pound. The dollar fell to 108.42 Japanese yen from 108.89 yen on Tuesday. The euro strengthened to $1.1253 from $1.1207.


THE TRIBUNE

Thursday, July 11, 2019, PAGE 13

IVANKA TRUMP

Ivanka Trump’s women’s initiative announces $27M in grants WASHINGTON Associated Press A WHITE House initiative spearheaded by Ivanka Trump to help women in developing countries get ahead economically announced its first batch of grants yesterday: $27m for 14 projects in 22 countries, mostly in Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia. The Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative was launched in February with an initial investment of $50m from the US Agency for International Development. A little more than half of that amount, $27m, went to an “incentive” fund for partnerships with private businesses and other groups. The 14 projects sharing the $27m were chosen from over 120 entries, administration officials said yesterday. The projects are meant to help women with employment and entrepreneurship and to provide women in business with access to financing and other assistance. They include an effort in Rwanda to help 1,400 women get into the central African country’s fast-growing energy sector; a Latin American initiative that aims to equip 8,700 women with the skills needed to work tech-sector jobs in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru; and support for 5,000 women working in Indonesia’s poultry industry. USAID Administrator Mark Green and Ivanka Trump discussed the partnerships and the goal of helping

women get ahead economically at an event yesterday with representatives from three of the 14 programmes. Ivanka Trump, the elder daughter of President Donald Trump and a senior White House adviser, said she welcomed the “enthusiastic” response to the program, whose goal is to help empower 50 million women in developing countries by 2025. She said the initiative is just beginning. But, she said, “we have no doubt it is going to enable us to really achieve extraordinary things” while spending US taxpayer money “responsibly”. Green told the audience of White House and administration officials, members of Congress, business leaders and representatives of nonprofit groups that every proposal was subjected to a “rigorous programme” of checking and double checking “because this is precious money”. He said the initiative is about tapping into the entrepreneurial spirit that exists in the women in these countries. “You have people who are simply looking for a chance,” he said. Ivanka Trump has made economic empowerment of women a focus of her White House tenure and has highlighted the issue during trips abroad, including to Africa this year to promote the initiative. Trump’s 2020 budget proposal asks Congress for an additional $100m for the initiative, though he has suggested cuts to other foreign aid.

NOTICE

NOTICE is hereby given that GARRY JEAN LOUIS, ofChipman Way, Fox Hill Nassau, Bahamas. is applying to the Minister responsible for Nationality and Citizenship, for Registration Naturalization as a citizen of The Bahamas, and that any person who knows any reason why registration/ naturalization should not be granted, should send a written and signed statement of the facts within twentyeight days from the 11th day of July, 2019 to the Minister responsible for Nationality and Citizenship, P.O. Box N-7147, Nassau, New Providence, The Bahamas.

NOTICE

NOTICE is hereby given that ANDREA AGATHA of Ferguson Street, Fox Hill, Nassau, Bahamas is applying to the Minister responsible for Nationality and Citizenship, for Registration Naturalization as a citizen of The Bahamas, and that any person who knows any reason why registration/naturalization should not be granted, should send a written and signed statement of the facts within twenty-eight days from the 11th day of July, 2019 to the Minister responsible for Nationality and Citizenship, P.O. Box N-7147, Nassau, New Providence, The Bahamas.

NOTICE

NOTICE is hereby given that MIREILLE JOSEPH of Marsh Harbour, Abaco, Bahamas is applying to the Minister responsible for Nationality and Citizenship, for Registration Naturalization as a citizen of The Bahamas, and that any person who knows any reason why registration/naturalization should not be granted, should send a written and signed statement of the facts within twenty-eight days from the 4th day of July, 2019 to the Minister responsible for Nationality and Citizenship,P.O.Box N-7147, Nassau, New Providence, The Bahamas.


