Why the fuss?

Sinckler: No formal offer has been made by british billionaires

It is not a done deal.

This assurance today from Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler in response to what he has described as unnecessary hysteria surrounding an offer by two British bond traders to assist Barbados in securing $1 billion worth of funding.

Sinckler said that while he had met with Andrew Stewart and Stuart Fordham, no formal proposal had yet been made to the Government. Thus, in response to local concerns raised about the offer, the Minister of Finance said he was not clear on what all the recent fuss was about.

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler
Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler

“This [proposal] is no different from the other things that we have seen and heard, and therefore this big amount of hysteria from people and suggestions that ‘it will be horrible’ and that ‘it doesn’t make sense’ [is unjustified].

“I mean, we have not said to anybody that we are going anywhere to borrow anything. It is just their [the British billionaires’] way of showing their commitment and interest in, and hope for Barbados to be successful,” he said.

In an interview with Barbados TODAY, the Minister of Finance also lashed out at critics of the offer, which came as a direct response to last week’s Standard & Poor’s   (S&P) downgrade.

“The important thing is that we have very good and powerful friends who hang around in Barbados, who live in Barbados, who come to Barbados, who have invested in Barbados, and who want Barbados to do well,” declared Sinckler, who quoted Stewart as saying that “Barbados is not one of the best countries in the Caribbean, it is the Rolls-Royce of the Caribbean”.

“These are essentially expatriates who are saying that on Barbadian soil about Barbados; and I think that some of us can take a lesson from that and try to say something useful about the country, rather than always finding an opportunity to be negative, and to tear the country down, and to put it in the worst light imaginable, including to people who come here to do assessments, like S&P and the IMF [the International Monetary Fund] and so on . . . .

“. . . All those people who believe they are doing the Government damage by lining up and saying the most negative and the worst things they can about Barbados and about the Government, and about the future, and then pretend they are surprised or affected by downgrades and other negative reports when some of them have contributed to them.

“They can take a lesson out of the book of some of these people who have come here and expressed their views, like Andrew Stewart and Mr Fordham . . . and see something positive that is happening in Barbados; and that not everything is negative and this is the worst place in the world and the worst Government, and all of that rubbish that you hear people putting out because it suits their purpose politically and otherwise to say so,” Sinckler suggested.

As for the loan offer, he said it could take the form of a bond or foreign direct investment.

“They are not only saying, ‘Come and let’s go and borrow $1 billion’.”

In fact, Sinckler said, Barbados would not go on the commercial market to borrow $1 billion, unless it was in support of a project that was going to give a return on investment; “and we know where to go for those types of capacity-building projects. We normally go to the institutional lenders like the IDB [Inter American Development Bank] and CDB [Caribbean Development Bank] and so forth, because you get the money at a reasonably low cost –– way below the commercial market”.

The minister  made it clear that unless the terms and conditions were favourable, Government had no immediate plans to float any bond on the international market.

“We believe that those terms and conditions could only be favourable in an environment where our message about our fiscal actions has taken root; that that process of achieving those targets has been largely complete or completed and that the market conditions, including the size of the loan that we are seeking to borrow, are of such value and note that would allow us to get a reasonable rate on what we are asking for,” he explained.

The Minister of Finance also made it clear that Government was not in the business of simply dismissing foreign investors, least of all persons with the track record of “these two gentlemen, in particular Mr Stewart, who has been around Barbados for many, many years”.

“This is not somebody who is just a bond trader in the market or running an asset management fund who turns up and says, ‘I am a fairy godfather, I can do this’. This is somebody who has invested money in Barbados, actual dollar bills, millions of dollars actually, in Barbados; who has bought a second home here; who has no real interest in participating in Barbados’ issues and has never participated in Barbados’ issues beyond the investments which he has done.