PAGE 14, Thursday, July 11, 2019

THE TRIBUNE

Powell’s message to Congress: Rate cut is likely coming soon WASHINGTON Associated Press POINTING to a weaker global economy, rising trade tensions and chronically low inflation, Chairman Jerome Powell signaled yesterday that the Federal Reserve is likely to cut interest rates late this month for the first time in a decade. Delivering the central bank’s semiannual report to Congress, Powell said that since Fed officials met last month, “uncertainties around trade tensions and concerns about the strength of the global economy continue to weigh on the US economic outlook.” In addition, inflation has dipped further below the Fed’s annual target level. The chairman’s remarks led investors to send stock prices up, bond yields down and the value of the US dollar lower on expectations of lower interest rates. The S&P 500 index briefly traded over 3,000 for the first time. Testifying to the House Financial Services Committee, Powell was asked, as he has been before, what he would do if President Donald Trump tried to fire or demote him. Powell offered the same terse reply he’s given in the past when asked about Trump’s attacks on his leadership and the president’s insistence that he has authority to remove the chairman: Powell said he intends to serve out his full four-year term, which ends in early 2022. The president has repeatedly accused Powell and the Fed of keeping credit too tight for too long and of thereby holding back the economy and the stock market. Most experts dispute Trump’s assertion that he has authority to either fire Powell or demote him from the chairman’s post, and his attacks have raised alarms that he’s undermining the Fed’s long-recognised independence from political pressure. Powell’s description yesterday of a more downbeat economic landscape led most economists to conclude that a quarter-point rate cut is a virtual certainty at the Fed’s meeting in three weeks, with many forecasting further rate cuts to come. Some characterised a likely rate cut late this month as an

JEROME POWELL “insurance policy” against an economic downturn. “I think it will be the start of a series of rate cuts,” added Sung Won Sohn, economics professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. “Powell wants to provide fuel for the economy down the road.” Expectations of a pending rate cut drew additional support yesterday when the Fed released the minutes of its June 18-19 meeting. The central bank held rates unchanged then, but the minutes showed that some officials felt looser credit could soon be needed to address economic weakness. Investors have collectively put the odds of a rate cut this month at 100%. The Fed’s benchmark rate stands in a range of 2.25% to 2.5% after it raised rates four times last year — action that incited the initial attacks on the Powell Fed from Trump. In the prepared remarks he delivered yesterday before taking questions from the House members, Powell made no mention of the president’s criticism. He did thank Congress for the “independence” it has given the Fed to operate free of political intrusion. But later, in the question-and-answer period, several Democratic committee members offered support for Powell’s leadership and a rejection of Trump’s criticism. Rep Maxine Waters, who leads the committee, declared that “this president has made it clear that he has no understanding or respect for the independence of the Federal Reserve”. Waters and other Democrats urged Powell to stand up to Trump’s attacks. “Have no fear,” Rep David Scott, D-Ga, told the chairman. “We in Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, have got your back.” Powell’s remarks Wednesday began two days of his

testimony on Capitol Hill. Today, he will address the Senate Banking Committee. At the moment, the US economic landscape is a mixed one: The job market appears resilient, but economic growth is slowing. Many forecasters predict that growth has slowed to an annual rate of around 2% in the just completed AprilJune quarter. In his testimony, Powell said the economy has fared reasonably well over the first half of the year. But he noted that “crosscurrents, such as trade tensions and concerns about global growth, have been weighing on economic activity and the outlook”. He said that growth in business investment “seems to have slowed notably”, possibly because of concerns over slowing global growth and the trade battle between the Trump administration and China. The Fed chairman told the House committee that he thinks average worker pay isn’t rising fast enough to accelerate low inflation, even with the unemployment rate near a five-decade low. An absence of inflation pressure makes it easier for the Fed to cut short-term rates. Referring to rates, Powell repeated a pledge the Fed made in its June policy statement that officials would “act as appropriate to sustain the expansion”. But notably, he added that “many” Fed official saw that the case for a looser monetary policy “had strengthened”. The Fed hasn’t cut rates since 2008 at the height of the financial crisis. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping declared a truce last month in what had threatened to become an escalating US-China trade war and agreed to resume talks toward a deal that would meet the administration’s demands to better protect US technology. That step eased fears that Trump would extend punitive tariffs to an additional $300bn in Chinese goods, in the process inviting retaliation from Beijing on American exports and likely weakening both nations’ economies. And last week the government reported that after a tepid job gain in May, US employers sharply stepped up their hiring in June, an indication of the economy’s durability.


THE TRIBUNE

Thursday, July 11, 2019, PAGE 15

DEMOCRATIC BUSINESS EXEC ENTERS 2020 INDIANA GOVERNOR’S RACE INDIANAPOLIS Associated Press A LONGTIME health care business executive hopes to turn his corporate experience into an asset as he seeks to unseat Republican Eric Holcomb from the Indiana governor’s office next year. Woody Myers announced his campaign yesterday, becoming the first Democratic candidate to formally enter the 2020 gubernatorial race. Myers, a doctor who was Indiana’s state health commissioner in the 1980s, said he plans to focus his campaign on boosting education funding, improving the state’s health care system and job creation. “For too long as a state we’ve been satisfied with