“He [Stewart] has basically said, ‘I have seen this S&P thing and the Moody’s and I’ve have heard about the IMF and stuff. If Barbados wants to go to the market, if you are having problems because you are not investment grade, we have a clientele that we service who might be interested in investing in an emerging economy like yours, and we can vouch for Barbados and we can vouch for what the Government is doing’.”

However, in the absence of a formal proposal, Sinckler acknowledged that “the proof of the pudding is in the eating” and that any decision on the offer would be based on “what is formally submitted on paper, interest rates and other terms and conditions”.

kaymarjordan@barbadostoday.bb

20 Responses to Why the fuss?

  1. Rawle Maycock
    Rawle Maycock December 25, 2014 at 2:00 am

    I’m in your corner on this one, you’ve wounded up your statement to my likings.

    Reply
  2. Santini More
    Santini More December 25, 2014 at 3:56 am

    It would appear that our dismal economic position is not the result of an incompetent MOF or a delusional Governor of the Central Bank. It seems that part of the blame lies with those in society who have the audacity to say “Captain the boat is sinking”….smh!

    Reply
  3. Cheryl A Rollins
    Cheryl A Rollins December 25, 2014 at 5:36 am

    We are so accustom to your stupid decisions that nothing surprise us anymore when it comes to you lot.

    Reply
  4. Caroline Reifer
    Caroline Reifer December 25, 2014 at 6:24 am

    He is always accusing the Barbadian public of reacting to certain matters with unnecessary hysteria. May I say to you Sir that this administrations lack of leadership and shoddy manner of handling the Economy is the reason for this hysteria? Get a clue!

    Reply
  5. Di-sharon Boyce
    Di-sharon Boyce December 25, 2014 at 7:06 am

    Ya see u i gine shut my mouth cause i might get a letter from a lawyer too idiot

    Reply
  6. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce December 25, 2014 at 7:51 am

    Why the fuss? I got my wages. Do this face looked bothered? Stupse.

    Reply
  7. John Nicholls
    John Nicholls December 25, 2014 at 8:31 am

    It has to do with confidence and trust. If the people have no confidence or do not trust the government there will always be concerns. And hy the way we the people have every constitunional right to voice ours opinions on any matter of nation interest especially ones as important as the economy. When and his party was in opposition were they not concerned that their constant negative harpens were injurious to the country?

    Reply
  8. John Nicholls
    John Nicholls December 25, 2014 at 8:31 am

    It has to do with confidence and trust. If the people have no confidence or do not trust the government there will always be concerns. And by the way we the people have every constitunional right to voice our opinions on any matter of national interest especially ones as important as the economy. When he and his party was in opposition were they not concerned that their constant negative harpens were injurious to the country? As usual he his arrogant, offensive and big mouthed much as he was in opposition. He seems to feel that he and his government must never be challenged about anything and should simply he left to do as they please, because they think they own Barbados and there are no better brains anywhere here to be found. No sir it is because of your very poor showing and that of your government that has us all worried.

    Reply
  9. Alex Alleyne December 25, 2014 at 9:40 am

    The Country of Barbados need MONEY to conduct its affairs . Can’t borrow , credit bad. Ain’t got no money , treasury empty . Staying away from the IMF because they will have BDS by its B…. for many, many years to come .
    Now here comes 2 British Billionaires willing to give up a hefty sum . What shall the powers at be do ? . Time and history shall tell.

    Reply
  10. Alex Alleyne December 25, 2014 at 9:57 am

    T&T own most of us (BDS) , why not these 2 billionaires . Every one sees us as “FOR SALE”………… At least spread it around .

    Reply
  11. Rico Seale
    Rico Seale December 25, 2014 at 10:47 am

    i so sick rh he hear stupseeeeeeeeee

    Reply
  12. Ryan Bayne
    Ryan Bayne December 25, 2014 at 10:51 am

    Mr. Sinckler, in the words of Sting, every breath you take, every move you make, every smile you fake, every claim you state, we’ll be watching you.

    Reply
  13. Stephen D Stewart
    Stephen D Stewart December 25, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Quite right, we are the ” Rolls Royce ” of the Caribbean…..shame about our government…more like a clapped out old mini…

    Reply
  14. Stephen D Stewart
    Stephen D Stewart December 25, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Quite right, we are the ” Rolls Royce ” of the Caribbean…..shame about our government…more like a clapped out old mini…

    Reply
  15. Ryan Henry
    Ryan Henry December 25, 2014 at 11:07 am

    He says Barbados is the rolls Royce of the Caribbean but he and his cohorts treat it as if its a rally car with a spare donut. In all the fan fare he picked out Barbadians are fussing and not that we are concerned about the direction our country has been heading without a proper driver for the last few years and the people has lost faith that him or his central bank governor are seemingly lacking in some degree of competence.

    Reply
  16. Ryan Henry
    Ryan Henry December 25, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    No need to worry when a foreign investor wants to in reality own 25% of GDP by way of debt, what part of the alarm bells should we ignore on that. An investor invests for one soul purpose and that’s for a return on his investment. He will make sure his investment is as sound as possible by making sure that contract has what allowances that will see him getting maximum returns on that said investment which means the sovereignty or social impact of that investment will take a backseat to his returns. Lastly they invest for foreign clients which means only God knows who will control those reigns.

    Reply
  17. Tony Waterman December 25, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    “”He quoted Stewart as saying that “Barbados is not one of the best countries in the Caribbean, it is the Rolls-Royce of the Caribbean”” Thank you Sir. For alienating us further from the rest of these “”LOW ISLANDERS”” WE are the Rolls-Royce, so are they the VAUXHALL VIVAS ?? Great for Caribbean (Caricom) Unity, wont you say???

    “”All those people who believe they are doing the Government damage by lining up and saying the most negative and the worst things they can about Barbados and about the Government, and about the future, and then pretend they are surprised or affected by downgrades and other negative reports when some of them have contributed to them.”” I am So glad that we do at least have some form of Democracy, because this statement tell me that otherwise a lot of people would be in jail for disagreeing with you LOT for the Mismanagement of this Country.

    “They can take a lesson out of the book of some of these people who have come here and expressed their views, like Andrew Stewart and Mr Fordham . . . and see something positive that is happening in Barbados; and that not everything is negative and this is the worst place in the world and the worst Government, and all of that rubbish that you hear people putting out because it suits their purpose politically and otherwise to say so,” Sinckler suggested. POSITIVE !!! Where, When ???

    These two are going to do to us what the French backed by the American Gunboats, did to Haiti after the Revolution, we are going to owe them even our First Born.

    so go ahead Mr Sinckler, Stewart, ET AL sign up with the Blood Suckers, cause that’s what the are LEECHES.

    Reply
  18. ASTUTE December 26, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    Oh!!!!!! UGGGGHHHHHHH Whhhhhyyyyyy did you people put this party and this man back in power????!!!!! Why was the BLP so not ready at the last election to instill trust in the people? why? why? why? so many whys!!!! Barbados is definitely not the worst country in the world, but this is definitely, definitely!!!! the worst government!!!! EVER!!!!! How do you alienate a whole country and a whole region in one speech? for who? for what? to get your hands on a few more dollars…potentially?
    ooooohhhhhhhuggggggghhhhh!

    Reply
  19. Charles King December 26, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    My main concern was wound up in the well known term, “due diligence,” which was NOT an attempt to educate the minister in question, but to remind ordinary readers as to what they had a right to expect and require would go into the formulating of such an initiative.
    I then posed a number of questions which further broke down the considerations which the man in the street would understand as to be implied under the heading of, due diligence.

    Reply
  20. Pluto Merick December 27, 2014 at 10:45 am

    After reading these comments..I now see why these people are fearful of social media. LONG LIVE SOCIAL MEDIA !

    Reply

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