WOODY Myers announces his bid for governor yesterday at the old Wishard Emergency Department where he once worked as a doctor in Indianapolis. His wife Stacy Myers, left, stands by his side. The Democratic business executive Myers is launching a campaign aimed at unseating Republican Eric Holcomb from the Indiana governor’s office next year. good enough,” Myers said. “Well, in Indiana today, good enough is no longer good enough. As a state, we need to stop falling behind so our children can get ahead.” Holcomb hasn’t yet

announced his re-election plans, but he has collected more than $6m for the race in the Republicandominated state and has a campaign announcement set for Saturday in Knightstown. His campaign touts

what it calls record job commitment and infrastructure investments since he became governor in 2017. Myers spent nearly $1.8 million of his own money on an unsuccessful 2008 Democratic primary bid for an Indianapolis congressional seat, when he finished second to current US Rep Andre Carson. But Myers said yesterday that he wouldn’t be self-funding his campaign for governor, which could include two other Democrats. “This campaign is going to cost a lot. So I’m going to have to convince a lot of our friends to dig deep and help us to make sure that we get the message out the way we need to,” he said. Myers gained prominence as state health commissioner by advocating for teenage AIDS patient Ryan White’s

right to attend a public school that sought to keep him out due to his illness. Myers later became New York City health commissioner before holding a string of corporate executive positions, including at Indianapolis-based insurer Wellpoint Inc, Tennesseebased prison medical care provider Corizon Health and health insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. “I’ve been a businessman, I’ve been involved in politics,” Myers said. “I am a physician, I have been in state government and the public sector, I’ve been in the private sector, I’ve been in the not-for-profit sector. I don’t know what else one could do to get better ready for this job other than what I’ve done over the last couple of decades.”

The state Republican Party took a quick swipe at Myers, pointing to a February story by The Indianapolis Star about his condominium in the city’s downtown Conrad Hotel building being listed for sale at $4.5m. It remained on the market as of yesterday. “On the ground, Hoosiers see that Governor Holcomb is positively impacting lives every day,” GOP spokesman Pete Seat said. “It may be hard to see from his $4.5m penthouse in the Conrad, but it’s what Woody will find as he travels across Indiana.” Republicans have won the past four Indiana governor’s races and currently hold all statewide elected offices, along with more than twothirds of the seats in both legislative chambers.


PAGE 18, Thursday, July 11, 2019

THE TRIBUNE

NOTICE

NOTICE

NOTICE

SANCTUM INC.

YUE YUAN LIMITED

EGGERT GROUP LIMITED

N O T I C E IS HEREBY GIVEN as follows:

N O T I C E IS HEREBY GIVEN as follows:

N O T I C E IS HEREBY GIVEN as follows:

(a)

EGGERT GROUP LIMITED is in voluntary dissolution under the provisions of Section 138 (4) of the International Business Companies Act 2000.

The dissolution of the said company commenced on the 08th July, 2019 when the Articles of Dissolution were submitted to and registered by the Registrar General.

(b)

The dissolution of the said company commenced on the 08th July, 2019 when the Articles of Dissolution were submitted to and registered by the Registrar General.

The Liquidator of the said company is Bukit Merah Limited, The Bahamas Financial Centre, Shirley & Charlotte Streets, P.O. Box N-3023, Nassau, Bahamas

(c)

The Liquidator of the said company is Bukit Merah Limited, The Bahamas Financial Centre, Shirley & Charlotte Streets, P.O. Box N-3023, Nassau, Bahamas

(a)

SANCTUM INC. is in voluntary dissolution under the provisions of Section 138 (4) of the International Business Companies Act 2000.

(a)

YUE YUAN LIMITED is in voluntary dissolution under the provisions of Section 138 (4) of the International Business Companies Act 2000.

(b)

The dissolution of the said company commenced on the 08th July, 2019 when the Articles of Dissolution were submitted to and registered by the Registrar General.

(b)

(c)

The Liquidator of the said company is Bukit Merah Limited, The Bahamas Financial Centre, Shirley & Charlotte Streets, P.O. Box N-3023, Nassau, Bahamas

(c)

Dated this 11th day of July, A. D. 2019

Dated this 11th day of July, A. D. 2019

Dated this 11th day of July, A. D. 2019

_________________________________

_________________________________

_________________________________

Bukit Merah Limited

Bukit Merah Limited

Bukit Merah Limited

Liquidator

Liquidator

Liquidator

NOTICE

NOTICE

ALTOCIRRUS LIMITED

SPRING SHINE INTERNATIONAL LIMITED

NOTICE EPIFENI GLOBAL LIMITED

N O T I C E IS HEREBY GIVEN as follows:

N O T I C E IS HEREBY GIVEN as follows:

(a)

SPRING SHIME INTERNATIONAL LIMTIED is in voluntary dissolution under the provisions of Section 138 (4) of the International Business Companies Act 2000.

(a)

ALTOCIRRUS LIMITED is in voluntary dissolution under the provisions of Section 138 (4) of the International Business Companies Act 2000.

(b)

The dissolution of the said company commenced on the 08th July, 2019 when the Articles of Dissolution were submitted to and registered by the Registrar General.

(b)

(c)

The Liquidator of the said company is Bukit Merah Limited, The Bahamas Financial Centre, Shirley & Charlotte Streets, P.O. Box N-3023, Nassau, Bahamas

(c)

N O T I C E IS HEREBY GIVEN as follows:

(a)

EPIFENI GLOBAL LIMITED is in voluntary dissolution under the provisions of Section 138 (4) of the International Business Companies Act 2000.

The dissolution of the said company commenced on the 08th July, 2019 when the Articles of Dissolution were submitted to and registered by the Registrar General.

(b)

The dissolution of the said company commenced on the 08th July, 2019 when the Articles of Dissolution were submitted to and registered by the Registrar General.

The Liquidator of the said company is Bukit Merah Limited, The Bahamas Financial Centre, Shirley & Charlotte Streets, P.O. Box N-3023, Nassau, Bahamas

(c)

The Liquidator of the said company is Bukit Merah Limited, The Bahamas Financial Centre, Shirley & Charlotte Streets, P.O. Box N-3023, Nassau, Bahamas

Dated this 11th day of July, A. D. 2019

Dated this 11th day of July, A. D. 2019

Dated this 11th day of July, A. D. 2019

_________________________________

_________________________________

_________________________________

Bukit Merah Limited

Bukit Merah Limited

Bukit Merah Limited

Liquidator

Liquidator

Liquidator

NOTICE

MARKET REPORT

ROSEHIP INVEST LTD.

www.bisxbahamas.com

(242) 323-2330

TUESDAY, 9 JULY 2019

NOTICE is hereby given as follows:

(242) 323-2320

ALL SHARE INDEX: CLOSE: 2,174.95 | CHG: -0.08 | %CHG: 0.00 | YTD: 65.50 | YTD%: 3.11

(a)

Rosehip Invest Ltd. is in Voluntary Dissolution under the provisions of Section 138(4) of the International Business Companies Act 2000.

(b)

The Dissolution of the said Company commenced when the Articles of Dissolution were submitted to and registered by the Registrar General of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

(c)

The Liquidator of the said Company is Beatus Limited, P.O. Box N7776-348, N.P., Bahamas.

BISX LISTED & TRADED SECURITIES 52WK HI 4.50 20.91 7.00 5.60 2.60 2.00 3.04 11.05 6.17 4.64 12.50 2.74 2.20 9.51 7.01 15.60 7.98 3.75 14.00

52WK LOW 3.50 19.17 4.90 4.02 1.00 0.19 2.00 8.98 6.13 3.54 8.59 2.35 1.70 7.50 6.10 11.25 6.20 3.01 12.51

1000.00 1000.00 1000.00 1000.00

1000.00 1000.00 1000.00 1000.00

PREFERENCE SHARES

1.00 103.00 100.00 100.00 105.00 103.00 100.00 10.00 1.00

1.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 10.00 1.00

SECURITY AML Foods Limited APD Limited Bahamas Property Fund Bahamas Waste Bank of Bahamas Benchmark Cable Bahamas CIBC FirstCaribbean Bank Colina Holdings Commonwealth Bank Commonwealth Brewery Consolidated Water BDRs Doctor's Hospital Emera Incorporated Famguard Fidelity Bank Finco Focol J. S. Johnson Cable Bahamas Series 6 Cable Bahamas Series 8 Cable Bahamas Series 9 Cable Bahamas Series 10 Colina Holdings Class A Commonwealth Bank Class E Commonwealth Bank Class J Commonwealth Bank Class K Commonwealth Bank Class L Commonwealth Bank Class M Commonwealth Bank Class N Fidelity Bank Class A Focol Class B

CORPORATE DEBT - (percentage pricing) 52WK HI 100.00

52WK LOW 100.00

115.92 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00

104.79 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00

SYMBOL LAST CLOSE AML 4.24 APD 17.43 BPF 6.00 BWL 5.39 BOB 2.51 BBL 1.95 CAB 2.18 CIB 11.05 CHL 6.16 CBL 4.49 CBB 9.02 CWCB 2.89 DHS 2.20 EMAB 10.16 FAM 7.00 FBB 15.45 FIN 7.98 FCL 3.41 JSJ 14.00 CAB6 CAB8 CAB9 CAB10 CHLA CBLE CBLJ CBLK CBLL CBLM CBLN FBBA FCLB

SECURITY Fidelity Bank Note 22 (Series B) +

SYMBOL FBB22

Bahamas Note 6.95 (2029) BGS: 2015-1-3Y BGS: 2014-12-5Y BGS: 2015-1-5Y BGS: 2014-12-7Y BGS: 2015-1-7Y BGS: 2014-12-30Y BGS: 2015-1-30Y BGS: 2015-6-3Y BGS: 2015-6-5Y BGS: 2015-6-7Y BGS: 2015-6-30Y BGS: 2015-10-3Y BGS: 2015-10-5Y BGS: 2015-10-7Y

BAH29 BG0203 BG0105 BG0205 BG0107 BG0207 BG0130 BG0230 BG0303 BG0305 BG0307 BG0330 BG0403 BG0405 BG0407

BAHAMAS GOVERNMENT STOCK - (percentage pricing)

1000.00 1000.00 1000.00 1000.00 1.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 10.00 1.00 LAST SALE 100.00 107.31 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00

CLOSE 4.24 17.43 6.00 5.39 2.51 1.95 2.18 11.05 6.16 4.49 9.02 2.83 2.20 10.13 7.00 15.45 7.98 3.41 14.00

CHANGE 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -0.06 0.00 -0.03 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00

1000.00 1000.00 1000.00 1000.00 1.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 10.00 1.00

0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00

CLOSE 100.00

CHANGE 0.00

107.31 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00

0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00

VOLUME 70

5,000

VOLUME

EPS$ 0.167 0.932 1.760 0.323 0.098 0.000 -0.438 0.708 0.480 0.184 0.627 0.102 0.209 0.000 0.611 0.743 0.939 0.205 0.631

DIV$ 0.160 1.260 0.000 0.250 0.000 0.020 0.000 0.720 0.220 0.120 0.000 0.068 0.060 0.328 0.240 0.540 0.200 0.120 0.600

P/E 25.4 18.7 N/M 16.7 N/M N/M -5.0 15.6 12.8 24.4 14.4 27.7 10.5 N/M 11.5 20.8 8.5 16.6 22.2

YIELD 3.77% 7.23% 0.00% 4.64% 0.00% 1.03% 0.00% 6.52% 3.57% 2.67% 0.00% 2.40% 2.73% 3.24% 3.43% 3.50% 2.51% 3.52% 4.29%

0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000

0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000

0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 6.25% 6.25% 6.25% 6.25% 6.25% 6.25% 6.25% 7.00% 6.50%

INTEREST Prime + 1.75%

MATURITY 19-Oct-2022

6.95% 4.00% 4.25% 4.25% 4.50% 4.50% 6.25% 6.25% 4.00% 4.25% 4.50% 6.25% 3.50% 3.88% 4.25%

20-Nov-2029 30-Jul-2018 16-Dec-2019 30-Jul-2020 15-Dec-2021 30-Jul-2022 15-Dec-2044 30-Jul-2045 26-Jun-2018 26-Jun-2020 26-Jun-2022 26-Jun-2045 15-Oct-2018 15-Oct-2020 15-Oct-2022

YTD%12 MTH% 1.55% 3.97% 1.18% 4.17% 1.11% 2.71% 2.06% 4.97% 4.52% 0.96% 1.57% 4.58% 0.99% 4.25% 1.32% 4.12% 3.22% 5.64% 2.50% 6.46% 2.79% 8.14% 2.12% 4.69% 5.00% -3.39% 3.04% 3.32% 2.48% 3.55% -0.71% 0.16% 7.40% 2.70% 10.20% 1.30%

NAV Date 31-May-2019 31-May-2019 31-May-2019 31-Mar-2019 31-Mar-2019 30-Apr-2019 30-Apr-2019 30-Apr-2019 30-Apr-2019 31-May-2019 31-May-2019 31-May-2019 31-May-2019 31-May-2019 31-May-2019 30-Mar-2019 30-Mar-2019 30-Mar-2019

MUTUAL FUNDS 52WK HI 2.24 4.29 2.06 188.32 158.55 1.62 1.76 1.70 1.15 7.66 8.96 6.74 11.83 12.04 10.63 10.00 8.69 11.79

52WK LOW 1.67 3.04 1.68 164.74 116.70 1.56 1.68 1.64 1.08 6.41 7.62 5.66 8.65 10.54 9.57 9.88 8.45 11.20

FUND CFAL Bond Fund CFAL Balanced Fund CFAL Money Market Fund CFAL Global Bond Fund CFAL Global Equity Fund FG Financial Preferred Income Fund FG Financial Growth Fund FG Financial Diversified Fund FG Financial Global USD Bond Fund Royal Fidelity Bahamas Opportunities Fund - Secured Balanced Fund Royal Fidelity Bahamas Opportunities Fund - Targeted Equity Fund Royal Fidelity Bahamas Opportunities Fund - Prime Income Fund Royal Fidelity Int'l Fund - Equities Sub Fund Royal Fidelity Int'l Fund - High Yield Fund Royal Fidelity Int'l Fund - Alternative Strategies Fund Colonial Bahamas Fund Class D Colonial Bahamas Fund Class E Colonial Bahamas Fund Class F

NAV 2.24 4.29 2.06 188.32 154.49 1.62 1.76 1.70 1.15 7.66 8.89 6.74 10.89 12.04 10.63 9.92 8.68 11.38

Dated 9th day of July, 2019. Beatus Limited Liquidator

NOTICE CASCO ANTIGUO LTD. NOTICE is hereby given as follows: (a)

Casco Antiguo Ltd. is in Voluntary Dissolution under the provisions of Section 138(4) of the International Business Companies Act 2000.

(b)

The Dissolution of the said Company commenced when the Articles of Dissolution were submitted to and registered by the Registrar General of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

(c)

The Liquidator of the said Company is Beatus Limited, P.O. Box N7776-348, N.P., Bahamas. Dated 9th day of July, 2019. Beatus Limited Liquidator LEGAL NOTICE

NOTICE

International Business Companies Act (No. 45 of 2000)

TRANSGLOBAL INVESTMENTS INC.

MARKET TERMS BISX ALL SHARE INDEX - 19 Dec 02 = 1,000.00 52wk-Hi - Highest closing price in last 52 weeks 52wk-Low - Lowest closing price in last 52 weeks Previous Close - Previous day's weighted price for daily volume Today's Close - Current day's weighted price for daily volume Change - Change in closing price from day to day Daily Vol. - Number of total shares traded today DIV $ - Dividends per share paid in the last 12 months P/E - Closing price divided by the last 12 month earnings

YIELD - last 12 month dividends divided by closing price Bid $ - Buying price of Colina and Fidelity Ask $ - Selling price of Colina and fidelity Last Price - Last traded over-the-counter price Weekly Vol. - Trading volume of the prior week EPS $ - A company's reported earnings per share for the last 12 mths NAV - Net Asset Value N/M - Not Meaningful

TO TRADE CALL: CFAL 242-502-7010 | ROYALFIDELITY 242-356-7764 | FG CAPITAL MARKETS 242-396-4000 | COLONIAL 242-502-7525 | LENO 242-396-3225 | BENCHMARK 242-326-7333

Notice is hereby given that in accordance with Section 138 (8) of the International Business Companies Act, (No.45 of 2000), TRANSGLOBAL INVESTMENTS INC. has been completed, a Certificate of Dissolution has been issued and the Company has therefore been struck off the Register. The date of completion was the 18th day of June, 2019


THE TRIBUNE

Thursday, July 11, 2019, PAGE 19

China’s largesse in Tonga threatens future of Pacific nation NUKU’ALOFA, TONGA Associated Press

THE days unfold at a leisurely pace in Tonga, a South Pacific archipelago with no traffic lights or fastfood chains. Snuffling pigs roam dusty roads that wind through villages dotted with churches. Yet even in this far-flung island kingdom there are signs that a battle for power and influence is heating up among much larger nations — and Tonga may end up paying the price. In the capital, Nuku’alofa, government officials work in a shiny new office block — an $11m gift from China that is rivaled in grandeur only by China’s imposing new embassy complex. Dozens of Tongan bureaucrats take allexpenses-paid training trips to Beijing each year, and China has laid out millions of dollars to bring 107 Tongan athletes and coaches to a training camp in China’s Sichuan province ahead of this month’s Pacific Games in Samoa. “The best facilities. The gym, the track, and a lot of equipment we don’t have here in Tonga,” said Tevita Fauonuku, the country’s head athletic coach. “The accommodation: lovely, beautiful. And the meals. Not only that, but China gave each and everyone some money. A per diem.” China also offered low-interest loans after pro-democracy rioters destroyed much of downtown Nuku’alofa in 2006, and analysts say those loans could prove Tonga’s undoing. The country of 106,000 people owes some $108m to China’s Export-Import bank, equivalent to about 25% of GDP. The US ambassador to Australia, Arthur Culvahouse Jr, calls China’s lending in the Pacific “payday loan diplomacy”. “The money looks attractive and easy upfront, but you better read the fine print,” he said. China’s ambassador to Tonga, Wang Baodong, said China was the only country willing to step up to help Tonga during its time of need. Graeme Smith, a specialist in Chinese investment in the Pacific, is not convinced China tried to trap Tonga in debt, saying its own financial mismanagement is as much to blame. Nonetheless, he said it’s worrying that the nation of 171 islands, already vulnerable to costly natural disasters, has little ability to repay. Why is China pouring money into Tonga? Teisina Fuko, a 69-yearold former parliament member, suspects China finds his country’s location useful. “I think Tonga is maybe a window to the Western side,” he said. “Because it’s easy to get here and look into New Zealand, Australia.” “It’s a steppingstone,” he said. For decades, the South Pacific was considered the somewhat sleepy backyard of Australia, New Zealand and the United States. Now, as China exerts increasing influence, Western allies are responding. Experts say there hasn’t been this level of geopolitical competition in the region since the US and Japan were bombing each other’s occupied atolls. “We haven’t seen anything like this since World War II,” said Smith, a research fellow at Australian National University. After Cyclone Gita destroyed Tonga’s historic Parliament House last year, the government first suggested China might like to pay to rebuild it. Then Australia and New Zealand stepped in and are now considering jointly funding the project. Elsewhere in the region, Australia is redeveloping a Papua New Guinea naval base while New Zealand has announced it will spend an extra $500m on overseas aid over four years, with most of it directed at South

A CHINESE flag flies outside the Chinese Embassy in Nuku’alofa, Tonga. China is pouring billions of dollars in aid and low-interest loans into the South Pacific, and even in the far-flung kingdom of Tonga there are signs that a battle for power and influence among much larger nations is heating up and could exact a toll.  Photo: Mark Baker/AP Pacific nations. Rory Medcalf, the head of the National Security College at Australian National University, said the area could provide a security bridgehead for China’s navy, which currently must sail through the US-friendly islands of Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines to get to the Pacific. Other possible explanations, Medcalf said, include the region’s fisheries, seabed minerals and other natural resources, as well as China’s ongoing effort to lure away the few remaining countries that recognise Taiwan instead of China — several of them Pacific island nations. “It’s not entirely clear what China wants in the South Pacific,” Medcalf said. “It’s just clear that China is becoming very active and making its presence felt.” China has poured about $1.5bn in aid and low-interest loans into the South Pacific since 2011, putting it behind only Australia, according to an analysis by Australian think-tank the Lowy Institute. And that figure rises to over $6bn when future commitments are included. China’s use of loans and aid to gain influence in developing nations worldwide is nothing new, as illustrated by Chinesefinanced projects from Africa to Latin America and the Asian subcontinent. Some worry that these can become debt traps when nations can’t repay. In Sri Lanka, for example, the government was forced to hand over control of its Hambantota port as it struggles to repay loans it got from China to build the facility — a move that has given Beijing a strategic foothold within hundreds of miles of rival India. Wang said China has only benevolent intentions in Tonga and no hidden agenda. “Some people in the West are being over-sensitive and too suspicious,” he said. “No need.” It’s not just money flowing in from China. Chinese immigrants began arriving in the 1990s when Tonga started selling passports. The passports, which went for about $10,000 each, were aimed at attracting wealthy Hong Kong residents hedging their bets ahead of the former British colony’s return to China in 1997. Instead, they were snapped up by rural Chinese looking for a better life — and who now compete with native Tongans for scarce jobs. Chinese immigrants already run most of the dozens of hole-in-thewall groceries dotting the islands, selling cheap imports like potato chips and canned meat. And Tongans worry they are now expanding into farming and construction. Most Tongans live a subsistence existence in a nation where the king is revered and people take Christianity so seriously that working on Sundays is, with few exceptions, banned under the constitution. The economy relies on foreign aid and cash sent home by Tongans working abroad. And the Chinese loans haven’t changed that because the money went to Chinese-run projects, Fuko said. “They brought the money, they brought the

workers, they brought the building materials,” he said. “Maybe a few Tongans pulled wheelbarrows.” Wang acknowledged the criticism that Chinese immigrants run many businesses but said Tonga’s leaders recognise the contribution they make and have even called on Tongans to learn from their hard-work ethic. Tonga never benefited

from the passport money, either. A former financial adviser to the government, American Jesse Bogdonoff, helped place about $26m into speculative investments and almost all of it evaporated. The real threat to Tonga’s future may lie in its crippling loans from China. In December 2017, the International Monetary

Fund increased Tonga’s debt distress rating from moderate to high risk, citing its vulnerability to natural disasters and noting that the large upcoming loan repayments to China would reduce Tonga’s foreign exchange reserves, double its debt-servicing costs, and could force the country to borrow yet more money. Repayments were due to start last year, and panic crept in. In August, Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva called on other Pacific nations to join forces to demand debt relief, warning that China could snatch away buildings and other assets. But he reversed his position days later, saying Tonga was “exceedingly grateful” for China’s help. Within months Tonga announced it had been given a reprieve and didn’t need to start repayments for another five years. Tonga also said it was joining China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the trilliondollar global investment and lending programme that is a signature policy of President Xi Jinping.

Tongan officials don’t seem eager to discuss the relationship with China. The prime minister withdrew from an interview with The Associated Press because of an illness, while Finance Minister Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa cancelled at the last minute due to “something urgent”. The chief secretary to the prime minister’s office, Edgar Cocker, agreed to meet but then quickly asked a reporter to leave, saying he wasn’t authorised to speak for the government. Cocker said all questions about China’s loans and aid should be directed to Chinese officials. Wang said there was no link between Tonga getting a break on its loans and joining the Belt and Road Initiative. He said Tonga had raised concerns about the loan, and China was willing to help. Tonga’s immediate financial crisis has been averted, but Fuko thinks the loans have given China the upper hand. “I don’t know how we are going to pay that back,” the former lawmaker said.


PAGE 20, Thursday, July 11, 2019

THE TRIBUNE

As Beetle ends, iconic original thrives in Mexico City hills MEXICO CITY Associated Press THE Beetle is dead. Long live the Beetle. The modern edition of the iconic Volkswagen model ceased production yesterday, but people in Cuautepec on the outskirts of Mexico City still rely on the original no-frills version, praising it for its affordability, reparability and, most of all, its dexterity at handling the district’s steep streets. High above the valley floor, where the notorious smog turns the surrounding hills into hazy silhouettes, the old-model compacts are popularly used as informal taxis for a place that lacks public transportation. The sputtering, bulbous, rear-engine cars popularly known as “vochos” are ever-present in Cuautepec, an obsession for some after production of the Type 1’s stopped in 2003 and the front-engine New Beetle failed to impress most locals. “The new ones don’t get uphill, and the old ones can climb any incline without problem,” said taxi driver Adrián Martínez. An exception is businessman David Álvarez, a resident of neighbouring Mexico State who drives a 2008 New Beetle with a rolldown top. Though he has owned older Beetles and admits his newer version isn’t as ideal for hilly terrain, he likes the attention it draws. “It’s an attractive car with a lot of personality,” Álvarez said. “It turns a lot of heads in the streets.” For Mexico, the halt to Beetle production marks an end of an era. The VW factory in Puebla, southeast of the capital, had long been the only plant in the world still manufacturing classic Beetles and more recently became the only one left making modern ones. At the plant Wednesday,

A VOLKSWAGEN Beetle makes it to the top of a hill in a neighbourhood of Mexico City known colloquially as “Vocholandia”, for its love of the classic Beetle, called vochos, on Tuesday. The modern version of the iconic Volkswagen model was set to cease production yesterday, but in Cuautepec on the outskirts of Mexico City residents still rely on the no-frills original compact cars, praising them for their affordability, reparability and ability to handle the area’s steep streets.  Photo: Cristina Baussan/AP the last of the 5,961 Final Edition versions of the Beetle — this one painted “stonewash blue”, according to the company — was rolled out under a confetti shower as a mariachi band sang the classic Mexican tune “Cielito Lindo”. It wasn’t for sale, destined instead for a museum. Steffen Reiche, president of VW Mexico, said at the goodbye ceremony that while the Beetle won’t be manufactured anymore, it left its mark on the country. “Its arrival conquered the hearts of the people with its special design and quality,” Reiche said. “Still today in the streets, we see the ‘vochos’ that keep this legacy alive.” Green-and-white painted Type 1’s used to be the norm for taxis in Mexico City, but authorities ended cab licenses for the last of the “vochos” in 2012. Taxi driver Francisco Trujillo said this technically means he and others who operate the older model in Cuautepec are doing so illegally. But local police rarely bother the drivers, he said, and the cars stay in high demand for residents who grew up when VW taxis were everywhere. “This service still exists

because the locals always know how to find us,” Trujillo said. There are plenty of people in other parts of Mexico City who said good riddance when the “vocho” taxis disappeared. The two-door vehicles, nearly always with the front passenger seat removed, earned notoriety as robbery traps. Muggers, sometimes in cahoots with cab drivers, would appear suddenly to demand the belongings of clients trapped in back seats with no way out. Among aficionados in Cuautepec, known colloquially as “vocho land”, there is some concern that Beetlemania may come to an end as parts become increasingly hard to come by. Mechanic Juan José Fragoso’s shop in the nearby Progreso Nacional neighborhood has become known locally for its ability to fix older Beetles. He said he gets parts from a business partner who buys and strips broken or abandoned Type 1’s. “Right now they’re very scarce because they discontinued a lot of parts,” Fragoso said. Some mechanics prefer to collect the cars for their own use.

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